Come and see a man who has told me everything I ever did (John 4:29)
Song Stand Beside Me (Columba McCann)
All sing: Stand beside me, walk before me,
hold and shelter me, touch and heal me
‘I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy which spurs us on to do our best. Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God’s saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings.’ (Pope Francis)
Reflection Four from Walking on Water, Anthony De Mello (Columba Press 1998)
Once, a woman who was supposedly having visions of God went to the bishop for advice. He told her: ‘You may believe in illusions. You must understand, as bishop of the diocese, I am the one who can decide whether your visions are true or false.’ ‘Yes your excellency.’ ‘So you must do what I say.’ ‘I will, our excellency.’ ‘So listen: the next time God appears to you, as you say he appears, you are going to perform a test by which I will know if it really is God.’ ‘Agreed, your excellency. But what is the test?’ ‘Say to God, “Please tell me the personal and private sins of the bishop.” If it is God who is appearing to you, he will reveal my sins to you. Afterwards come back here and tell me, but no one else. Okay?’ ’I will, your excellency.’ A month later, she asked to meet with the bishop, and he asked her, ‘Did God appear to you again?’ ‘I think so, your excellency.’ ‘Did you ask him the question I told you to ask?’ ‘Of course, your excellency.’ ‘What did God say?’ ‘God said to me, “Tell the bishop that I’ve forgotten all his sins”.’
Create a timeline of forgiveness by compiling a list of occasions when you showed forgiveness, you refused forgiveness and when you experienced forgiveness.
Daily Prayer Lord, you search me and you know me
Song Give Us Your Peace (Mahler)
All sing: Jesus give us your peace. Bring us together.
Let all the fighting cease. Shatter all our hearts of stone.
Give us a heart for love alone.
Prayer Let us pray,
All say: God of wisdom and love,
Help me to forgive myself for my wrongdoings.
Give me the grace to let go of the hurts others have caused me.
Fill my mind with thoughts of acceptance and mercy.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.