19 April 2009

Shame and Mercy

Here's a few snippets of an article I wrote that's at Catholic Online right now...

I love the story from Mark’s gospel (5:25-34) of the woman who’d endured years of suffering from bleeding. She was a social pariah and no one even dared get near her for fear of becoming unclean themselves. Though she was shunned and outcast, she was brave enough to push her way through the crowd hoping to touch Jesus’ cloak. In her shame she didn’t dare hope to see His face, to meet His gaze, or touch His hand – she knew that was too much to expect. Still, she believed that just the touch of His cloak as He passed by would be enough to save her. And immediately she received the healing she sought.

But the best part is what Jesus does next.

Yes, He healed her body and stopped her bleeding, but now He was determined to restore her. He would not allow her to slink away unnoticed, and continue in her shame. When she had summoned the courage to admit it was she who touched Him, He did what probably no one had done in years – He looked at her and spoke to her. “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

...Shame can and should bring me to my knees at the Cross. It is right that I should be ashamed of my sin and feel heartbroken at the pain I have caused His Sacred Heart. But my shame should never go any further than the foot of the Cross, for His heart is full of only one thing for me: Love. Endless, merciful love...

...A beloved priest once told me something I’ll always remember. After a wonderful yet intense time of confession and talking with him, he said, “From now on, this past sin is no longer your tormentor, but your teacher. You have been forgiven and God remembers it no more. You will remember, of course, but now it is to be your teacher, to help you grow in love and mercy for others.”

Read the whole thing here...(and feel free to let me know what you think! Either here or at CO.)

Blessings on this Divine Mercy Sunday night...peace be with you.


new mama said...

That is one of my favorite gospel stories too. Than you for sharing.

KellyO said...

You are amazing with your words! Thank you for this gift! I am in constant awe of your ability to reach so many with your insightfulness and your compassion. Bless you!


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