Just As Much

Today, I was catching up on the blogs I follow and filled up 14 tabs full of faith-filled insight. I randomly clicked on one to begin. It was this one.

Guess what? I stopped at that one and put the remaining 13 in my reading list on my laptop. I stopped there because I am writing this now. It did a little thing for me called “jog my memory”.

This isn’t the first time that a blog post has inspired me to write one of my own. Not only that, but one centered around a grace-filled sacrament. In October, I wrote about my experience with Anointing of the Sick and today, we’re talking Reconciliation.

I highly highly wish that you will read the blog I linked above (and here because scrolling up is quite the chore) called The Day I Realized That God Likes Me. I almost didn’t read it because I thought ‘of course God likes you, why would you ever think otherwise?’ but I’m oh so glad I carefully took in every word.

Even though I’m assuming that you’ll take 2.7 minutes to read Julie’s words, I’ll give you a brief synopsis. She went to Reconciliation. She confessed her sins. The priest’s response (aka God’s) crushed her. In the best way possible. She is now changed from the inside out. Now go read it yourself, pretty please.

About halfway in, all the memories of Saturday, January 16 came back. Great great memories. I was in Confession, talked about everything that has kept me from growing closer to God and the priest told me to go out and do something that I’ll never forget. After I was absolved of my sins, he had me go back out into the church and kneel in front of the crucifix that hangs behind the altar. He wanted me to look at it and not look away. And he wanted me to repeatedly say, “God loves me just as He loves His Son”.

So I did. I walked out of the confessional, found the pew where my belonging were and stayed a while. I got on that kneeler and gazed upon the beautiful crucifix. It was pretty late at night so it was completely dark outside and the church was illuminated by candles. It was beautiful, peaceful and even more, it crushed me.

Jesus Christ? There is no way God loves me just as much as Him. The Messiah? How can that be. The second person of the Trinity?  That’s a lot of love. His only Son? I’m undeserving. The Savior of the world? Wow. I am loved just as much. To the thousandth of a millimeter, the Man hanging on the cross is loved the same amount as you and me. By a Father who is Love.

Maybe you’re like “Kerigan, why didn’t you know this”? Well I did. But I really didn’t. I never looked at Him hanging there for me for quite a significant amount of time. All while allowing my Father to flood my heart with this truth. Over and over again, those nine words started sinking deeper. Not the fluffy kind of love but the sacrificial, heart-breaking, relentless kind of love. The love that only God is capable of.

I told a few friends about this experience but never before then have I shared my penance. Maybe it’s supposed to be private but I think this is meant to be shared. Guys, He delights in you!! As the priest told Julie,…

Does God ever take His eyes off of you? No because we have great beauty to behold. He’s stunningly attracted to you. He truly delights in you as His beloved.

Stunningly attracted to is what I felt on that kneeler and it’s what I feel today. I pray that if you’re not at this point, you’ll get there with with a humble heart and lots of prayer. Because you deserve to understand that God delights in you. YOU.  Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” He is literally having a dance party because of your wonderful self. Join Him!

Today is Ash Wednesday; a day where Catholics can get ashes placed on their foreheads in the shape of a cross. The ashes tell us that we are broken people in a broken world. But they are in the shape of a cross because we, in all of our sins, belong to Him. We are worth dying for, just as much as we are worth singing over. And we are loved by God, just as much as He loves His Son. Praise God!

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