Today i am sharing my Lenten challenge of opening up and receive God's love and mercy. After an amazing experience in Panama when I experienced God mercy and healing through the Sacrament of Reconciliation I have been feeling strengthen to take on lent in a new way this year. I am being honest right now the Sacrament of Reconciliation had been the one I struggled the most with over the past number years. I thought i can sort it out myself and don't need it. How wrong I was. During my time in Panama where I was blessed with Gods presence in many different ways I woke up one Friday morning in the need of Gods mercy. I needed of healing. The WYD challenged everyone on a different level and one of my challenges was to accept I am human. I have made mistakes. I disappointed people. I let them down. I am only as strong as God helps me to be. That Friday morning i knew it was time to confess, to acknowledge, to be honest, to let go of my weakness, of my challenges, of my mistakes. I arrived inside the church took a deep breath and sat down. I was confused and froze. I couldn't remember anything not even the prayer... all I did was crying and explaining my need of Gods healing and mercy. I sat and cried. The priest just sat with me in silence. After a while we prayed together. After a few minutes in prayer I got up and received an honest warmheartedly hug and a "God bless you".
I walked away leaving the old, broken Christina behind. What was left was a Christina filled with Gods mercy and love. The new Christina smiled, an honest one. I was happy and grateful for the experience... why am i sharing this with you? Lent as we all know is a time to reconnect with God. To give up "things" that hinder us from loving God back or being the person he wants us to be. But lent is also a time to take on a new challenge like praying more often, be more present... the bible is full of stories where people reached a point in their lives where they needed to turn around. Mary Magdalene, Zacchaeus, the prodigal son, ... none of them were forced to change they just knew deep down it was time to confess - to let go - to go home - to take responsibilities for their actions. And what did they experienced next was a God that welcome them back with an open heart. Not judging, not finger pointed, not angry one... just the God we believe in - a God of love.
Maybe this lent is your time to confess, to let go, to come home. All I can say it try it... don't be afraid just do it worth it... your smile after will be radiant ... i know because i experienced it.