Thursday, October 15, 2009
Pondering Pages/Pardon and Peace
Better late than never, right? I loved the book "Pardon and Peace" by Alfred Wilson, but this avid reader has become quite sluggish in making her way through the books lately. I wanted to completely finish this book before I wrote anything about it, and I'm glad I did because the end was the very best part! So here, two days late for Lara's Holy Mothering MEME, is my pondering pages contribution.
On September 23rd, the feast day of St. Padre Pio, my son John and I attended a beautiful program on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The relics of St. Padre Pio were at the church for veneration and a priest gave a three hour talk about the Sacrament. His talk was outstanding! If anyone had ever asked me if I would be willing to stand in line for two hours to confess my sins, I would have said "No, I'll go somewhere else with a shorter line." But let me tell you, after hearing this talk, I was just burning to go to confession and release that burden of sin that was weighing me down. So, I got in line and I did wait two hours for the Sacrament with no regrets for the time spent, for it was very well spent.
During his talk, the priest kept referring to a wonderful book he had read. The book was "Pardon and Peace" by Alfred Wilson. It was written in 1947. The book is really a "how to" manual about the Sacrament. It covers everything you could ever want to know about the "hows" and the "whys" of confessing sins. It offers encouragement and compassion while at the same time, talks about the respect and responsibilities that we should remember when celebrating the Sacrament.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the ending of the book really touched my heart and sent my spirit soaring, so I share part of that with you...
In speaking about the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead..."The raising of a soul from the death of sin to the divine life of grace is a still greater marvel and miracle. No bodily corruption can compare with the spiritual corruption of a soul in the state of mortal sin; a spiritual corpse is far more repulsive than a physical corpse. The spiritual degradation of a soul in mortal sin is indescribable, but even more indescribable is the transcendent beauty of a soul in grace. To transform a sinner from the loathsome corruption of spiritual death to the dazzling beauty of participated divine life is a work of power and mercy which even the angels cannot fully understand."
"Approach this Sacrament in a spirit of tranquility and boundless trust. You are going...to your Divine Friend of Friends, Who only asks you to lay bare your wounds that He may heal them. A drop of Precious Blood is, as it were, about to fall on your soul and "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall become white as snow." He is overjoyed that you are coming to Him-you must believe that."
And for me, I do believe that, and I can't wait to receive the Sacrament again, before my Consecration this Saturday, and with that forgiveness of my sins and the touch of Jesus' loving hand upon me, I know that I will be ready to stand in God's presence and profess my eternal love and devotion to Jesus and Mary.