FR. ANDREW WRITES:-
God can do extraordinary things in people’s lives. What can he do for you?
He can raise people from the dead. This is exactly what he did in Nain, raising the man to life in today’s Gospel from St Luke.
Sometimes a tree can have dead wood. Sometimes a person can be running on half empty, surviving rather than flourishing. A famous Dominican (Fr Timothy Radcliffe) once said most of our lives ‘we’re half alive’.
What things can prevent us from being fully alive?
Job, family, health concerns, bereavement, tragedy, worry.
What can we do about this?
Bring all these things to God.
How to pray to God?
Simply, in our own words, straight from the heart. In our prayer we may also become aware of certain things troubling our conscience.
What can we do about this? What other practical help is there?
Well there’s a spiritual check up.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Seven Sacraments are concrete signs of God’s love to the human race. God is love and loves each and every person completely perfectly. Sadly no one is completely perfect in their love of God. Why? We don’t always do the right thing, we don’t always love God and our neighbour, in other words, we sin. Our sins build up a barrier between us and God. That barrier can only be broken down through God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is made truly present in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This Sacrament is a sacrament of God’s mercy and healing.
Consider this quote from Scott Hahn, ‘Nothing serves family life and workplace dynamics so well as a clean soul and the advice of a good confessor. On the other hand, nothing hurts our relationships and our mental health so much as the burden of sin and guilt. Confession is free health care and free life insurance as well! Christ is the divine physician; and, unlike human physicians he can guarantee us a cure every time. In fact, he can guarantee us immortality. Any doctor who could do all that would have long lines stretching from his office door.’ (Hahn, ‘Signs of Life’, 2009, p. 186).
Now that is extraordinary! ‘Free health care and free life insurance’. That’s what God can do for you. So I encourage you to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as you can and avail yourself of all the graces, especially in this Year of Mercy.