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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Going through the motions

I went to confession this weekend. I was over due. Something I needed to check off my to do list. So I went. I didn't feel deeply sorry. I didn't feel a whole lot. I just was doing what I had to do. Going through the motions. I know this is something some non-Catholic Christians observe with Catholics. The way we do things like rote prayers. Repetitions. "Works" based salvation, I think is what they think we believe and do. Going through the motions. Not always "feeling" it.

Here's the thing. Yes, I admit, I didn't have a lot of deep feelings about partaking in this sacrament. I was doing what I had to do because I wanted to partake legitimately in THE sacrament of Holy Communion. So, I did what I needed to do to and went to confession. And you know, afterward through pure grace, I felt AWESOME. I was overcome with great supernatural joy. I did nothing to deserve it. That's why it's called grace. I just went through the motion of going to confession and spoke of my usual habitual sins and viola! I was forgiven and I resolved to try and do better next time like I do every time I go to confession.

I think there are many ways to "work" out one's salvation. I think having the pressure to feel warm and fuzzy and have public displays of emotion is work. We're not always going to feel it. When praying, we won't always be present. We may let our minds wander. When going to Church, we may space out during the readings or the homily. We all go through the motions. It's o.k. Because we are saved by the grace of God. It always starts there. So God gave me the grace of pure joy after a lukewarm confession. And I was truly inspired by it that now I'm blogging about it.

This isn't a call for complacency. This is just a reminder that sometimes, it's o.k. to go through the motions as long as we're setting our sights on God. Showing love to God is about doing. Love is a decision. Me and my husband learned this through marriage prep. It is not a feeling. We get hooked on feelings but even the greatest Saints went through dry periods where they felt nothing. But they still went through the motions of prayer, partaking in the sacraments and being obedient to God.

Because the reality is that feelings come and go. Sometimes we have to go through the motions to maintain our connection to God. 

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