The Fruits of Confession: Forgiveness Bible Study Day 8

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From today’s reflection:

Let’s take a look at a person who committed a sin that some people still haven’t forgiven. He betrayed Jesus around the hour of his death, abandoned Jesus even when he swore up and down that he would always be there for his Savior. In spite of the fact that he betrayed Christ, though, he still became a great leader. In fact, he becomes the head of the Church.

Yep, Saint Peter had an experience with confession, just as every other sinner who came to Jesus. The denial he made during that night that Jesus was put on trial was forgiven when Jesus asked Peter “Do you love me?” three times.

My friend Kristin shares her conversion story here!

 

Why We All Need Forgiveness: Forgiveness Bible Study Day 1

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From today’s reflection:

Most of us know the story pretty well: God created Adam and Eve and told them not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Then Eve gets tempted by the serpent, both she and Adam eat the fruit, they get in major trouble and God banishes them from Eden. (Seriously, Adam and Eve. You had one job!)

The banishment from Eden seems like a downer ending for Adam and Eve, but remember that the word “genesis” means beginning. This is only the first chapter of what we now call “salvation history.” Even as He gives punishment to Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Divine Mercy was already at work.

How? Find out here!

Jesus, I Trust in You! Help My Unbelief!

One of the many devotions I gained in my college years was a love for the Divine Mercy Chaplet. This is also the first year that I finally prayed the Divine Mercy Novena all the way through. (Thank you Pray More Novenas!)

I don’t know if it’s just me or if other cradle Catholics have this problem (or heck, even Christians in general), but I always feel like it’s one thing to believe in the core values and all the doctrines of Catholicism, but it’s another thing to have faith that God is actually a part of our lives in every moment. Many people ask for God’s providence in times of crisis, but often forget to ask for His help in our daily lives. Yes, there are people who pray their Morning Offerings, myself included. But there are a lot of areas I feel a lot of doubt about.

It’s not just about my everyday problems like finding a full-time job or having some semblance of a social life outside of the internet. I also struggle with a lot of loneliness. Although I consider myself to be an introverted person, I still want someone that I can talk to about anything and yet also “be” with without having the need to talk. I also want that same person to watch my favorite shows with me and cry and laugh with me, or at least understand what I’m feeling. I always forget, during those times that I wish for someone, that Jesus is always there to listen. I love Him, I really do, but it’s not the same as having the physical presence of a person, hearing someone’s voice, and sharing moments with a person.

I also struggle with a lot of self-doubt, mostly about said lack of job and love life. Although I still long for companionship, I also have doubts of finding anyone who fits those longings. I struggle with basic conversation sometimes because of my social awkwardness. Sometimes, I don’t see myself as beautiful or even pretty, just average. Again, it just comes from a lot of times in my life when I felt like Eponine, always on my own and never getting the guy.

We all like to make fun of Doubting Thomas, who will never live down his moment of unbelief. But I’m probably right there with him, refusing to believe until I see proof. My intuition and emotions have often been wrong, so I constantly ask God to prove to me that He is listening. Except, I act more like an entitled brat, expecting God to grant my wishes and dreams. I know better than that, and yet I still do it. I’m pretty sure a lot of you can relate.

I’m not saying all this because I feel like whining and complaining about #firstworldproblems. I’m just saying that faith isn’t just about believing in a bunch of doctrines, traditions, and Sacred Scripture. It’s about trust. It’s about putting your trust in your faith. It’s during these times of doubt and loneliness that I turn to God more than ever. This is where the Divine Mercy Chaplet comes in.

If there is any word that I can use to describe Saint Faustina, it would be “Trust.” She trusted in God when it came to her vocation. But that was just the beginning of her story. She trusted in God implicitly when she began receiving visions, in spite of other sisters in her order being dismissive of her. How she lived with such bitchiness, I will never know.

Whenever I pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, I usually pray it as an intercession for others. But whenever I listen and sing along to the song version (either on EWTN TV or EWTN Radio), I slow down in praying it and really feel the prayer on a different level. I ask God for His mercy and offer up my loneliness. The words “I Trust in You” start to resonate in me. And even though I don’t feel the trust right now, I have a glimmer of it. And sometimes, that’s enough.

His Mercy is Plentious

So ever heard of the Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship? If you hadn’t, they’re a group of women who create free online Catholic Bible studies for women. Their topics range from Genesis to the Virtues to seasonal topics like Advent and Lent. Their current study centers on Mercy.

Oh yeah. I happen to be contributing to this particular study.

Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote today:

There’s a tendency in a lot of Christians to see two different versions of God. There’s the God of the Old Testament who’s all fire and brimstone and rules and punishment. Then there’s the God of the New Testament, who loved the world so much, He sent His only Son to save sinners. But the God of the New Testament in the same God of the Old Testament. It’s not that God changed. God never changes. It’s the perception of who God is that changed over time.

Follow the link to read the entire thing! Also, subscribe to their site because there will be more meditations from me coming!

I’ve been praying the Divine Mercy Novena for the past few days and it’s already been helping me out with a lot of things. If you haven’t gotten started on the Novena, the prayer is available on PrayMoreNovenas.com or on EWTN or you can start by simply praying the Chaplet.

Happy Easter Octave, y’all!