Right now, I'm not there. Right now, I'm doing a Google search for a Tuesday night confessional in the Archdiocese because I am already in need of Divine Mercy and the Feast was just two days ago.
I don't like myself right now.
You know what? This world, this secular world we live in, has it all backwards. We are told to love ourselves. Love others, but first love yourself. That's what the world says.
But the world is wrong.
If you are in need of the confessional, you don't love yourself much at all.
But the world is right about one thing. We can love ourselves. And we should love ourselves.
There is a time when I can look at myself and really, truly love me. It happens when I look most like Jesus. When I see Jesus in me. When I look at my hands - and they're His hands. When I look at my feet - and they're His feet. When I look deep into my heart and I can hear His heart beating there.
When I look in my soul - and it is clean. Rightly ordered. Ready for company. Divine company.
That's when I love myself.
Because, really, that's when I love Christ in me.
That's how it is for those of us who believe we really can be made holy, we really can become sanctified; we know that Christ can live in us - as we live in and through Him.
If you are clean right now, thank God for His forgiveness. Go ahead and love God. Love your neighbor. And love yourself.
You have not conformed to this world. You are being transformed into the Body of Christ. It's worth rejoicing over!
And it is good and right to love Christ when you see Him living in and through you.
But if you are like me right now. If you see that the room of your soul is not clean. There's something that really must be taken to the confessional, then don't delay. Don't despair... but don't delay.
Google Confession times for you diocese. Don't wait or put it off any longer. Love yourself enough to get to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You can love yourself that much... can't you?
Divine Mercy is waiting for you.
In a little room.
Love is waiting for you to step over the threshold and kneel before the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
P.S. Tonight, I visited a parish that is nestled in the hills of Missouri wine country. And I found healing in the words of Absolution. I found new strength in the Food for the journey in the Mass that followed. On nights like this, I sense just how deep the phrase "Catholic by Grace" really goes. I have been to the mercy seat. And it was good. It was very, very good.
A note from John via email:
Denise: I read the following at the beginning of your post and got a little nervous:
‘If you are in need of the confessional, you don't love yourself much at all.’
I love the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is practical. It is about telling the truth, and that is always a good thing. It is an act of extreme humility (humiliation) to say things about myself that I don’t like. It makes me uncomfortable when I am not clean and know I need to go. I resist. But I love the genius of Catholicism’s provision through this sacrament of a way back to the Lord. I go about once a month. I go, in no small part, because I love myself enough to do what I know I should do.
Then, at the end, you said it:
‘Love yourself enough to get to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You can love yourself that much... can't you?’
Good stuff. Blessings, John
John, thanks for the email. It’s really the difference between Judas and St. Peter, isn’t it? One was lost in self-loathing and the other loved Jesus so much that he raced (or rather swam) fast and furiously back to Jesus. The reality is that we don’t love ourselves very much when we are in a state of sin. But there needs to be enough love in there somewhere to send us to the Confessional, back to Jesus.
Thanks for reading with discerning eyes. Pray that those who are tempted to despair will read and find a way back to Jesus Christ.