MARY, OUR MOTHER

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mary TV: December 10, 2012 Reflection

          I stand at the door and knock         
 Jesus knocks on the door or our hearts in Confession.
Our Lady tells us to open to Him. 

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J.M.J.      

December 10, 2012

 

Dear Family of Mary!

 

"Dear children! In this time of grace, I call all of you to renew prayer. Open yourselves to Holy Confession so that each of you may accept my call with the whole heart." (November 25, 2012)

 

I asked Our Lady to make it clear to me if she wanted me to share again from Fr. Alfred Wilson's book, "Pardon and Peace". I checked the Gospel for today, and, low and behold, it is about Jesus forgiving the sins of the paralytic (c.f. Luke 5: 17-26). So here is yet another excerpt from Fr. Wilson's wonderful book on Confession. He talks about how essential it is to have the correct image of Jesus when we confess, and to know that it is truly Jesus we are encountering in the Sacrament. Very much like the paralytic who was lowered down into Jesus' presence, we often are powerless to even make our confession, but Jesus will do it all for us, if we are brought into His presence! He is all mercy and love!

 

Fr. Wilson writes:

 

The Divine Confessor

 

We shall never approach Confession properly unless we have the right attitude towards the Divine Confessor. We must not allow Father John or Father Tom to obscure the Great High Priest, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose Name and by Whose power alone he is able to forgive sin. "Who can forgive sins but God only?" (Luke 5: 21) The priest is only the instrumental cause of forgiveness; the efficient cause is Jesus. "Christus absolvit," says St. Augustine - "Christ absolves."

 

Forgetfulness of this truth is the main cause of most of the worries and scruples of penitents. If they went to confession to Jesus in person, they would have neither doubts nor fears. "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" (Matt 8;26). Do we not always go to Confession to Jesus in person? By whose power do we imagine that we are forgiven?

 

Penitents must be careful to make their confessions to Jesus of Nazareth and not to a mirage of themselves. The danger of penitents really confessing to themselves is a subtle one which is hardly ever recognized. The first effect of sin is to make us distrustful of God and disgusted with ourselves. When our sin has been particularly heinous or shamefully petty and mean, we cannot disguise from ourselves how entirely unlovable we are. We find it hard to imagine anyone knowing us and loving us; and because we know ourselves, we find it hard to love ourselves. The next step in our thoughts is easy and almost automatic, we begin to imagine that others do not love us, or, at any rate, love us only because they do not know us. God knows us, therefore, concludes the mind unconsciously - He cannot love us. If we go to Confession in this frame of mind, we shall unwittingly be confessing to a mirage of our disgusted selves. If we could see Jesus of Nazareth as He really is, we should find Him still infinitely patient, infinitely forgiving, infinitely loving. But this consoling and true picture of Him is obscured and hidden from us by the false picture which has been conjured up by our distraught imagination. In consequence, we do not confess to the real Christ but to a fictitious and false Christ who is in reality only a projected mirage of ourselves. This is a very real and subtle danger, which we cannot be too careful to avoid.

 

We should spare no pains to form a true mental picture of the Divine Confessor, because without it we cannot possibly approach Confession in the right spirit. A true mental picture of Christ, the Confessor, cannot be formed without an attentive study of the Gospels and of the amazing liberality of the Divine forgiveness in Confession. (Fr. Alfred Wilson. "Pardon and Peace." P. 255-56)

 

This really is the key to Confession. Truly understanding that it is Jesus who awaits us in the Sacrament should change everything for us. Why, because we know Jesus from the Gospels, and He is only interested in freeing us from sin, and joining us to the Father through forgiveness of our sins. Take this Gospel for today...the paralytic is so weak, so unable to fend for himself that his friends lower him down through the roof on a stretcher. He is not even able to open his mouth, it seems, as he never speaks to Jesus. Jesus does all the talking! In the encounter, the paralytic is forgiven his sins, and then healed of paralysis. He is first un-paralyzed spiritually, through the absolution of Jesus. His soul is set free and brought back to life by the forgiveness only Jesus can give ("Who can forgive sins but God only?"). And then his body is brought back to full health by Jesus' healing power, so that he can speak, giving praise to God! (Isn't this how we feel when we walk out of the confessional!) This is the Jesus we meet in Confession.

 

The next time we go to Confession, let's imagine ourselves on that stretcher, lowered down into Jesus' presence by our friends (Holy Mother Church!). Let's be so trusting that we can just rest in Jesus' presence in the confessional, knowing that He will forgive our sins, and heal us, because that is just what He wants to do! We really only have to desire it, to allow it to happen, and cooperate with the grace we are given. Mother Mary wants us to be made whole. "Open yourselves to Holy Confession so that each of you may accept my call with the whole heart." She needs us to be whole, whole hearted and alive with joy, so that we can answer her call. She needs us! Healed!

 

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Cathy Nolan

©Mary TV 2012

 

PS. "Fruit of Medjugorje" tonight!!!! Fr. Rick Wendell's full testimony, as given at the Notre Dame conference. Don't miss it! 8:00 pm EST!