26 April 2010

Let the old be stripped away...

In the spirit of the Spring, I finally (after nearly 2 years) have been able to go through my storage unit and purge it of unclean things, aka, get rid of a bunch of junk that I've been hanging onto for no good reason.

I cannot take full credit for this sudden desire to clean, however. If my financial peace class wouldn't be having a garage sale, I probably would have avoided the storage unit like the plague, mostly out of fear of collapsing objects but also out of the fear of being reminded of things I didn't want to be reminded of.

I bravely (i.e. with the help of my wonderful boyfriend) attacked the mountain of junk that was my storage unit and can proudly say I no longer posses a bunch of junk haphazardly strewn about a 10x10 concrete room claiming to be a storage unit. I shredded a bunch of worthless papers and reminders of a time when I wasn't so financially responsible and now posses a sense of relief and, oddly enough, freedom.

I think a lot of times in our lives we accumulate junk and hang onto it because we are afraid of letting it go, not because we feel we may need it one day but because we don't know how we will function without it and because we are afraid of facing those issues/ problems/ whatever we want to call it head-on. We don't know the sense of freedom and relief we can feel by just letting it go.

I think this happens a lot of times with Confession. We've been walking around accumulating "junk" in our lives and we just don't (a) want to face the issues or (b) think we have to live with the junk as a consequence of our actions. Fear and doubt are tools of the devil, which he uses to attempt to keep us from the mercy and love of God.

When we fear facing issues, we are, in essence, saying to God "I'm too afraid of telling you what you already know because I don't think you can help me." By the same token, doubt and shame tell God "You can't help me. I'm too bad of a person, and I can deal with this myself." Doubt and shame, seemingly humble, can actually be acts of pride and arrogance, denying the saving power that Christ's death has over our lives.

When we openly approach the confessional and honestly come to terms with all the 'junk' we've accumulated, we're basically saying, "Jesus, I know I've screwed up, and I approach you with a sense of humility and repentance; and humbly ask your help because I KNOW that I can't do this alone. I know that only you have the power to help me overcome all the issues, all the 'junk', all the sins I've accumulated in my life, and I know that in coming to you, your death and resurrection wipes all of that away."

When it comes to junk, we need to clean it out of closets, storage units, sheds, garages, but we also need to remember that we need to clean it out of our lives, too, before we can be renewed and begin to live a life fully in the grace of God. Like the physical junk, we need to realise that we can't do it alone. The grace we receive from the Sacrament of Reconciliation is powerful but equally powerful is the resignation it takes to admit we cannot do it alone; we NEED God. To know that we need Him and need to rely on His grace and mercy and need to be submissive to His will is the most freeing and fulfilling act we can do. We need His grace and His mercy. Without it, we are nothing, we can do nothing, and we leave our role in the Lord's will vacant and like our lives without purpose. The only way to live a purposeful life is to accept the graces the Lord freely gives us through the sacraments, through prayer, through living our lives for him. And, my, what liberation to be submissive to the Lord!

Dominus vobiscum!

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