Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Blessing

As I write this Christmas, I am filled with the gratitude that only God can supply. Not only am was I blessed this Christmas with the gift of a wonderful husband, children, and all other family and friends, but I am blessed this Christmas with the gift of Jesus' love and mercy.

I am embarrassed to say that I have been trying to get to confession for the past 9 months unsuccessfully. I like to go much more frequently, but with the only confession time of Saturday afternoon in my old church during which my husband was still sleeping since he worked nights, it made it very difficult to organize a trip for Mommy to get out the house without the kids. Believe me, I planned a trip to confession on those Saturday afternoons probably a dozen times, but every time something happened where so and so was not able to watch the kids because of this or that, or something came up where we could not go even if my husband woke up early. Sure, I should have been more diligent about it, and I guess my flaw in this all was that I was not making confession my number one priority. When we moved to our new home, our new church had 4 different times during the week where they offered confession. It was top on my mind when we moved, but I put it off until the house was in somewhat working condition. I made three attempts to go to confession during these new "convenient" times. First time: confession cancelled. came back home disappointed, but hey, more time to prepare my conscience. Second time: Confession cut short because of some event in the Church. Came back again disappointed. Third time: sat in line for an hour and a half. Was the third from the front of the line, when I had to go because my husband had to go to work. This time I was sure there were other forces at work keeping me from confession. I thought, maybe I should schedule a time with a priest. But then in this busy Christmas season, I was sure they'd all be too busy. I decided to try once more. The LAST day of confessions before Christmas was on Wednesday night. I got there early this time and there was still about 25 people in front of me (and about 50 behind me). One of the priests made a comment that everyone had waited until the last minute, and I tried to humbly agree as I hoped I wouldn't get that priest for my confession. Two doors open at the same time- the annoyed priest, and one whom I had met before. I chose the latter. He was very kind and understanding, and gave good advice--a true model of Jesus' loving mercy. I left with the proverbial "veil lifted from my eyes" The clouds of sin were cleared and I could once again see clearly. I did my penance, thanked God and left renewed. My prayers seem that much more grace filled, and my thoughts more lifted to God now that he gave me the most precious gift of a good confession. I believe that was my Christmas gift from Him this Christmas, and I hope I never take it for granted again. He knew what I needed- as always.

Merry Christmas to you and your families. May God Bless you richly- in only the ways that He knows how :)


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Sarah to you and your family! I really enjoyed today's post, and have yearned through Advent to go to Confession as well. Unfortunately this did not happen, nor did I get to mass today. I have had an unforseen medical problem and I am in bed for a couple more days. My elderly parents flew in to help out with my two little girls -- THAT was such a blessing and the best gift 'under the tree' for all three of us. If I have not already thanked you for you blog, let me say again that I check in often and appreciate your reflections. My little girl will be making First Holy Communion in April, and I am anticipating your creative chaplets and bracelets to mark that special day. May God continue to bless you in your ministry.

Sarah Harkins said...

Mujer Latina,
So sorry to hear about your medical problem. Thank goodness for parents! Hope you feel better soon. you'll be in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sarah.
Enjoy the Christmas season with your family. And I will pray for all of you as well.

Jamie said...

Beautiful post Sarah, just beautiful!

We are so blessed to have Confession.