“Lord, thank you for your work in my life! Thank you for making the seed of faith sprout and grow in me, bringing me to conversion. Now teach me how to sow these same seeds in other people’s lives so that you may draw them to yourself.”
“Jesus, grant that I may be one with my family, with those I meet daily and with those in my parish. Help me to forget myself, so that I may be able to serve others with one spirit, and reach out to the world with your peace. May they know by my actions that I belong to you by my love for one another!”
“Holy Spirit, let me see with your eyes! Convict me when I need self-control, and inspire me when I need compassion. May my heart always be attentive to your still, small voice.”
Confession isn’t the ‘dry-cleaners’ – it’s an embrace from God
Vatican City, Jan 23, 2015 / 03:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis said that confessing our sins isn't a “mechanical” procedure like getting a stained removed but rather a joyful embrace from God, who forgives everything from a heart that's repentant.
“There is no sin which (God) won’t pardon. He forgives everything…If you go (to confession) repentant, he will forgive everything,” Pope Francis told those gathered in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse for his Jan. 23 daily Mass.
Pope Francis centered his homily on the day's first reading from St. Paul to the Hebrews where the apostle says that the new covenant enacted by Jesus is better than the old covenants, and that the previous ones will “vanish away.”
In the reading St. Paul also speaks of God’s mercy, saying that God “will be merciful” toward his people’s injustices, and will “remember their sins no more.”
God always forgives every sin without exception whenever someone asks for pardon, the Pope explained, noting that Jesus came in order to make a pact with humanity, and the foundation of this pact is the forgiveness of our sins.
“God always forgives us. He never tires of this. It’s we who get tired of asking for forgiveness, but HE does not tire of pardoning us,” Pope Francis said.
He recalled how when Peter in the Gospel asks Jesus how often we should forgive others, Jesus responds by saying “Not seven times: seventy times by seven,” or, “Namely always.”
This is how God forgives, Pope Francis noted, saying that even if a person has lived their entire life committing many sins and terrible acts, if they repentantly ask for forgiveness the Lord will “immediately” pardon them.
The Pope observed how doubts can often arise in a person’s heart as to how far and how much God is willing to forgive. However, he said that we don’t have to worry because Christ has already paid the price of sin on our behalf.
Although there are many who might say “I don’t go to confession because I have committed so many really bad sins, so many that I can’t be pardoned,” the pontiff stressed that “No, this is not true. (God) forgives everything.”
Often times God doesn’t even let us finish speaking, the Pope said, noting that as soon as we begin to ask for pardon, “He lets you feel that joy of forgiveness before you have even finished confessing.”
Pope Francis then said that God rejoices whenever a person asks for forgiveness, and erases our sins from his memory.
God does this, the Pope said, because what is important for him is that we encounter him, because going to confession is not a judgment, but rather a meeting point with God.
“Confessions often seem like a procedure, a formality. Everything is mechanical! No! Where’s the meeting in this?” the Pope asked, noting that confession is instead an encounter with the Lord who “pardons you, hugs you and rejoices.”
He concluded his homily by encouraging those present to teach others, especially their children and the youth, how to make a good confession.
To go to confession “is not like going to the dry cleaners to get a stain removed,” the Pope said. “No! It’s about going to meet with our Father who pardons us, who forgives us and who rejoices.”
"Dear children! Also today I call you: live your vocation in prayer. Now, as never before, Satan wants to suffocate man and his soul by his contagious wind of hatred and unrest. In many hearts there is no joy because there is no God or prayer. Hatred and war are growing from day to day. I am calling you, little children, begin anew, with enthusiasm, the walk of holiness and love; since I have come among you because of this. Together let us be love and forgiveness for all those who know and want to love only with a human love and not with that immeasurable love of God to which God calls you. Little children, may hope in a better tomorrow always be in your heart. Thank you for having responded to my call."
A Letter from Jerusalem Management Consultants, Inc.
Jerusalem Management Consultant
#12 Tribes Avenue
Jerusalem, Judaea 12120
Mr. Yeshua Josephson
Woodcrafters House of Fine Carpentry
777 Cross Street
Nazareth, Galilee 31240
Thank you for submitting the curricula vitae of the twelve gentlemen you have chosen for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them were subjected to our rigorous battery of tests. In addition to these written test results, we have based our recommendations to you on our professional opinion formed through extensive interviews by our team of psychologists and vocational consultants.
We have determined that most of your nominees have neither the team concept that you require, nor the proper background, education, and/or vocational aptitude. Therefore we recommend that you continue your search for personnel with managerial experience and ability for the type of enterprise you are undertaking.
Mr. Simon Johnson is exceptionally unstable and prone to fits of temper. His brother Andrew has absolutely no qualities necessary to anyone in a leadership position. James and John Thunderson – also brothers – place their personal interests above company loyalty. In addition, along with the Johnson brothers, they also would be subject to any nepotism clause you may wish to invoke at some later date. It is doubtful you would find Mr. Thomas Didymus of any use to your organization because he demonstrates a questionable attitude that would tend to undermine employee morale. Also, a background check on Matthew Levi revealed that he has been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau. Thaddeus Lebbos and James Lesser have definite radical tendencies, and they both register high on the manic-depressive scale.
One of your candidates, however, shows enormous potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, is well-met, and as well as having a keen business mind, he has excellent social and business connections which could prove to be beneficial to you in your endeavor. He is educated, highly motivated, ambitious and responsible. We therefore recommend Mr. Judas Iscariot as your comptroller and Executive Vice President. The profiles of your remaining candidates are attached and are self-explanatory.
We were delighted to be of service to you in our consultatory capacity. Please feel free to contact us again if and when you have need of our services. We wish you every success in your new venture.
Jacob Israel PhariseePresident and C.E.O.
Contrary to advice, addressee ignored this advice, and recruited all twelve of his original nominees. With his continued leadership and guidance, they all, of the right stuff, had enough. . .
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