Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Joy of confession

Sinner: I’m tempted to go back to those things in which I left; the struggle within me is fierce and one hour I am fine, rejoicing and the next besotted with temptation; the attractiveness of the fast life, the music and swagger seems to be calling me. The pride of life reaches out for me, to work for my own gain and security, to look for my own comfort and to forget that Calvary road in which the Spirit within me is so inclined to walk. I am torn in and out and I know which one is more beneficial for me but my flesh wants me to walk the other way

Good Sir: This trial you are going through is not strange to many saints; the apostle himself walked the rope of departure for the evil one wanted to sift him. But remember the comment of our Lord, that He was praying for him. And now are you not confident that He is in heaven praying for you also?

Sinner: But I feel the weight of my guilt and it presses upon me. I cannot move, nor turn to the right or left, it chases me. For when I contemplate on my motives and the lack of desire in me to glorify his name, I am filled with disgust at myself and inclined to question my own salvation. I feel worse than the devil and sure I am the worst sinner to have embraced this falling world. Furthermore, I read the scriptures and at times I delight in prayer, but then my failures comes clearly to my mind and I do my all to flee from His presence; so I engage in no religious duty at all. What is the solution to my trouble? and this is merely the surface of it all. For if I should pour out all of my sins on you, it would take me the whole year and more.

 I am a terrible man, sir, and although it seems wise for me to leave his call and walk another path, I cannot forsake him. Even in my most awful moments, I still here his voice so clearly and my mouth cannot bring itself to curse him but to praise him and declare that He is Lord. I have so light a spirit and my reflection upon my own life greatly discourages me. My peace is interrupted and joy eludes me; I am afflicted by the rod of his hands. My dancing has turned to mourning. Woe unto me for I have sinned, and for this my heart faints; has he rejected me forever?

Good Sir: NO! speak thus no longer and tighten your lips. Will you sin against the gospel; are your sins beyond redemption? Was you not an enemy of God when He sent his Son to die for you and how much more shall you gain eternal life by His resurrection. The chastisement you bear at this moment has been felt by saints of the past, some have sought to tear their hair and whip themselves with a 100 lashes, but such deeds they have found to be no remedy at all. The only remedy which calmed the nerve of their conscience was the gospel of the blessed Christ. The sweetness of the message contained in that most precious of books. Believe the gospel and watch your fears fly far away from you.

Sinner: Ah! Good sir, you speak comforting words to a hurting soul and now I do feel a release in my soul for my focus had been on me whereas I should have looked at Him who died for my sins. But sir, is it true that the sins of the justified will never part them from God?

Good Sir: The sins of the redeemed will never part them from God but God may hide his face from them. That is why you feel as you do now, and if you delight yourself to enjoy God, then bid farewell to your sins and employ them no longer. Your sins may cause an enmity and a strangeness between you and God but God shall never turn His back on you. God is there all the time even while you sin, but your sinful eyes cannot see him unless you repent. Another great truth to be observe is that Christ righteousness came through your unrighteousness and now His Spirit is in you to sanctify you.  Now humble yourself and repent of your sins for the Lord will make good to come out of them.

Sinner: Look how the tears flow from my eyes, my condition is better than when I had first started. My faith is richer and how sweet my Lord is to me now and deeply I love him more. My heart can dance again and prayer screams out from my lips. You are good sir and very wise. I shall comfort others with the same words you have comforted me with. 

Good Sir: No one is good but God alone (he laughed). Come here closer to me and let me pray for your soul. (He prayed for him and then gave him of the blessed sacrament of the Lord’s supper).


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