The Gift of Confession

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This weekend my second child is receiving his first reconciliation.  Getting him ready for this sacrament has taken me back to my memories of confession.  I never enjoyed it.  I often feared it.  I did not want to go tell a priest all the stuff I had done wrong.  He was going to remember and tell my parents what I had done.  Since I went to a Catholic school we went a bunch of times every year and we all HAD to go.  We had to memorize the Act of Contrition which back then was not child friendly.

It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I went to confession because I wanted to, not because someone was telling me I had to go.  The result was so different.  I felt so free.  Since then I often find myself being brought to tears.  Tears of sadness because I have truly looked at myself and what I have done and I know I have disappointed God.  However, once I have spoken with the priest and the priest absolves all my sins happy tears come out. Once again I have the opportunity for a new beginning and it is so freeing.

MISERERE-CONFESSION

I have come to believe differently about confession through the years.  When I was young I was told that if you did not go to confession you would not get into heaven because you had sinned.  The only way to be absolved from the sins was by confession. Now I believe that an all-knowing God would not send someone he knows is sorry to hell just because they didn’t go to confession.  I believe that if we tell God we are sorry then we are forgiven.  However, I also believe that going to confession because you want to can be so liberating.  As my son says we are reborn and can start all over.

I have asked my son how he feels about the thought of going to confession.  He says that he is nervous and wonders what happens if he forgets something.  I explain to him that the priests have heard it all and that once they hear our sins they forget all about it.  I told him that it might make him feel good to say sorry out loud and hear from the priest (who is speaking on behalf of God) that he is forgiven.  I also explain that we ask for forgiveness of all our sins so even the ones we forget to say get forgiven.

Today I actually found a conversation about confession in one of the groups I am a part of on Facebook and one of the comments really got to me.  It said that we clean our houses when we are expecting someone important and we clean ourselves physically when we are going out to meet someone.  We don’t want to be spiritually dirty when we receive the Eucharist so shouldn’t we do a spiritual cleaning?

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I have also tried to get information on examination of conscience for kids to help make things more understandable for him. Here are a few sites;

1.Catholic Parents

2.United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

3.National Catholic Register

I hope that my discussions with my son will help him to not be scared and to embrace the gift that has been given to us.  Confession truly is a gift.  We get to hear we are forgiven and get to start again.  God is always there for us and wants us to be the best we can be.  Next time you think about whether or not to go to confession I hope you remember this entry.  It is not about you and the priest, it is about you and God.  You can sit and talk to the priest one on one or you can still knell behind `the wall’.  If you are open to the experience it can truly be freeing.  You are forgiven!

May God watch over all of us and help us to embrace the gift we are given of confession.

Act of Contrition

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.  In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good.  I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things.  I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.  In His Name. My God have mercy.

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent

9 Things You Can Do In Just 15 Minutes

15 minutes

Did you know you can do a heck of a lot in just 15 minutes?  As I continue my New Year’s resolution I am learning a lot about this.  I am sure no matter how busy your lives are you CAN find 15 minutes.  You can’t give up hope that you can’t accomplish something if you just commit to 15 minutes.  I have made a list of all the stuff I can do in 15 minutes.  What about you??

1.  Get your house clean.  Try to spend 15 minutes a day for a week in each room of your house.  In no time at all it will look beautiful or better than it did.

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2.  Meal plan.  All it takes is 15 minutes.  I try to make a monthly meal plan and then break it down into weekly.  Then I can get it done daily.  15 minutes on the weekend for the following week prep helps a lot too.

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3.  Exercise.  15 minutes is better than no minutes.  We can do it when we watch TV or getting meals ready.  We could sneak it in at the beginning of the day or the end of the day.  If we find 15 minutes a day that is 1 hour and 45 minutes a week.  That might not seem a lot but if you were doing nothing before it is something 🙂

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4.  Get the laundry done.  If we take 15 minutes a day to either sort, start a load and switch a load, fold it or put it away, it would all get done.

laundry5.  Read.  I would like to read the bible more and I know I could find 15 minutes to do that.  How about you?  Is there a book you wish you had time to read?  Finding those 15 minutes would help get the book read.

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6.  Pray.  I tell my kids all the time that it doesn’t have to be bedtime to pray.  They can do it anytime they want.  How about the Rosary?  Ok, it may take a little more than 15 minutes.  I try and do it when I am driving, working out, waiting to pick my kids up or when I go to bed.

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7.  Work on ourselves.  I think journaling is a great thing.  Can we spend 15 minutes at bedtime writing about our day?  It can be very therapeutic.  Or something else that will help better yourself.  We can find 15 minutes a day for ourselves can’t we?

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8.  Paying attention to our kids.  Unfortunately, I think so many kids wish they had more time with their parents.  What if we take that extra time in the morning or at bedtime to give to our children?  We could give 15 minutes to a different child everyday so that way they have something to look forward to and they get the one on one time they deserve.

kids9.  Spend it with God.  You can pray, visit church, thank him, talk to him, sit quietly with him.  If we start spending time building our relationship with him those 15 minutes would be priceless.

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Those are just a few examples of how we could spend the 15 minutes we find a day.  For those of you thinking you can’t find 15 minutes I challenge you to look for it.  I promise you can and if you do you won’t regret it.  How many minutes or hours do we spend on our phones or mobile devices?  Take 15 minutes from there.  I am more than willing to help look at your schedule and find it.  Another way is if you schedule everything then schedule it in too!!!   Please let me know how it goes and what you have done!

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copyright 2015  Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent

In the Name of Jesus

the wonders of his holy name

I was in the car the other day and 7eventh Time Down’s song “Just Say Jesus” came on.  I thought to myself how true it was.  I grew up never really knowing the power of his holy name, Jesus.  I never got it but now through the years I have.  There is so much power in Jesus’s name.

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After my second son was born I received a book called, The Wonders of the Holy Name by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan.  This book is about His name and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  In the up and coming years I was going to need it.

I was at home one day with two toddlers (4 and 2 ½) who were only 19 months apart and a new-born baby.  I was recovering from having my third C-section.  Both my boys were having meltdowns or fighting or not listening.  I can’t remember exactly what they were doing but I know I was at my wit’s end.  Their baby sister must have been crying too.  I just needed a break and didn’t know what to do.

I locked myself in the bathroom for a minute or two and just began to cry.  I couldn’t stop.  How was I going to get through this?  I just sat against the bathroom door crying and calling out Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.  Help me Jesus, help me.  Shortly after that there was silence.  Everyone, including myself, had calmed down.  Peace had come over the house. It was a miracle.  Thank you!  Thank you!

I grew up being taught how to pray.  I knew all kinds of different prayers but I also knew that just talking to God was a form of prayer too.  However, I had never heard about this. I mean if I had heard about it, it never clicked before.  That is until now.

So the next time you feel like giving up or just need some comfort try it.  Just call out his name.  Feel the power of his name.  Breathe slowly and call him.  I would also recommend reading this book The Wonders of the Holy Name.  I especially like chapter 9.

 

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent

Ever Felt Alone?

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Have you ever felt alone?  I don’t mean being all by yourself and being lonely.  Have you ever been surrounded by people or been with others and yet felt all alone?  Throughout my lifetime there have been occasions I have felt this way.  I have felt like I am in a clear box.  I can see everything yet it seems those around me can’t see or hear me.  On other occasions I have just felt invisible.

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There have been times that I didn’t mind and other times that it has really bothered me. When it bothered me it brought me down, way down.  I believe those were the times that I didn’t think or talk to God.  When I get in a situation where I feel all alone but yet am fine, there is a peace or calm over me.  I must subconsciously realize that I am not truly alone.  God is ALWAYS with us.  We are never truly alone.  I also believe all our loved ones who have passed away are with us too.

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So the next time you or I are feeling invisible or in a box looking out and it starts to bring us down let us remember that God sees us.  We will never be invisible to God or stuck in a box that God cannot see through.  He will always be there and will always listen.  Let him help you out of the box.  Let him help others to see you again.  Let us be thankful to him for always being there.

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent