JOIN ME for Day 2? We’re spending 9 days in the Upper Room of our hearts with both 💘 Saints & Sinners as we prepare to celebrate the true meaning behind Saint Valentine’s Day:
📖 READ SCRIPTURE:
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” – Psalms 51:1-3
🍎 Saint Wisdom:
Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church writing from the 3rd century offers us this reflection:
“If I admit my fault, then you will pardon it. Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon.
“But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others. They seek to criticise, not to correct. Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others.
“This was not the way that David showed us how to pray and make amends to God, when he said: I acknowledge my transgression, and my sin is ever before me. He did not concentrate on others’ sins; he turned his thoughts on himself. He did not merely stroke the surface, but he plunged inside and went deep down within himself. He did not spare himself, and therefore was not impudent in asking to be spared. ”
As we learned yesterday, David was a man after God’s heart, not because he was perfect, but because when he did sin he chased after the Father’s heart to be sure he returned to Him immediately.
It’s easy to make excuses for our sins. We could easily cast blame on others by saying things like, “If they had only done that then I wouldn’t have had to do this.” Or we might think to ourselves, “I don’t need to apologize for my actions when so many others are doing the same thing.” But, like Saint Augustine tells us, David doesn’t show us that way.
Instead, he recognizes his own part in sin, especially sins he commits with others, and then he does something remarkable. He draws on God’s mercy.
How many times have we fallen short, acknowledged our sin, but refused God’s mercy? We continue to beat ourselves up and accept shame and guilt as a part of our pardon?
David reminds us that God’s love is bigger than our sins. It is “steadfast” and His mercy is “abundant”. So big is Our Father’s heart that it literally blots out our transgressions. Hallelujah!
Why is this a Truth we ought to remember always? Because David is correct. Our sins are constantly dangled before us by the hands of our enemy and the convictions of our own hearts. Without God’s mercy, we are powerless to stop either.
David reminds us, it’s not just enough to confess our wrongdoing, repent and turn back to the Father; we must also receive the power of His merciful forgiveness to help us stand against the constant memory of our sins and the snares of the devil who likes to dredge up old wounds. This is the grace we speak of in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When the priest offers us the words of Christ, it is as though we are hearing the Father speak directly to us from the words of the prophet Isaiah and the mouth of Jesus imparts to us a Grace we can use to stand firm on: “I am he who blots out your sins for my own sake. Neither do I condemn you. I will remember your sins no more. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
🕊 LET US PRAY:
Father forgive me for the times my heart remains hidden in darkness, focusing on the fall of others, rather than coming to you directly with my own faults. I know now there is no complete healing apart from your mercy and love. Thank you Jesus for reminding me that the water and blood found in your font of Divine Mercy which poured forth from your side on the cross washes away my iniquities and cleanses me of all my sins. Holy Spirit Come, and fill my heart anew with the power of your Divine Grace.
Blessed Mother of Our Lord, Holy angels and saints of Heaven, especially Saint Valentine, pray for me, that I may turn from my sins completely and embrace the life of the saints. In the Holy name of Jesus, King of My Heart, Amen.
When’s the last time you made a thorough examination of your heart and a good confession to the Lord? Take our spiritual inventory here.