God Be Merciful to Me a Sinner
I am on a quest to attain perfection, but constantly fail in my endeavor. I set my alarm for 7:00 but keep sleeping in and miss morning Mass. I make promises to God to spend less time on Facebook, but keep checking it several times a day. I make an effort to be kind and charitable to my parents, but get easily irritated and lash out at them. I tell God that I will be more frugal with my spending, but go out and spend money on things I do not need. I do all of these things for the sake of appeasing my boredom and restlessness. I am trapped in my selfish, egotistical ways and consumed by thoughts of what is good for ME and only for ME. I sever the love I am supposed to have for God in favour of love of myself. Instead of worshiping God, I worship my wants and needs.
Despite my constant failures, God continues to make His presence and love known to me. It is especially during the consecration at Mass when I feel my soul crying out for Him. When I am in the depths of sin and I hear: “Take this all of you, and eat of it, for this is My Body, which will be given up for you”, my own body involuntarily sheds tears and a shiver runs down my spine. I realize that I am hearing some of the most powerful words on Earth. It is at that moment when I sincerely apologize and repent for any wrongdoings. It is at this moment during Mass when I realize the gravity of my sins, which have prevented me from receiving the Body of Christ. Despite the loneliness that I occasionally experience in my life, perhaps from missing my loved ones, the type of spiritual desolation experienced in not receiving Christ makes all other types of loneliness insignificant. It is during the consecration that I most long to reconcile with Jesus and to repair what I have broken with my selfish ways. In Christ offering His body and blood for our salvation, I recognize His inexhaustible, eternal love for all mankind and realize how in need of mercy we all are.
In the Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church, there is a beautiful prayer said before receiving communion. First it acknowledges that we are all sinners, and secondly that we need mercy and reconciliation in order to be worthy of receiving Christ. It states:
“I believe and confess, Lord, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first…I pray to You, have mercy upon me, and forgive my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word and deed, known and unknown…let not these holy Gifts [the Body and Blood of Christ] be to my condemnation because of my unworthiness, but for the cleansing and sanctification of soul and body…Receive me today, Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical Supper. I will not reveal Your mystery to Your adversaries. Nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas. But as the thief I confess to You: Lord, remember me in Your kingdom.”
Remember that God’s love and mercy always prevails, despite our broken promises and tendency to sin. Make an effort to reconcile with Him through the sacrament of confession, one of the greatest gifts Christ ever gave to His Church. Do not despair at your failures, but renew your promises and make a resolution to sin no more. And yes, you may fail, just as I continue to fail, but remember that despite all of that, God will never give up on you nor cease to love you.