I like things to be perfect.
You could even, possibly, say I’m a perfectionist. Sometimes, it works in my favor…
…especially when it comes to getting grades back but, other times, not so much.
For a long time I believed that I had to be perfect in order to be a good Catholic and a good daughter of God. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be not only a good role model but a perfect person. Sin wasn’t something I avoided, it was something I hid. And my biggest struggle was chastity.
Chastity is hard.
There are so many different people telling us that physical affection is the ultimate expression of love. And so many times we buy into that lie.
I wanted the fullness of love but I didn’t know how to get it. I desired affection and closeness from my heavenly Father but settled for it in earthly relationships. Eventually, I recognized the weight of my sin and my need for God and I went to Confession. I felt like I had failed God, my boyfriend, and those who looked up to me. I thought that because I had sinned, I had messed up and I had ruined God’s work in and through me and I could never be restored.
Thankfully, the Lord spoke so clearly through the priest in the confessional. He reminded me that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. And, in my pain and my brokenness I heard God whisper, “My beloved daughter, with you I am well pleased.”
What? I thought I must be hearing things. God… well pleased with me? A sinner and a failure, who had let Him down?
What I didn’t realize is that God wasn’t looking for perfection in the way I had been thinking. God was looking for me to run to Him. To trust in His great plan for my life. To be near to Him. To come and seek forgiveness.
The Father’s heart is merciful, Deuteronomy 4:31 says, “For the Lord your God is a merciful God, He will not abandon or destroy you.” God is more merciful than we in our humanness can understand. No matter how many times we need to receive His mercy God waits for us to come back to him, especially in the Sacrament of Confession. We do not need to worry that His forgiveness will end, He will always welcome us with mercy. But, even after I went to Confession it was incredibly difficult for me to grasp this mercy and forgiveness. I felt so bad for what I had done and I felt like I hadn’t made full repentance for my sins. Thankfully, God knows our hearts and gives us what we need. I needed Saint Faustina.
Saint Faustina was a polish nun from a very poor family. She became a sister and her life was perfect.
Just kidding, that wasn’t what happened at all.
Her community was unsupportive of her and many times her superiors were unfair to her. Many of her fellow religious believed that she was too simple for Jesus to appear to her or speak to her. But, Jesus revealed to this simple saint the image of Divine Mercy and an incredible prayer to go with it.
We now even celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday.
The Divine Mercy Chaplet is a prayer of petition for God to send His mercy upon us and the whole world. It gives glory and praise to our God for His sacrifice for us. The prayers repeat, you can sing it, it’s shorter than the rosary, and it begs God to forgive our sins because of His goodness not because of our worthiness. Shoot dang, sounds pretty perfect, huh?
I highly encourage you to seek the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy and dive into this prayer. You can find a great outline of how to pray this prayer here and even on your phone in many Catholic apps.
Brothers and sisters, if you get nothing else from this blog hear this: God is well pleased with you, His beloved, every time you run to Him.
God wasn’t pleased with my sin. My sin broke His heart but, my sprint to the Confessional? My return back into His arms? My desire to be in right relationship with Him? That brought great joy to my good Father. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can separate you from the love of Christ. It is relentless, eternal, and absolute. You are eternally wanted by our Lord and Savior no matter what you have done or how far you have run from Him.
I’ll be praying for you, friends.