Endorsed by EWTN hosts Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, and Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, this do-it-yourself retreat combines the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius with the teachings of Sain... Read more
God, Neighbor, and Self. Now Put Them All Together.
By Bryan Thatcher, MD (May 27, 2010)
I want to first share with you a few thoughts on reconciliation. The Divine Mercy message calls us to a conversion of the heart. Many of us find reconciliation with a loved one, friend, or co-worker very difficult. We say we forgive and forget, but we seldom forgive and rarely forget. We hold on to anger and lack real forgiveness in our hearts. Many of us fear going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as we are embarrassed by our sins, and keep putting off going to this wonderful sacrament of mercy. Our attitude should be, "I want to go to confession," rather than, "I have to go to confession." What areas do you need most healing? When you go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, bring not only your sins but your great misery.
Did you ever wonder why Jesus' heart was pierced with a lance? After all, He was already dead. Could it have been that His Heart was pierced as a sign of the Blood and Water being poured out as mercy for the whole world? The Church is a church of mercy — it is a Church of Reconciliation and Eucharist, or thanksgiving! And Jesus, as the Great Physician, desires to heal our aching hearts and hold them next to His own. We must place all our transgressions and struggles at the feet of Jesus. If we are too ashamed to do that, if we are too ashamed to present our wounds to the Great Physician, the medicine cannot be applied to the wound, and there is no healing.
When you go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to the Fountain of Mercy, let the Blood and Water flow upon your soul. Only God forgives, absolves, and heals. Meditate and try to feel what St. Faustina felt when she wrote in her Diary, "When I left the Confessional, ineffable joy filled my soul ... I withdrew to a secluded spot in the garden to hide myself from the sisters to allow my heart to pour itself out to God. God's presence penetrated me and, in an instant, all my nothingness was drowned in God; and at the same moment I felt, or rather discerned, the Three Divine Persons dwelling in me. And I had such great peace in my soul that I myself was surprised that I could have had so many misgivings" (Diary, 175).
If our goal is to have a personal relationship with God, to be near to Him, and to be holy as He is holy, then we must walk the narrow path and not the worldly one. Remember, if you don't know where you want to go, any road will take you there. But remember, "For the gate is narrow, and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few" (Mt 7:14).
Our human hearts are heavy and burdened and in need of healing. God must give us a new heart; we are in need of a heart transplant! The human heart is converted by looking upon Christ when His Heart was pierced. In Ezekial 36 it is written, "A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh" (Ezek 36: 26).
Think of areas in your life where you have felt rejection. It may have been in situations with your children, in interpersonal relationships with acquaintances, or in the workplace. Rejection leads to a lack of charity, anger, judging, and a shopping list of other problems. Healing is needed before we can become healers.
The root of sin is a divided heart — a heart of the creature divided from a heart united with the Creator. Remember, Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
Open your hearts today to the love and mercy of God. He is waiting for you, and as the Prodigal Gather, is out looking for you. He is the Good Shepherd, and wants to hold you today in His arms.
Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.