Let the sacrament of reconciliation give new brilliance to the light you bear…

Philippians 2:14-15 Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world.

“Above all, my child, strive to be holy, pure, and undefiled by sin. This world is enshrouded in increasing darkness. Let the sacrament of reconciliation give new brilliance to the light you bear. Each time you receive the sacrament, your light becomes infinitely brighter than before. You cannot measure the value of a good confession, so make each one good, sincere, and thoughtful. Remember that it is not just you who will benefit, but that the world needs your light, a light that is not hidden under refuse, but is high on a hill reaching far in all directions. Child confess, and your light will shine!”

Jesus, I ask for the grace of a good confession, one worthy of a beloved child of God. Come Holy Spirit, shine your light on my sins so that my light may shine, for without you I have no hope of a good confession. Come Holy Spirit! Amen.

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28 thoughts on “Let the sacrament of reconciliation give new brilliance to the light you bear…

  1. I LOVE IT!!! over the years i have come to realize how very important the GIFT of the sacrament is, how very necessary for all especially ME.

    THis is a wonderful, wonderful message. i smiled when i read it as through prayers of others and graces from God i have been led me to realize the true strength and beauty waiting for each of us in this sacrament. Forgiveness and healing of Christ is priceless. Fruits of the Holy Spirit flow in abundance from this rich well of graces.

    In this Advent season let us all make a special effort to go at least once or twice. Also make it a priority to pray for many many ,many souls to avail themselves of this gift.
    i have just finished a truly wonderful book by John La Briola called Onward Catholic Soldier. i honestly believe the world , the poor world, is in such darkness because this sacrament is ignored. Catholics have such a treasury and it lays there unused in many cases. and for those who are not Catholic perhaps a quite honest reflection and a genuine sorry to GOd.
    Sadly this Sacrament has been downplayed, put aside, hidden under a bush. It has simply happened for many reasons. We all need to cherish the forgiveness, healing and gifts of the Spirit attached to this gift.

    Lets clean out our stables for Christmas. Pray that many other do so too.
    We are all imperfect and the Lord knows that. He wants us to rush into His arms, He desires that. Our weakness is our strength as said in previous message.We NEED GOD. The Catholic faith has such treasures and the Sacrament of Reconciliation is up the top of the list.
    Dear Lord in this Season of Advent pour graces into the whole world so many will drink the graces of this Sacrament.

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  2. I am so grateful for all the posts to the previous message. I was out of town for the weekend and I returned to 14 wonderful ideas for sacrifices to weave into my life for the conversion of sinners.

    As great as each one of these suggestions are, I have to tell all of you that you were out done by Christ, himself. At a family wedding, an announcement was made that will directly change my life this spring. Essentially, I will have to share or most possibly move out of the picture entirely ‘at great personal cost’ the exact words of Pelianito’s previous post. What a blow to my pride !!!!!! I am still reeling from the announcement and what this will mean for me.

    Then this morning I open this post to the next personal message from Christ to me……’do everything without grumbling or questioning’. My immediate reaction was to laugh. I often tell the Lord that to get through to me He has to hit me over the head because I don’t ‘get’ veiled messages. Boy am I a grumbler! This time Jesus used a 2×4 to get my attention.

    I bought a book years ago entitled “Bathed Seven Times” by Mother Nadine that was written for those in the consecrated life but applicable to all on examining your conscience in light of the seven capital sins. I had to preread it and highlighted my problem areas. But once I did that it is a must preparation for my confessions.

    Let’s pray that I come to grips with this new direction, offer up this up for the salvation of souls and the reconversion of the distant relative moving back into the picture.

    Thanks for all your wonderful suggestions!!!!!!

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  3. Anne, that book is great isn’t it? I go back to it often. I agree that the Sacrament of Confession is a gift that has been hidden. I actually was inspired to start a blog last month as a result of everything God has done in myself and my family over the course of the last 7 years and addressed just that! So much is revealed by the Holy Spirit during hardship…unbelievable. Unbelievable to me too that hardship is a gift!! I don’t always like it, I would be lying if I said I did, but SO much is given when everything is stripped away. The gift of “confession” was one of those gifts God gave me in the healing process. God Bless!
    http://www.inthewinepress.blogspot.com

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  4. Every year I make a Christmas novena, starting on St. Andrew’s feast (Nov. 30). This year I felt moved to pray that my children, away from the church, will go to confession. It seems very unlikely, but I know that nothing is impossible with God. Perhaps others could make a novena for their loved ones.

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  5. A week ago I went to Confession and had this huge desire to make a “perfect” confession; not even being sure what a perfect confessesion is, I might be confusing it with perfect contrition…..
    I want that, too!
    So afterwards during my penance I told Jesus I did so want to make a perfect confession and He responded so quietly in my heart that His Forgiveness is Perfect, and that is what counts!!!

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    1. Thank you Mary-Louise for this suggestion. I pray each day for certain people that they will return to the sacraments with all their hearts. St. Andrew pray for us! I believe he will accomplish what you have asked, for as you said,nothing is impossible with God!

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  6. Carolyn, I had to chuckle when I saw your “Bathe Seven Times” reference. I love that book. I wish I could buy everyone one! I am in an Intercessors group, and we are at the part of “personal sin”….ouch! I re-read that book also, and came up with a list. I got to Mass early the next day, ready to lay it all out. When I was done, the priest looked at me and he said “Are you kidding?”
    I didn’t know what to say, so I said “no”. He said “that’s a heck of a list, ya know.” I had to explain to him about the book I was using, the group I was in, etc. etc….. I was in the confessional for 25 minutes! Everyone in line was glaring at me when I came out…
    That book is by far the very best examination of conscience you can find…it’s beautiful. I don’t think they leave one stone unturned! Hence, the list!
    I’m sorry to hear about your turn of events….good will come of it for sure.

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  7. If there is one thing we should be clear about on this blog is that God speaks to us through scripture. Sunday morning while reading the gospel for the day (Luke) the words that John was “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,” stood out for me. I felt a deep calling to make a good confession before Christmas. Later on I decided to see what our good frien Pelianito had on the blog, and what would it be…let the sacrament of reconciliation give new brilliance to the light we bear. Our Lord speaks and confirms His word.

    Interestingly enough, our dear Lord teaches us that a good confessions has great effect on us and the rest of the body of Christ, even the weaker ones. To confirm this, JESUS teaches us in today’s gospel (Luke 5: 15-26) that the faith of the believers can have enormous effect on the weak and lame (in spirit as well). Believing men lifted a lame man through the rooftop for JESUS to heal him…the lame man friends believed and JESUS says to him your sins are forgiven you, get up and walk.

    So Mary-Louise, your believing prayer can bring forgiveness to your love ones and also healing; just like in the gospel you may have to lift them up and carry them to JESUS.

    As always we pray JESUS I trust in You! God bless us all.

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  8. okay everyone,whatever you do , read Carlas blog. God is truly spoiling us little blog readers at present. Carla, thank you for your sharing so clearly.

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  9. Too good to miss:

    In his paschal mystery Christ did not limit himself to expiating and cancelling human disobedience; he did more. On the positive side he inaugurated a new state of affairs, a second age, in which sin is not only forgiven but abolished. We now possess only the first fruits of this new age, “into which Christ entered, until we too will enter it through resurrection.”

    Raniero Cantalamesa, O.F.M. Cap
    The Mystery of the Transfiguration, St. Anthony Messenger Press – Servant Books

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  10. I wonder how everyone’s reparation discipline is going?

    Pelianito’s post went deep with me, and even though I find fasting very difficult (physical limitations have me on a very restricted diet already) I was just galvanized that I should act, at least until Christmas. I know this is legitimate, because I’m getting the grace for it. Not since the Gulf War when I was interceding for soldiers there have I had such a sense of ‘no fooling around this time, it’s life or death’. Am I alone in my sense that it really matters, every tiny sacrifice matters this time? I feel almost that if I could look into heaven I’d see very sobering things as a result of what we choose to do or not do at this particular time.

    How grateful I am for the power of God! When we sing the ‘Sanctus’ (We use a Mass setting that has Latin descants) and I see ‘Dominus, Deus, Sabaoth’, the Lord of Hosts, both of those who praise and those who fight, I know we are part of this ongoing battle. Blessed be our Lord, Jesus Christ, that the outcome is not in doubt! But our choices must matter. O Christ, strengthen both the resolve and multiply the gifts offered you, that many evils may be turned back and many souls won.

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    1. I find the Lord asking me often, “Will you give that up for me?” I am not as faithful as I would like. As St. Francis of Assisi said as he lay dying at the end of his life, “Brothers and sisters, let us begin again, for up to now we have done nothing.”

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  11. My friends it is no coincidence that we have been called to offer-up more, and more in love. Tonight I’ve reflected on numerous archive messages to us through our dear sister Pelianito; we must fast and pray that the Mercy of God shower on the earth that the hardest of hearts may not cling or revert to sin but leap to the Merciful Heart of the GOD-MAN, JESUS!

    Just like me I’m sure we are all surrounded by family and friends who are in critical need for our Lord’s Mercy. So let us pray that the coming of JESUS at Christmas (liturgically) may bring sustained conversion to all.

    For the sake of HIS sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

    JESUS I trust in YOU!

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  12. It is said that Blessed Mother Therese once entered a very dark and dingy space to greet a poor soul, in England, I believe. As she entered, the place was glowing with light:

    During this Advent, I believe the Lord lead me to making candles. It was something that I did years ago as a hobby. I’m not very good at it and I didn’t have the time for it; but I feel there was a message in it for all of my friends here and for me as well…

    I took all of my old, broken candles that others would throw away, and melted them down. I put various shaped containers on the stove in a double boiler and methodically melted wax and then inserted a wick in each. The container needed to have a good solid center of wax that surrounded the wick—the actual place of light. I wanted the candles to smell good and look lovely as they brightened the darkness.
    If a candle failed the test, I would reheat it so that it was melted, and I began the whole process again. Some candles came out fine on the first try, when given a little “tweaking”. Others needed to be redone totally. Sometimes many candles were placed into a container to make one lovely candle. Other times, large candles needed to be broken with a hammer and chisel to make many lovely candles.

    We need to be light for the world with Christ as our center—our actual light. We need to be chiseled, melted, solidified and tweaked—everyone to a different degree—to become a most beautiful light for Christ to use and shine through. We need to work alone, we need to work together, we need to shine in the hidden places, and we need to shine on the mountaintops. We simply need to shine our light for all to see that all may give glory to God!

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    1. Beautiful! Thank you Mary Therese.

      And further on the light theme, I read the following this morning. The first line is a very strong admonition!

      From a homily on the Acts of the Apostles by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop

      The light of a Christian cannot escape notice

      There is nothing colder than a Christian who does not seek to save others.

      You cannot plead poverty here; the widow putting in her two small coins will be your accuser. Peter said: Silver and gold I have not. Paul was so poor that he was often hungry and went without necessary food.

      You cannot plead humble birth, for they were humbly born, of humble stock. You cannot offer the excuse of lack of education, for they were uneducated. You cannot plead ill health, for Timothy also had poor health, with frequent illnesses.

      Each one can help his neighbor if only he is willing to do what is in his power. Look at the trees that do not bear fruit: have you not noticed how strong and fine they are, upstanding, smooth and tall? If we had a garden, we would much prefer trees with fruit—pomegranates and olives—to trees that are for pleasure, not for utility, and any utility these have is small.

      Such are those men who think only of their own concerns. In fact, they are even worse: the trees are at least useful for building or for protection, whereas the selfish are fit only for punishment. Such were those foolish virgins who were chaste, comely and self-controlled, but did nothing for anyone. So they are consumed in the fire. Such are those men who refuse to give Christ food.

      Notice that none of them is accused of personal sins. They are not accused of committing fornication or perjury or any such sin at all: only of not helping anybody else. The man who buried the talent was like this. His life was blameless, but he was of no service to others.

      How can such a person be a Christian? Tell me, if yeast did not make the whole mass like itself, is it really yeast? Again, if perfume failed to pervade all around it with its fragrance, would we call it perfume?

      Do not say: it is impossible for me to influence others. If you are a Christian, it is impossible for this not to happen. Things found in nature cannot be denied; so here, for it is a question of the nature of the Christian.

      Do not insult God. If you say that the sun cannot shine, you have insulted him. If you say that a Christian cannot help others, you have insulted God and called him a liar. It is easier for the sun not to give warmth or shine than for the Christian not to shed his light. It is easier for light to be darkness than for this to happen.

      Do not say then that it is impossible. The opposite is impossible. Do not insult God. If we have put our affairs in order, these things will certainly come to be, and will follow as a natural consequence. The light of a Christian cannot escape notice. So bright a lamp cannot be hidden.

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  13. Convicted again! What an Advent this has been, and I must say, don’t ask for light on your life unless you want it.

    I also have made candles (the dipped kind) from scavenged wax, so I really enjoyed Mary Therese’s story. The batches of candles never came out the same way twice because of the difference in waxes, their hardness and properties. Many times I didn’t know what these were because I was melting down whatever scraps and ends I could find, just as she did. Some candles had an uneven exterior people who got them liked, and they burned a long time (I have no idea why). They weren’t smooth and pretty to my eye but they actually burned better than some I made with better materials. May this be true of me!

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  14. I too have been prompted yet again to start a blog from reading the meditations here and elsewhere.
    The Lord led me to put together A Spiritual First Aid Kit for Christmas presents for our extended family.
    I put the instructions and ‘ingredients’ on my blog.
    Peace to all.

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  15. I received an impression from Columbkille’s wax discussion. I think we need to be aware of the fact that some of the greatest “candles” for Christ may not be at all who we were expecting… Praise God!

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  16. I like this talk of candles during the advent season. Sometimes I brood a great deal on too many difficult subjects and it’s refreshing to receive valuable teachings from simple, everyday experiences. It’s no wonder Jesus taught so often in parables.

    Well, here’s a little more I’d like to share. Something just happened here the night before last, so maybe this is another one of those promptings on a common theme from the Holy Spirit. Mary Therese and Columbkille were talking about candles…

    We just had a brutal storm. I laid in bed for hours listening to the pounding rains, heavy winds, trees knocking on the house, etc. The whole thing was really loud and getting to sleep was simply out of the question. In the wee hours of the morning I started sliding in and out of wakefulness when suddenly my eyes popped open. A second later there was a bright flash somewhere out in the night that I glimpsed through my bedroom window. At the same time, I heard my dog yelp. I continued to lay there listening intently for a blast of thunder or something. Nothing. I suddenly noticed the ‘nothing’. The storm had stopped abruptly and everything was eerily quiet. Further, I noticed that the power had gone off in the house. A quick look out the window and I could tell that the power was off as far as the eye could see.

    My wife at some point wandered downstairs and was banging around for a while. Eventually I decided to fumble through the darkness to see what she was up to. I could see a faint little light coming from the family room. I found her because she was using the little display from her cell phone as a light. As light sources go, it was pretty pathetic though and we clearly needed something else.

    I had a bunch of large candles right next to me on my drawing table. Funny thing is, I’ve never used those candles as they have always just sat there as decoration. In fact, I really can’t remember the last time I lit a candle for light. Anyway, I took a lighter out of the drawer and lit one up. Wow! That light was suddenly very powerful in the blackness of the room. It was a nice natural colored candle, so the light was very warm and golden. We started laughing about the cell phone so my wife snapped it shut, but not before surfing the phone browser to discover that electrical was out from Flagstaff to Tucson… not that we could do anything about it.

    Well, the glow of that candle was really quite marvelous. In fact, I was so delighted by it that I felt it necessary to wander all over the house, checking on the kids, looking into rooms, and generally shining it into every nook and cranny. Naturally, everything was just where I left it, so I headed back to my bedroom and set the candle on the dresser. Really, I should have just put it out and tried to get some sleep, but apparently there was something so powerful and compelling about the light coming from this little candle that I just couldn’t let it go right away. It was another 20 minutes or so before I finally blew it out and went to sleep. Just like a little kid.

    Can we possibly imagine what this light of Christ is like when it is shining in us for this pitch black world? Imagine… I recently found joy and comfort in a simple little wax candle. Your light, Lord! What a gift of grace! Please give us all the grace necessary so that Your light shines brightly in us.

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  17. A very nice summary of the above:

    The reality is that none of us can live this Christian life, not one. But the hope is that there is one who did, and his name is Jesus. God’s plan throughout salvation history was to put the life of the one who did live the Christian life, and is still living it, into the lives of those who can’t–us. God doesn’t want you to live the Christian life; if that’s what you think the invitation is, you’ve got it all wrong. He wants Jesus to live the Christian life in you! And through Jesus you are to become the very righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

    Jim Beckman
    God, Help Me, Servant Books

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  18. And:

    “God is going to take care of us, whether or not we can see down the road. He will not let us walk in darkness and leave us there alone. He will not let us walk to a place and abandon us.” Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR

    The Lord is our Light in the Darkness! Alleluia!!!

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