It's Holy hour every Thursday at the Pasig Cathedral so I thought it was the perfect time to go to Confession yesterday to feel closer to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. I went there after work and a lot of people were falling in line and 4 priests were there to offer absolution.
It was dark inside the church. I was patiently waiting for my turn when I noticed that one of the priests was taking a long time talking to each confessor. I didn't want to confess to this priest but when it was my turn I had no choice but to go to him for he was the next available one to give this sacrament. I wanted to make it my best confession ever so I poured my heart out to him and as expected he took his time giving advice. He talked about how addictions are like a vicious cycle that can only do harm and how one must never lose hope especially in these trying times. His counsel was very enlightening and touching and I was very moved. But in the end he did a peculiar thing. He denied me absolution because my marriage has no blessing from the church. He pointed out that to give me absolution would do no good because I am not allowed to receive Holy Communion. It would be a double whammy if I took the Eucharist when I am living in sin with my spouse. In respect I thanked him for his time and left the church hurriedly. It felt like my heart was ripped right out of my chest and then stepped on real hard. I was crushed and shocked and very disappointed.
On my way home I realized the priest was right. This was the side of God that I have never seen before. This God was the disciplinarian that wanted me to really look into myself and see how far I am willing to go for Him. The priest had a point. After more than a decade of marriage and 3 children later, my hubby and I have yet to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony. For a devout Catholic I was definitely slacking. Sure I have a million excuses of my own but 11 years is just too long. My mom was probably right. We need our marriage to be blessed by God in order to live a fuller and richer life. This has been a hindrance to our financial and spiritual growth for many years and its time to be responsible and take action.
Most people in my place would have condemned this priest or worse, lose their faith and ex-communicate themselves. What happened to me yesterday was a very humiliating and humbling experience. I do believe that God was with this priest asking me to stand up for Him and to grow up. I have seen how wonderful His ways are and His love. It's time I do my part and show my faith and act upon it. I have become a hypocrite for not living up to my promises and I must stop and prove how much I am willing to go for the Lord. Life is an ongoing battle and one must strive to be vigilant for the devil is cunning and the world is a big trap. I choose to live and to avoid eternal damnation because in the end, my soul is worth the fight. I have only to remind myself that the stakes are high and the penalty is perpetual. But the rewards are priceless even for the living. Just watch the 700 Club on TV and see how precious it is to have peace of mind and how wonderful it is to have a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus. It is far greater than riches or vices in this world. For the love of God is unconditional and merciful. The Word of God is all powerful and satisfying and full of wisdom.
Thank you Lord for teaching me to persevere and not lose hope, to fight for my faith and stand up for you, to be humble and grateful each day and to keep on praying and striving to be a better Christian. I have sinned and have continued with my wicked ways. You are right Lord, this vicious cycle has got to stop and I must start acting and living a fervent life. For faith without action is useless. And I do not want to live like a hypocrite and regret it in the end. Have mercy on me O God and deliver me from evil. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:2c-122
Beloved: Teach and urge these things. 3 Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching 4 is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, 5 and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain. 6 Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it. 8 If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that. 9 Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains. 11 But you, man of God, avoid all this. Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. 12 Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.
P S A L M
Psalm 49:6-7. 8-10. 17-18. 19-20
R: Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!5  Why should I fear in evil days when my wicked ensnarers ring me round? 6  They trust in their wealth; the abundance of their riches is their boast. (R) 7  Yet in no way can a man redeem himself, or pay his own ransom to God; 8  too high is the price to redeem one’s life; he would never have enough 9  to remain alive always and not see destruction. (R) 16  Fear not when a man grows rich, when the wealth of his house becomes great, 17  for when he dies, he shall take none of it; his wealth shall not follow him down. (R) 18  Though in his lifetime he counted himself blessed, “They will praise you for doing well for yourself,” 19  he shall join the circle of his forebears who shall never more see light. (R)