A week before our wedding, Steven and I went to Reconciliation. Through the Sacrament, God made us knew creations. We had to admit that we weren’t perfect. We had to bring our shortcomings to failings and our wounds to the Lord. We had to bring them to the light.
We knew we needed to be there. We had burdens in our lives that we needed to get off our hearts. We knew we had a lot of sin to empty before we began our journey as husband and wife.
(Credit: Sarah Renee Studios)
The Lord’s heart is merciful. It is so hard to remember and grasp this, especially when we feel as if we are falling short. We can feel unworthy of His forgiveness and grace. Our sin breaks the Father’s heart, but our relationship is restored when we run to Him with open arms. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. His love is relentless, eternal, and unconditional.
When Steven and I are weary, our Heavenly Father allows us to rest in His presence. When Steven and I feel unworthy of love, the Father reminds us we are His masterpiece – fearfully and wonderfully made. When we cry, the Lord looks to us with His Sacred Heart. When we stray like the prodigal son, our Heavenly Father patiently waits for our return to welcome us home with open arms. When we are tangled up in sin, our Heavenly Father comes right into the mess and meets us in the confessional with an ocean of mercy.
Before our wedding, Steven and I recognized our need for confession. We are human; we sin. We had to perform an Examination of Conscience in order to look deeply into our lives and see where we have failed to love the Lord, those around us, and ourselves. Then we had to…
I think this is the hardest part. Even at our retreat a few weekends ago, we had to encourage each other to go. When Steven was nervous, I looked at him and I said, “Go, be a saint!” Those nervous thoughts are from the evil one trying to separate us from the love of God. 365 times in Scripture the Lord tells us, “Be not afraid.” The Lord is ready for you, ready to meet you with His tender unconditional love.
(Credit: Sarah Renee Studios)
After waiting in line for a few minutes, it was my turn to confess my sins to the priest, who stands in persona Christi capitas et spousa. I love this part of confession. I believe that I am confessing my sins to Christ Himself. After I was finished, I walked out of the confessional feeling light and free. I felt ready to enter into the Sacrament of Marriage, because I had repented for my sins and received absolution. I was ready to do my penance and soak in the graces I had been given in order to fully embrace our marital vows.
I asked Steven what his favorite part of confession was and he said, “I like it’s healing power and the light feeling joyful feeling you get when walking out of there and the smile that is on your face.” What a sweet, true sentiment.
God today, wants you to be an amazing person. He has amazing plans for each of you. Take all of your weight and lay it at the foot of the cross. You do not have to do it on your own. If you’re nervous about confession, remember those thoughts are not from our Heavenly Father. He does not work through fear. He works through compassion and grace.
“Everything I am, everything I long to be, I lay it down at Your feet.”
Matt Maher, Lay it Down
Linking up with Blessed Is She to talk about the theme “Unconditional”