Friday, September 9, 2016

Confession of sins is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. - I feel stronger for confession.

Sacrifice, discipline and prayer are essential. We gain strength through God's word. We receive grace from the sacrament. And when we fumble due to sin - and it's gonna happen - confession puts us back on the field. - Lou Holtz: (born January 6, 1937): Is an former American football player, coach, and analyst. He served as the head football coach at the University of Notre Dame from 1986–1996.

Gospel Text: (LK 6:39-42)
Jesus told his disciples a parable:
“Can a blind person guide a blind person?
Will not both fall into a pit?
No disciple is superior to the teacher;
but when fully trained,
every disciple will be like his teacher.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’
when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.”

I believe anyone who engages in honest self-examination who reads today’s Gospel must feel at least a twinge of regret for actions taken in one’s own life.  In my case, it’s more than a twinge — it’s veritably a knife to the heart.

I can be extremely quick to judge the actions of others yet blind to those or worse faults of my own. I won’t bother trying to list all of the times this has occurred. You probably don’t have all day to devote to reading this reflection but in general, I am all too willing to deploy my sharp tongue on others.

For a good deal of my adolescent life I was one of those Catholics who made sort of a pro forma confession during Advent and Lent and sometimes not even then. I viewed the Sacrament of Reconciliation only for people who committed “big” sins.  But one day in my early twenties I made one of those rare resolutions that stuck.  I was going to start going to Reconciliation at least once a month and hopefully more often than that. Now as a grown man in his forties, I go once every week before Sunday Mass.

I found that going when I didn’t feel pressured into it that it was a tremendously uplifting experience and by not waiting too long between confessions I could be more honest about my sins and shortcomings.  In other words, with a little help I actually could get the “plank out of my eye”, at least for awhile.

If you’re like I was for far too long and seldom in the confessional I suggest just going one week. Speaking personally, it helps me to get my thoughts together before I go in and take a good look at my self and see what is really in my heart. It has made a big difference in my life.

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