Oct 24, 2020 filed under Mercy.

Little girl praying

I’m working on curing a bad habit that until yesterday I didn’t even know I had! See if you recognize the same blind spot.

Whenever I do or say something that I see later may have hurt someone, I immediately say, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” That’s not the bad part. It’s what comes next that can hold us back spiritually.

Because after I pray that prayer, the thought of the moment of thoughtlessness comes right back to my memory, stronger than ever, and I pray again, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” It’s a good prayer to repeat during the day, but here’s the problem: I pray it when the shame comes back again because I don’t realize that “against God alone have I sinned” and have actually received the mercy I asked him for! I just keep praying, and feeling the sting of the mis-step as if God had not heard my prayer.

Letting go
Funny thing is that after Confession, I have no problem believing that my sins are “forgotten by God” – which is such a great way to think of it! We’ve known “God forgets” ever since Jeremiah foresaw the reign of mercy in Christ: “I will forgive their iniquity and no longer remember their sin (Jer 31:34).”

But our enemy wants us to forget that. And I’ve been falling for the lie.

The fix
Here’s what we can do instead. Follow our prayer for mercy with a prayer for guidance whether he wants to do more healing of this in the confessional. Then, end with a prayer of gratitude that he is healing us — that the inexhaustible treasure of mercy won for us on Calvary has really flooded down on us whenever we simply ask for it.

Then do a happy dance that you’re one step closer to living in the freedom of the children of God! :)

Love always,

17 Responses to “Believing Mercy”

  1. Ana María Fernandez

    Thank you Rose, it’s really true, when I feel I do something wrong, I say why I do, and ask for forgiven to God, but the enemy want I remember the bad thing u do and torture my main, thank you for share this, I will keep
    The prayer with me. Blessings

    • Joyce Miles

      Wrong doing takes prayer and forgiveness. Remember we make mistakes but watch your actions and try hard not to make the same mistake again.

  2. Sabine Paul

    Thanks for this reflection. It reminds me of some advice I heard from a priest one time: “when you bring something to the Lord, you need to leave it there!” Too often, we take it back, not trusting that He will take care of it.

  3. Kathleen Cantolupo

    Don’t be so hard on yourselves.

    Remember that worry is the work of the devil.

    Nothing should keep us from the Merciful Presence of God.
    He is our Great Shepard.

    Autumnal Blessings,

  4. Tom Roberts

    It’s important for me to remember that I’m a sinner; an off the shelf sinner. I try to think of it as a matter of scale. What have I done or not done? Chances are someone has done it or not done it before and beyond that there isn’t anything else I could cook up with my limited capacities.

    I like to think of G.K. Chesterton every time I enter a church. He went to mass in London on a rainy day when he was still forming his catholic faith. When mass was over he discovered his umbrella was stolen. He marched straight back to the sacristy and demanded of the priest “What kind of a place is this?” The priest replied “Its a place for sinners; welcome!”

  5. Sheila

    Sometimes that lack of letting go just helps us all the more to focus on ourselves instead of on God – I’m the sinner…. Whereas if I can let it go then I can put God first instead of the “me”.
    Thanks Rose.

    • Rose Folsom

      Great observation. Our Virtue Circle is meeting tonight and that’s one of the main points I’m bringing out as we consider the virtue of humility. (Great minds think alike, ha ha!)

  6. Taylor

    Sin means to miss the mark. Not that you are marked!

    Michael Jordan hit the most baskets because he also missed the most! Sin is a ultimately a lack of being open to receive God’s love and bring it to ourselves (sins against ourselves), to others, or to God for the Glory of God. If we miss the mark, we need to apologize, ask the coach how to hit the mark better next time, and get back in the game. It’s not about us, it’s about more love hitting the mark.

    If we obsess about yesterday’s mistakes we miss today’s opportunities to do practice in drills or just get out on the field and keep a positive attitude. Nothing worse to ruin team morale than players that blame mistakes on others, who don’t care about mistakes, or who are paralyzed by past mistakes — all of these not only guarantee that we will make more mistakes, but that we drag others into our drama causing them to make mistakes, and pull the whole team down. Trust the coach — if he asks for you to watch the game films or do some drills, do what he says. Then get back into the game and play your heart out for love of the game and, in this case, the Coach!

  7. Claire

    Thank you. I must let go, sometimes it is hard of letting go but, I am really going to work on this. Thank you again.

    • Rose Folsom

      Thanks, Claire. An image just popped into my mind that I’m going to recall when needed: Jesus on the Cross saying to me, “Did I do this for nothing?” In other words, not to turn away his free gift of redemption for my sins, big and small. God bless.

  8. Nida

    Thank you and God bless you richly with His wisdom and love Rose! You are a blessing to us!

  9. Pat Friedhoff

    Oh, Rise, you hit the nail on the head. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. (Sometimes I still feel guilt and shame for a sin confessed in the sacrament if Penance! ) and now I realize that is unnecessary – I have been truly forgiven and it is forgotten. What a wonderful thing.
    I must also tell you that you made me laugh out loud at your rooster. He certainly is a handsome fella!
    God bless you, Rose. You often help me and I don’t always comment, I am sorry about that.

    • Rose Folsom

      Great to hear from you, Pat! Glad you found it helpful. And yes, Elroy has settled nicely in a niche in our living room. I feel like he’s our Guard Rooster. And you know a funny thing? I’m in the suburbs and a neighbor HAS a rooster that detonates with a gaga-doo-a-hooooooo! many times every day, starting before dawn. He’s the sound track for Elroy. :)