St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Medjugorje, The Sacrament of Reconcilliation, Old Sins

I’ve traveled to Medjugorje twice.  On my first trip to Medjugorje, the Holy Spirit prompted me to confess two “old” sins for which I was genuinely sorry but had remained unforgiven because I had not taken them into the sacrament of reconciliation.  The reasons I had not confessed these sins evaporated as  I walked  this holy ground.  God brought me to Medjugorje to reconcile my soul with Him in this place where pilgrims waited in long lines to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

I woke up early, and headed towards St. James Church where pilgrims were beginning to gather in front of the confessionals.  I looked for a priest with the sign that said he spoke english.   My confession  began, and I looked at the priest.  The priest smiled, but his smile was not a kind smile. His face and demeanor showed me no kindness or mercy.  My tears of repentance fell as I emptied my soul of one sin.  I don’t remember the priest’s words to me. I felt they were cruel, so I ended my confession without freeing my soul of the second grave sin.  As I walked away, angry and hurt, I told the Blessed Mother that I would not confess the other sin unless I could confess to Father Svet.  Father Svet  had been the spiritual director to the visionaries at the beginning of the apparitions.  He spoke English fluently, and he was a very holy priest. 

The next day, as I was walking by St. James Church, I saw more  priests hearing confession. I was stubborn, and I again reminded the Blessed Mother that if she wanted me to confess the sin I had withheld, I would only confess to Father Svet. (I was really arrogant, wasn’t I?  I think I need to confess this old sin.)  I walked, and as I did, Father Svet walked past me and found a place to hear confession. I jumped into his line.   I knew the Blessed Mother would not let me down.  She kept trying and I was able to confess to Father Svet.  I confessed my other great sin, I was treated with the kindness and compassion of Jesus.  Our Lady had found me the right priest to hear my confession.  I was back in union with God.

Years later, I discussed the issue of unconfessed, old sins with a priest friend.  (God enlightens me when it's time to remember old, unconfessed sins.)  I had, again, been prompted to confess these old sins.  Father  was very kind and said that I should make a list of what I wanted to confess and when I was ready  find a confessor. He reminded me that the priests at our church were available for confessions when needed. 

I stewed about these sins for a couple of weeks. I continued to ignore the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.  Yet,  the “pressure” to confess stayed with me, and, finally, I knew the time had come. I asked Jesus to send me to the proper confessor. I knew that  I would not have to go to Medjugore again to confess. The three priests in our church are excellent confessors. I just wasn’t sure I could confess, not because of the priests, but because this confession would be one of the 3 most difficult confessions of my life. The other two difficult confessions had been  the ones in Medjugorje.

Father said Mass that morning. After he exposed the Blessed Sacrament and was leaving the chapel, I caught up with him to see if he would hear my confession. He said, “Of course.” I said, “Maybe you should go eat breakfast.” He said, “No, this is what we are here for, to hear your confession when you need it.” Since we had already discussed the issue of old sins, I knew he had a good idea of what I would confess. I asked him to pretend that he didn’t know me. He just smiled.

I sputtered and stammered through my confession. I hung my head in shame.  God graced me with humility during this confession.  I stammered and stuttered, and he waited patiently for me.  My soul was laid bare. I was completely humiliated, but I was truly repentant. Father was very kind. He spoke with the gentleness of Jesus to encourage me and give me strength. He also gave me a significant penance.  Kindly, Father waited  in the confessional until I had left the church proper to return to the Adoration Chapel to pray my penance.

I couldn't settle down when I had returned to the chapel. I was still smarting from the embarrassment and humiliation.  I worked on  praying my penance, but it was difficult to do.   I was agitated.  I finally found the rhythm of prayer, then  I heard, clearly, in my right ear, “ God has let go of your sins, now you must let go.” At that moment, I was flooded with peace.  I didn’t regret confession, but  felt that I could never look my Father in the face again.

The next day, Father was the celebrant at mass. He saw me and smiled, and I felt complete peace. The embarrassment was gone. As Mass progressed, I realized how light I felt. I didn’t realize the weight of the sins I had been carrying around.

I hadn’t remembered these sins until two weeks before my confession. Even now, my soul feels lighter, and the weight of these sins is gone. I feel very blessed. God granted me tremendous graces by reminding me of His Justice and Mercy. 

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