Ave Maria, Gratia plena!

This blog is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is my hope that all Christians who visit this site - Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant or evangelical - will be encouraged, filled with joy but also challenged by the fact that they have not just a Father, but a Mother in Heaven.

For all who are seeking the deepest possible intimacy with God, with our Lord Jesus Christ, may we look nowhere else, in the end, than the one human being who has, since the Incarnation of Christ, experienced the most superlative closeness - physically and spiritually - to God-in-human-flesh. She is the Immaculate Conception, the Mother of Jesus Christ herself: the Daughter of God the Father, the Spouse of God the Holy Spirit, and the Mother of God the Son.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thoughts on confessing sins. . .

As a newly confirmed Catholic, I must say that setting the record straight about my past sins has been the most crucial process I've had to go through in order to arrive at a clear conscience.

Thank God for priests and confessors - for all the bad press, they play such a vital role in the life of believers that for the mere fact that their office is indispensable, there will always be somebody called by God to serve in their posts.

The popular Protestant belief that our past sins aren't held against us once we profess Christ as Lord and Savior is fundamentally correct, but for an interesting twist: it is never God who is unwilling or unable to forgive, but we as human beings have such fragile and flayed consciences as a result of our sin-stained lives that unless we openly confess our transgressions to persons of authority and perform penance for them, we'll be unable to forgive ourselves. And in the end, to not be able to forgive oneself is to not be able to receive God's forgiveness.

Hence the importance of confession and penance: for those who truly receive the sacrament, it is nothing less than the commutation of a harsh criminal sentence to a ridiculously light penalty, if not an outright declaration of "not guilty" in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.