FORGIVENESS

3 03 2011

So many people cannot forgive themselves for past wrongs or imagined wrongs.  My husband grew up in the Catholic Church when people were very judgmental.  If anyone stepped out of line, they were ostracized by everyone else.  It was the same way in my Protestant Church around the corner.  In my Sunday School class, there were probably about 8 girls.  If the teacher talked about ‘don’t go dancing’ or ‘it is wrong to play cards’, the other girls would all look in my direction and laugh.  They all did those things, too, but they singled me out as the one bad person in the room.  My parents were very good people.  But we kids grew up going to parties and dances.  And we played cards quite often at home.  In fact, I learned how to play solitaire from my mother and did so almost every night.  I loved it!  And I never saw anything wrong with anything that we did.   We were a family and we acted like one.  

In my husband’s experiences, people were laughed at if they went to Confession too often because then everyone was sure they were up to no good.  Or if they didn’t go at all, this meant something was wrong, too.  And not everyone was good enough to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.  As a result, my husband did not receive Jesus in Holy Communion for a great number of years.   He always felt like he wasn’t good enough to receive Jesus.  I had a different attitude altogether.  I had come into the Church as an adult and as far as I was concerned, I needed to receive Jesus in Holy Communion in order to help me be a better person.  And to also bring me closer over time to Jesus.  And this was what I wanted in my life.  I wanted to grow in Grace and I could do this by receiving Jesus in Holy Communion.  

Finally, after many years, my husband said, ‘looks like Father would ask me to come back to Church and Communion’.  I answered – ‘that is up to you, not Father.’  After that, my husband started receiving Jesus in Holy Communion.  And he, also, grew in Grace more every day.  That is the whole purpose, to help you to grow in Grace to be a better person.   And also to learn from Jesus how to be closer to Him.  

Of course, I also go to Confession on a regular basis.  I once read that it was suggested by The Blessed Virgin in one of Her apparitions   that a person  go to Confession once a month.  I have continued this practice for many years also.  Sometimes, I cannot get there within the month, but it is never longer than six weeks or so.  I am so glad I learned about that.  It makes such a difference in my life. 

From the time I became a Catholic, I received Jesus at every Sunday Mass.  When I was able to, I started going to Mass every morning during the week.  I also received Jesus then.  And as time has gone on, I have continued this practice every time I can attend Mass.  This is what keeps me close to Jesus.  I am so glad I have the opportunity.  What a great blessing this is.

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