“Bless me Father, for I have sinned.”..

(posted: June 1 2021)

“Bless me Father, for I have sinned.”
-prayer at Confession

“... and forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us.” Matthew 6:12

I was baptized and received the Eucharist for the first time at the age of 18, at an Easter vigil, so long ago that it pre-dated RCIA. Although I missed out on many things by not growing up in the Church, I am blessed to remember vividly the details of my sacraments of initiation and to appreciate them with my whole heart. For me the Church is home, shelter, joy and love. I came to this home during the celebratory days of Vatican II. The windows were thrown open. All were welcome. Anything was possible. We sang and danced joyously.

As the years passed the Church and I have experienced some difficult times. There was push-back to progress. Scandal bruised and tarnished the institution that I had entered wide eyed. I was no longer a carefree young woman as I experienced the realities of marriage, work, children, illness and loss. Through it all, faith sustained me. My Vincentian calling and my Vincentian family have sustained me too.

Vincentians are blessed to be called by the God of do-overs. No matter what happens, no matter what our failings, we can return like the prodigal son. When we express sorrow our ‘do-over God’ welcomes us. All is forgiven and we have a fresh start. Because God allows us as many do-overs as we need in our lifetime we must treat others in the same way. God doesn’t put limits on how many times love is given, nor should we.

Our Society’s motto is Serviens in spe – We serve in hope. Knowing our loving, forgiving, do-over God gives us hope. It’s up to us to share our hope with those we serve. We may not express our faith as teachers or preachers but we show our faith as we maintain hope for every household we visit, every meal we serve, every caring deed we perform. Instead of asking “How many times will we help?” we remember that Jesus said we must forgive and allow do-overs “seventy times seven”. We live our hope as we keep doing Home Visits, keep serving and keep loving in Jesus’ name.

Loving God, we ask your forgiveness; we forgive others freely, as you forgive.

Spirituality Corner

Monthly Reflections
by Denise Bondy, Chair
ONRC Spirituality Committee