Stirrings of the Spirit

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Forgiveness of sins

I was reading a story the other day about a person who works in the church. Some people who knew this person in the past found out about his new employment (although at this point, its been over a year) and judging him based on past actions decided that other needed to be informed of these misdeeds and what they perceived at his inappropriateness to be employed in a church setting. Cue anonymous letters being sent to others employed in that church.

I’ve been reflecting on this concept. I don’t know the outcome of this story yet. Maybe he’s currently guilty of such sins. Maybe he did them in the past, but left them in the past. Maybe all the accusations are all false. I don’t know.

But I do know about my life. My past isn’t entirely saintly. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve made some pretty bad decisions. I’ve been coerced into things I wasn’t comfortable with at the time, but still have to live with now. I would say that I’m not alone with this. A lot of people might have something in the past that’s just best left there.

I suppose if someone was to take a disliking to me, or someone from my past decided they still had an axe to grind, they could probably send out anonymous letters to my employer and colleagues and people involved in my ministry. People could judge me in such acts.

However the most important thing from my past is the redemptive power of Jesus. Jesus forgave me. Jesus continues to forgive me. The things in my past have become distant memories and perhaps cautionary tales. I’ve been freed from the shame they once held over me. I’ve been to reconciliation and was absolved from those sins. I cried tears of joy as I was released from a sin I didn’t even know was weighing me down so much. To me, that is the most important part of my story.

I’d be pretty upset if someone anonymously spread my past actions around to others. I’d probably discuss it with anyone who wanted to know about it. Although I probably don’t want my boss or my parents to know.

Although, thinking about all this did prompt a conversation with my boss about this whole idea. “Should I just tell you all my secrets now in case someone wants to anonymously tell you in the future?” I think he’d rather skip that whole saga.

Perhaps its the keeping these things secret that gives these things all their power.

So in case anyone wanted to know, I sinned in my past. I was forgiven for those sins.

I will sin in the future, though hopefully not to any dramatic extreme, and i hope i will seek the forgiveness of Jesus and those I hurt once again. I have been ashamed of my past sins, but I don’t need to be ashamed of being a sinner. That’s in my nature. And its the nature of all those I admire greatly.

“But if a person, lay or priest or Sister, has committed a sin and then has converted, the Lord forgives, and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is important for our life. When we go to confession and truly say: “I have sinned in this,” the Lord forgets and we don’t have the right not to forget, because we run the risk that the Lord won’t forget our [sins]. That’s a danger. This is important: a theology of sin. I think so many times of Saint Peter: he committed one of the worst sins, which is to deny Christ, and with this sin he was made Pope.”  Pope Francis, 28th July 2012 Full Transcript to be found here.

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October 23, 2014 Posted by | Faith, Spirituality | , , | Leave a comment

The Heart Mender

It took me a while to get around to finishing this book.  It’s a lovely story, but I kept finding myself distracted from it. It wasn’t until I was on pilgrimage in spain that I could really focus on finishing it.  Although, that’s kind of strange, as it was a very hectic trip, that was at times very busy, but it was nice, at the end of the day, to be able to unwind with this story of forgiveness and love.

The Author, Andy Andrews, tells the story based on some objects he finds buried in his back yard. He digs around further, asking some of the older locals in the community, and uncovers a treasure you wouldn’t expect. Instead of gold, he learns of the story of people during the war, the hurt they had endured, and the love they use to overcome that pain.

This is a story of real love.  Two damaged people find each other, and as time goes by, discover they are open to love after being closed to it for so long. You can feel the anger of the young woman towards those around her, as she holds on to what she has lost, and the sadness of a young man who can’t even imagine where his future may lead him, as he is so tied to the people he lost in his past. 

The ultimate theme is forgiveness.  I think that is my favourite thing about his book.  Perhaps it’s a theme that rings true in my own life and relationships.  There was one night on the pilgrimage during prayer, that the young people felt this, unconnected to the book.  Our bishop had preached on forgiveness earlier that day, and that night in prayer, they shared about the things the needed to forgive.  It was beautiful.  In my own prayer, I thanked God for allowing me to be able to forgive certain people in my own past, as it allowed me to open myself up to some amazing experiences, including the man I married. 

I would recommend this book to those who have an interest in WWII history and enjoy a good heart felt story. 

 

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September 22, 2011 Posted by | Spirituality | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment