When I was 14 I had a birthday party with all my girl classmates. We were playing one of those steal-the-gift games and it was timed, so that when the timer would go off we got to keep whatever gift we had at the moment. There were lots of things to choose from, but a battle was waged over a pack of cool stickers. There were 3 of us fighting over it. I had a chance to steal the stickers, and then in utter greed and coveting, I secretly took the timer and pushed it forward so that it buzzed while I was holding the prized possession.
Two years later, I was going through my sticker book and found the evidence. I was horrified by my actions – how could I have been such a thief? I remember shedding tears of what I thought was contrition. I wanted to make amends, so I got an envelope and put all the stickers remaining, plus a few of my prized favorite stickers, and anonymously mailed them to the person who had them before me at the birthday party. I think I went to confession too…although, to be honest, I can’t remember if I did.
Now, let’s fast forward 15 years. By then I had found the spirituality of communion of life with Mary and was being formed in it by mentors. One day I was sharing my story of contrition with someone who was deep in the spirituality. I think I was somewhat proud of how I had “made amends” when I was a teenager. The mentor, loving me as a fellow Christian, and looking at it all through the eyes of faith, was able to help me see that when I thought I was “making amends,” I was really just scrubbing the outside of my whitewashed tomb. I was trying to cover up my pride. I wasn’t really contrite at all back then – I wasn’t sad that I offended Christ; I shed tears because my ego was wounded.
What an eye opener that was! My Christian friend didn’t stop at helping me see this deeper truth, he made sure I was also aware that this is who God loves! He loved the little girl who was selfish, and prideful! Blessed Mother, through my mentor, wanted to convince me first and foremost of God’s love and his mercy. It became a joyful time to go to confession soon after to have my Lord wash a portion of the inside of my tomb!
Reflecting on this story today – another 10 years has gone by – I am left in awe that the LORD planted that story in my heart to bring up to the right person, who could help me see the real truth. I see now how Jesus had to wait until I was aware of Blessed Mother’s arms before revealing it to me because only then could I hear it without despairing, or running away from him. So, now, I am filled with gratitude, that Blessed Mother is sharing her faith with me, her acceptance of God’s mercy with me, her desire for my communion of life with Christ with me. This is amazing!
I am very excited that the Holy Father has proclaimed the Year of Faith. I have learned over the years that there is always something more to know about my faith. What new things does God have in store for me during this special time in the Church? WE, Blessed Mama and I, await the graces together!!