Since God could create everything out of nothing, he can also, through the Holy Spirit, give spiritual life to sinners by creating a pure heart in them (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 298).
With God, every moment is the moment of beginning again. This means that anyone who repents and becomes reconciled to God is made new. Shiny new, like a newly baptized child. That is one reason why I implore you constantly, and implore God for you constantly, that you get rid of your guilt complexes.
How can you have a guilt complex about something that has been confessed, something that has been completely wiped away by him who gives you this shining moment?
Every moment is the moment of beginning again, if we ask for forgiveness, forgive, repent, and become reconciled.
This is so beautiful. It makes you pick yourself up and say, "My God, this is who I am, and this is who my brothers and sisters are."
How wonderful it is to wake up in the morning and to have as a first thought, "God loves me!" How healing to let that beautiful thought be absorbed through our spiritual pores, as a sponge absorbs water! Yes, God loves me.
I am a saved sinner. I know that I will probably continue to sin in one way or another, but sinner or saint, God loves me.
Our sins that are past, why even remember them? God is not a stingy forgiver who remembers our sins for the rest of our lives. He has forgotten them; they don’t even exist in his mind. Why do we want to remember them?
The mercy of God is infinite. Faith permits us to know this mercy. It enables us to read and absorb what God said in torment while he was dying: "Today you will be with me in paradise" (Lk 23:43).
In our houses, we have showers and baths and basins to wash in, soap to wash with, and plenty of water. But we forget that as we wake up in the morning, there is a whole sea of God’s mercy, warm and pleasant, waiting for us to plunge into, so that we can be cleansed for the day ahead. God’s mercy takes away every kind of stain.
There will be times when we will have to go to confession, which is one way that this sea of mercy washes over us. But we should also wake up each morning, knowing that God loves us, that he died for us, and that he is in our midst.
We will have good days and bad days, peaceful days and unpeaceful ones. But the majority of them will be peaceful, if we remember that God loves us.
His love binds us together. He wants us to be childlike. I think he wants us to hold hands and dance at some time during the day, at least in our hearts, so that the joy of his heart may enter into ours.
He is open. What is more open than a naked man, pierced with nails, hanging high on a cross? Naked he came out of his mother’s womb; naked he died. Nakedness is revelation. In his case, it is the revelation of love.
This shows us the beautiful face of hope. Fear can have no place, for perfect love takes away fear (1 Jn 4:18).
Lent is an especially good time, dearly beloved, to learn how much we are beloved by God. Never mind how we feel about ourselves. We are beloved by God deeply, profoundly, totally.
Having understood this, we feel his fingers covered with clay and spittle, touching the eyes of our hearts and revealing to us that we are able to love one another.
Yes, we can really, deeply, beautifully, love one another. Then we will be able to accept peacefully all of the big and little difficulties we have with one another, for nothing matters very much as long as we love one another.
We should meditate on this in prayer, so that we will absorb it into our deepest hearts: we are beloved by God.
Then we will obtain that immense grace of loving one another as the Gospel calls us to love.
Why not start now? Why not let go of our inhibitions—our anger toward ourselves and one another and our self-pity and loneliness? Let us throw them all out, and allow our tired souls and hearts to expand.
Christ is in our midst and loves us with a tremendous passion. He desires change in our lives far more than we do. He desires for each of us a new heart, a heart committed to him, a heart that knows it is loved and valued by him, and a spirit of loving service to our brothers and sisters.
Creation is the making of something from nothing. But a new creation, the transformation of our inner being, is the most radical and total type of creation conceivable. God wants to heal us and change us. He wants to make a new creation of each one of us.
The mercy of God tenderly, sweetly, delicately, mercifully, compassionately, envelops me. Yet, his mercy is also overpowering. It seems to shake me to the very bottom of my being, so that I want to continually cry out, "Glory! Glory! Alleluia! I love you, Lord. I thank you, Lord. I thank you for taking me out of whatever I was."
—Adapted from Beginning Again, pp.27-31, available from MH Publications.
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