Sunday, March 22, 2015

Create in Me A Clean Heart

Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent!  (How is it almost Easter?) Today's responsorial psalm hit me hard. I happened to go to confession right before mass last night, so I had time to read through the readings and reflect for a long time without interruptions. I was there in an almost empty church without children and I had nothing to do BUT to listen to Him, and he didn't hesitate. It amazes me how much God will talk to me when I let him. 

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

It is so wonderful to know that we have the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation available to us. Why don't I take advantage of it more often?  Every time I go I am reminded of the peace and I can feel the grace in my soul. That pull brings me back to Him. He completely wipes me clean and cleanses my soul! He creates a clean heart in me and in that place he renews my spirit! It is a miracle!  It is up to me to sustain this moment of peace and keep His grace in me alive. It is up to me to teach and bring sinners back to Him.

Yesterday I made a promise to Him, to myself, and to my family. We are all going to go to confession more often. We are going to put confession on the calendar and make it a commitment and a priority.  I am pushing myself to cut out the things that lead me to sin. With earnest determination I am going to focus on things that bring me and my family closer to Him.

Some examples of good habits:
  • Confession monthly.
  • Reading the Bible daily.
  • Praying every morning, every evening, and before every meal.
  • Praying a rosary daily.
  • Memorizing scripture.
  • Using my prayer box daily for focused prayer and intentions.
  • Having a thankful and helpful heart for each person in my life.
Some examples of habits that should be broken. (not necessarily what I am working on because that is between myself and God):
  • Being lazy. (the general concept or in specific things like lazy prayers, lazy Bible reading, etc.)
  • Jealousy/envy. (Do not focus on other people. Focus inward.)
  • Story Telling/ Lies. (Speaking truth only. Not talking when a lie may come out.)
I have decided to work on three good habits and one bad habit for the time being. Bad habits are harder to break than starting a good habit. For me I want to focus on getting the family to confession more often, purposeful prayer by using my prayer box every day, and reading the Bible with focus and purpose. These habits are hit or miss for me, so by putting them in my mind as priorities, I hope to develop more consistent habits for myself.
Lord, inspire me to read your Scriptures and to meditate upon them day and night. I beg you to give me real understanding of what I need, that I in turn may put its precepts into practice. Yet, I know that understanding and good intentions are worthless, unless rooted in your graceful love. So I ask that the words of Scripture may also be not just signs on a page, but channels of grace into my heart. Amen. (Origin, 184-253 AD)
 - Bookmark used by Holy Name of Jesus Bible Study in Minnesota
 Indulgence that was granted by Pope Leo XIII in 1898 to all the faithful who “shall read for at least a quarter of an hour the books of the Sacred Scripture with the veneration due to the Divine Word and as spiritual reading, an indulgence of 300 days”.(Preces et Pia opera, 645.)
What about you?  What was your favorite reading from Mass today?  How do you feel after confession?  How is your Lenten promise coming along?  

Other Catholic Ramblings
Please join me on this lifelong journey of finding Heaven by exploring the faith and living out the love.

St. Sebastian, Pray for us. St. Bonaventure, Pray for us. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Pray for us. St. Gabriel, Pray for us. St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, Pray for us.  St. Joseph, Pray for us. St. Matthew, Pray for us. Mary, Queen of all Saints, Pray for us. All Holy Saints, Pray for us.

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