August has been a month of testing my limits; checking how far I can go. I came to a point that I am physically, emotionally and even spiritually weak. I made myself believe that all is well. But, it wasn’t. There have been days that I have to drag myself out of bed. Opening my eyes in the morning became such a chore. Surviving a hard day’s work requires extra effort. I also became extra emotional; everything affects me. I became a little monster for a time at work; shouting at every irate callers and throwing an impatient look at every colleague who will joke with me the wrong way. (Sorry, guys.)
“The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Matthew 26:41. Rest and sleep deprivation got the best of me. Unintentionally missing prayer time because of sleep; Intentionally missing prayer time because I can’t focus. I feel ashamed of turning to God with my unfocused self so I usually end up hugging my little cross; trusting that God knows and hears my prayer even before I voice them out. This results to waking up guilty the next morning after realizing that I fell asleep while trying to pray. Days passed. I craved for solace. I craved for a worthy prayer. I craved for a genuine moment with God with no distractions. I knew right there and then that I am about to experience spiritual dryness and I know that I have to do something about it. I asked help from friends and I am so blessed to have people who will never deprive me of spiritual recharge (You know who you are.). We prayed in group. A friend prayed for me. I cried to the Lord. He heard me. My heart grew lighter and lighter and lighter. It feels like I finally found the oasis in my deserted heart. I feel like a dying plant that has been watered by my own tears. That day, I was reminded that God isn’t finished yet. He will renew us when our body and spirit weaken. I went home smiling.
But, yeah, God isn’t finished yet. He still has some work to do. I was, once again, became too occupied and busy with a lot of stuff for the past weeks that I never really had the time to contemplate and to do an examination of conscience until last Wednesday, our schedule for confession. I’ve been reminding my sisters to prepare for the confession and to free their schedule so we could confess altogether in preparation for the pray over session on Friday (Will post something about this on my future posts). With very little time to rest, I am usually knocked out the moment I dive into my bed for a short moment of slumber. I knew the confession will require a conscious effort on my part because I wasn’t ready yet. But, God guided me the moment I reached the church. Before lining up for the confession, I took a short moment with God. I knelt and prayed for guidance as I humble myself to ask for His forgiveness. I asked Him to give me the courage to be honest to myself and to admit that I have done so many wrong things in life. I asked Him to lead me as I confess my wrongdoings. I took a deep breath before standing up and before lining up together with other people who longs for God’s mercy and forgiveness.
When my turn comes, I knelt down and started my confession with the usual “Forgive me Father for I have sinned…”. No words came out. I choked with my own words. I opened my eyes and nothing was clear. All I see is a blur. I feel like everything around me is turning. I took a deep breath, calmed myself down and uttered a simple prayer in my head “Help me, Lord.”. I can feel myself holding back from confessing everything. I examined my past and present sins the best that I could and expressed sincere regret. I ran out of words which forced me to say “That’s all Father.”. I am forgiven; The Priest said. I claimed forgiveness. I went out of the booth and knelt in front of the crucifix at the church; face to face with Jesus again. Jesus Christ, the man who endured all the sufferings and torture because of our sins, is there on the cross bruised and battered. I was sobbing hard. I asked God to guide me as I repent. I asked Him to cleanse and purify my heart because I know for a fact that only Him can do this for me. I confessed my sins all over again to Him. Completely honest this time. No holding back. No filter. This time, it felt more real. It felt more relieving. I cried my heart out to Him. The forgiveness that the Priest had given me echoes in my head. I am forgiven. Yes, I am forgiven even before I asked for it. His mercy and love endure forever. I proceeded to doing my penance and sealed it with “In Jesus’ mighty Name, Amen.”
God knows everything. We cannot really hide anything from Him and He is always willing to grant us the forgiveness that we are sincerely asking for. But, the confession is such a wonderful gift. It gives us something real, something tangible to better feel the weight of our sins and to better feel the glory of His love and mercy.
That night, I was refreshed and renewed. The weight on my shoulders and in my heart had been lifted up. I found clarity in my confusion. I found solace. I found peace.
“Confession. Jesus is there and He receives you with so much love. Do not be afraid of confession. One who is in line to confess himself feels all these things – even shame – but then, when he finishes confessing, he leaves free, great, beautiful, forgiven, happy. And this is the beauty of Confession.” – Pope Francis
Dear my child,
Nothing you confess can make me love you less.
Thank You, Lord, for sustaining me physically, emotionally and spiritually. You already know this but I just wanna say it again, out loud, I LOVE YOU. <3