April 16, 2013
Dear Family of Mary!
"...My children, be my apostles who have not lived in vain. Do not forget that you will come before the Heavenly Father and tell Him about yourself. Be ready!..."(April 2, 2013)
In this message Our Lady brings up a very important moment in our lives, our particular judgment. This moment when we come before the Heavenly Father will take place immediately upon our death. We will find ourselves before the Father. And it looks like we will understand when we see Him that He is our Creator and Lord, and that we have nowhere to hide from Him anymore. In that moment we will be alone with our Heavenly Father. And, as Our Lady puts it, we will "come before the Heavenly Father and tell Him about [our]selves."
When I first heard these words, I remembered a movie called "Liar, Liar" starring Jim Carrey. It is a movie about a man who lies to everyone, manipulating relationships through his ability to lie. Everyone is hurt by him, especially his son. At a sad moment, the boy wishes that his dad would not be able to lie for just one day, and the wish is granted. His father wakes up the next day, and finds, to his dismay, that he cannot lie. He tells the truth in every situation, no matter how embarrassing. It makes for a lot of laughs, but it also makes you think. How many times do I lie, to myself, to others, just to get my way, or make life easier?
I realized that when we come before the Heavenly Father, we will be like that man in the movie. We will not be able to lie. Every deed we have done, every decision we have made, every sin we have committed, every good work we have omitted, will come tumbling out of our mouths. Not only will God hear it all, we will hear it as well. The truth about ourselves will be revealed in the full light of heaven, and there will be no way to fudge it!
We will tell the Father about ourselves. He will draw it all out of us with His patient and all-knowing gaze. Nothing but the truth! That will be all we will have between us then. Our Lady warns us: "Be ready!" She doesn't want us to enter the presence of the Father with unfinished business. She wants us to be able to own up to the truth now, and seek forgiveness and healing before that final conversation. If we have lived in the shelter of the Sacraments, especially Confession, we will have worked most of the difficult stuff out before we get there. We will be forgiven, and we will have changed. Jesus will have helped us to repay the debt and we will be able to accept the Father's mercy in peace.
Recently I have discovered a wonderful secret. It is weekly Confession. For most of my life I have been afraid of Confession. My first Confession was made in the pre-Vatican II era, when there was a confessional box, and a screen. The preparation for Confession was very rigid and I did not understand the Sacrament very well. So for much of my adult life, Confession scared me. I preferred the shadowy life of infrequent confession to the fear of entering the confessional. I was afraid. Then, through the grace of Medjugorje, and the discovery of a little book, "Pardon and Peace" by Fr. Alfred Wilson, C.P. (out of print), I began to understand the grace of Confession and have begun the practice of weekly confession. It has changed my life!
I feel like a well-fed child now, well cared for and protected. The fears and phobias I had about my relationship with the Father have been greatly reduced. I love going to Confession because I know that Jesus is there waiting to help me find the truth about my life, bit by bit. He waits to take the burden of my sins off my back, and to give me peace about everything. Every week I become a little bit lighter, more at peace, more prepared to choose the good, more full of hope. It has been extraordinary!
Our Lady encourages us to be ready to meet the Heavenly Father. She knows we will have to tell Him about ourselves. This little secret, Weekly Confession, is an excellent way to prepare for that conversation. Thanks be to God for His Holy Church, for the Priesthood, and for the Sacraments, especially Confession. We are the most blessed of children!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2013