Today I went to confession. The priest prayed that the mercy of God would wash over me. It’s always a great moment when you receive absolution…. knowing that your sins are forgiven. I thought of the great priests to whom I’ve gone to confession over the years… the late Fr. Tom Dzurenda of St. Mary’s Stony Hill and the late Fr. Carroll, and so many other wonderful priests.
It reminded me of visiting New Hampshire some 35 years ago…. the mornings were very chilly with mist coming off the lake as the water headed to a waterfall. It took all my courage to get ready for my morning shower. With a yell I moved under the torrent …auuuuugh. The water was so powerful and so cold that it took my breath away…but in a moment, all the soap was washed away and the pounding of the water actually warmed me up…it was incredibly invigorating. It was very hard to get under that water fall, but it was also hard to leave the refreshing water.
That’s often the way it is when you receive God’s mercy. It’s difficult to admit that you need it …. And there is a cost in receiving it, ie. the cost Jesus paid on the cross in dying for our sins and our cost in humbling ourselves before the Lord and admitting our sin and the shame that accompanies it.
Mercy is transformational… it transforms us from guilty to innocent…from foe to friend…from sinner to saint. I love the description of “compunction”… in layman’s terms it’s “the moment of being convicted of sin with all the guilt, sorrow and shame that accompanies it, but at the same moment experiencing the forgiveness and mercy and restoration of God”. It’s the moment of the father embracing the prodigal son….”all is now well with my soul.”
God is a mighty God…all knowing and all powerful ….. the creator of the universe, of the sun and moon and stars… the mountains and the oceans… the trees and the animals… and man. Nothing can stand before him. But most of all, God is love !!! And with that love comes this incredible mercy. Thank God for his love and mercy… so great that he sent his only begotten son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and to restore us to his heavenly family. It’s available to each and everyone of us if we but receive it. What can we say, but thank you Jesus!
So let us dive into the ocean of God’s mercy… this ocean will refresh our soul to the core. We will notice that we can breath in this mercy as we dive deeper. It will invigorate our soul, heal our memories, remove sin from us. It will give us deep joy and peace. We will experience how precious we are to God.
Let none of us hesitate …. dive in.