December 6, 2014, I wrote a reflection entitled “Reconciliation”. I am currently writing a reflection titled “The Attraction to Deadly Sin”. In both of these the emphasis touches our senses regarding sin and the need to seek God’s forgiveness and love. In this reflection, I will attempt to bring out the many avenues of our search for the manner in which it isn’t us that will be looking for God and confessing our weakness and ultimate failure to sin, but how God seeks to find us, carries each on his shoulders and affirms that his greatest gift is his undying love and total forgiveness.
There is a poem titled “The Hound of Heaven” written by Francis Thompson. The profoundness of this text should touch the reader’s heart and invigorate the mind as to the Lord’s unfailing effort to chase after the lost soul, hiding, shameful, and frightened until He reaches down and retrieves the lost sheep. Jesus’ many stories about the lost coin, the lost sheep, and others shows us the depth of God’s desire to reach every soul, irregardless of the reason for failure, and bring that soul into his wonderful kingdom to share forever with him.
Luke’s story of the Prodigal Son is the perfect narrative, not about the two sons, but the anxiousness of the Father to welcome his lost son home. The total history of the Bible is about God’s plan to share his love and life with us (see Col. 1: 26 and Eph. 1: 5 ff). Taken from “The Mystery of the Church” by John Powell, S.J.
Go into any Catholic Church during Lent, especially as we get close to Easter, and take time to scan the faces of many who may be here for confession maybe for the first time in a long absence from the Sacrament. Some may show trepidation, anxiety, or feel unsure about being there. These are the souls that the Hound of Heaven went after, or the woman spreading glee after finding the lost coin. These are the people that Jesus Christ went to Calvary and the Cross to die for.
As one reads this reflection be aware that some redundancy may appear with some of my other writings, especially with my reflection on Reconciliation. But, those instances are my own assessment of the understanding of Grace that God gives so freely and frequently as well.
Other reflections where instances that might be read as repetition are “Adversity and the Grace of God”, “Grace”, and “The Holy Trinity-Creeds-Grace-Easter.” These particular reflections all tie the theme of God’s gifts, individually and collectively with a uniqueness all to its own.
The word grace is used so often in many arenas of ministry, teaching and exhorting in particular by many facets of explanation about God and his generosity of this gift. Yet, try as we might it may be difficult to really understand this as with other mysteries from our Lord. We do know that this gift is freely given and without it our journey to and with God would become nonexistent and meaningless. This is why the sacrament of Penance is so essential and the reception of Grace from God is Sanctifying and precious to our immortal souls.
As Roman Catholics and even all believers of Christ Jesus need to avail themselves to the Sacrament of Penance. Even Pope Francis is said to go to confession every 15 days. Is it necessary for his sinfulness or ours as well. No, but the Sanctifying Grace that is received is essential and nourishes our souls. Believing that God is always ready to forgive and each element of trust in him is a growth of our immortality.