I am a very much the academic type. I enjoy studying a topic and discussing the different ideas that are presented within its frameworks. I enjoy debating schools of thought; however, I often feel like I am missing the spiritual aspect of faith. For those who read posts on this blog, one can easily see that I write about academic ideas with a bit of research, but I very rarely discuss my own faith. I do participate in an excellent blog by the name All Along the Watchtower, which I often become very personal in my comments; however, my blog is usually missing the personal element.
I had what I believe to be a very deep spiritual experience this last Friday. I have been reflecting quite seriously about my faith recently. I have finished Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict, which I hope to continue to have posts to add to that series—as well as have friends also write their thoughts on that magnificent treatise. I have also been reading during my free time Brideshead Revisited (almost finished) by Evelyn Waugh. The book has been great to reflect on the importance of my Catholic faith and morality in a world that seems quite averse to it.
Recently, I feel that I have been battling with some of my own sins—which I ask for your prayer. After discerning my conscience for quite some time during this Year of Mercy, I ultimately felt the greatest power my sin had over me was that I was afraid to confess openly it during the sacrament of reconciliation. It’s true that I may have gone to confession and Christ forgave me for my sins, but it was never genuine until I legitimately asked for Christ’s forgiveness and moved on from it. My parish had this last Friday a 24-hour Eucharistic Adoration as part of the initiate for the Year of Mercy instituted by Pope Francis. It also had on the same day a special session for confession.
The Adoration began in the morning, which I was there and something was very odd. I couldn’t really look upon the Eucharist. The Eucharist with the presence of Christ felt blinding. In my head, I kept saying over and over, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Lk. 5:8) I continued to pray during the time I was there only looking up so often at what seemed to be the blinding Eucharist. It reminded me when Moses couldn’t look upon the face of God.
18 Moses said, “I pray thee, show me thy glory.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for man shall not see me and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand upon the rock; 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; 23 then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”
It’s interesting that I felt this way towards the Eucharist—towards Christ’s body. I felt the words of Peter, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.” However, Christ’s forgiveness is greater than his resurrection of Lazarus. My conscience kept telling me, “Simply ask and you will be forgiven.”
So I asked for forgiveness.
The amazing part is that I after I had admitted my sin, I felt forgiven. When I came out of the confessional, The Eucharist during the Adoration seemed to pull my attention towards it. The Eucharist no longer felt blinding. I felt at peace with the presence of God. It was a magnificent feeling, I thought, “This is what Grace feels like!”
Two Miracles—The Eucharist and Reconciliation— simply, amazing.