Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Week, Confession, Divine Mercy and Hard-identity Catholicism

I've not posted for a long time.  Too long, actually.  I'm sure that there are many who have visited the site disappointed that I'd not posted anything since back in December.

Much of my attention has been focused on getting through my first year at Sacred Heart.  I wish that I'd spent more time chronicling my adventures over the last months, but somehow as I'm getting older I'm finding that kind of public display of catharsis rather tiresome.

That said, I've had many personal spiritual struggles over the last year, and have finally managed, by the grace of God, to turn a corner and begin the long journey back out of the desert I've been wandering in all these months.

The first step on this journey is a return to the confessional.  Not an easy task, as it seemed that each time I tried to stiffen my resolve to go, my heart would become all the more flinty.  The sins, along with the sense of weighty guilt and shame, became too much to bear and so, after helpful prayer and encouragement from friends, I returned to the confessional.  What a relief.  A millstone was cast from my neck.  My penance was not an involved one, but a very helpful one - one in which I am still engaged as the priest insisted that I perform this particular penance every day for two weeks.  I immediately received Holy Communion - something I'd not done in nearly a year.

I've returned to daily prayer, which is also an important exercise, and am joining in with others on praying the Divine Mercy Novena.

My turning back toward God got some attention.  Attention of a demonic sort.

Make no mistake. We Catholics pray daily that God will send St. Michael to defend us in battle because the Devil and his minions prowl the earth seeking the ruin of souls. He does not discriminate in this matter. Indeed, what benefit is it to Satan to make use of pawns who are already separated from God? Rather, he finds those who are vulnerable within the Church, right in the local parish community, to vex and confound us, drawing our attention away from Christ on the Cross.

These are troubling times, and these Three Days are when the Church is most vulnerable - altars are stripped, bells and organs are silent, and after the Liturgy for Good Friday, all the tabernacles of the world will be empty.

I have experienced profound graces and mercy in the last several days, and Satan cannot abide it. He has already tried (and nearly succeeded) in thwarting my attempt to journey back to a state of grace, and between now and Holy Saturday Night (the Great Vigil of Easter) it will likely get worse.

Be sober and vigilant, good friends.

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