Diary of a Ghetto Priest | ‘I murdered my Lord!’
Strange. I am having these thoughts in the Easter season. But I have slept and had dreams, deep in the middle of the night. I had great pain within the depths of myself. How much evil I have done. How undeserving I am of Your Kingdom. How much You have loved me. How You were crucified on the cross, hung naked, wounded, suffering, bleeding from the depths of Your loving heart.
I killed You! I killed You! I killed You. I personally killed You by the sting of my wickedness and weaknesses. I hated You, rejected You, totally oblivious of how much I struck You when I sinned.
And in my sleep, I feel this pain, this weeping, this guilt. Then there is a burst of comfort and joy! You still love me! You love me! You love me! And, I love You, Lord! I will not let You go, Lord. You are the only One that I love absolutely and completely. You are the only One that loves me absolutely and completely.
My whole being belongs to the Lord, despite my compromises and weaknesses. I recommend the same to you, beloved Christians! There is no one like Him, Jesus Christ. He died for me personally. He died for my sins. I personally claim all my wrongs, all my sins. They are mine. No one else is to be blamed.
Like Mary Magdalene, I have seven devils. I have to admit that I have committed all seven capital sins in one way or another in thought, word or deed: pride, covetousness, lust, envy, anger, gluttony and sloth.
Anyone of these can bring about my destruction. But I have committed all these deadly capital sins, some more than others.
I have a thorn in my flesh. I commit this capital sin over and over, and I go to my confessor. I repeat the sin over and over. I get fed up. I wonder if I am sincere when I go to confession and keep repeating this sin, this capital sin, over and over.
The just man sins seven times seventy times per day. What is this awful, dreadful thing called sin in my flesh? I really can't understand why the things that I do I hate and do not wish to do. And, the things I do not wish to do, keep repeating itself over and over! I can only say, as St Paul does in Romans, "Thanks be to God, there is Jesus Christ!" Thanks be to God, He understands our weaknesses and fallen nature. Thanks be to God, He lived within our flesh and understand and has pity on us. Thanks be to God, He said on the cross: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." By this I am consoled even in my deepest sleep.
MARY MAGDALENE'S GREAT LOVE
Then in the morning, I meditate, "Mary Magdalene carries an alabaster vase full of ointment and enters the house of the Pharisees where Christ is seated at the table." Mary stood behind our Lord near His feet and began to wash them with her tears and wiped away the dust from off His feet with her precious hair. She kissed His feet and anointed them. Oh what love! Right before the Pharisees who wished to stone her.
But she dared to come into His house. She did not mind being condemned again and even being stoned. She just wanted to be with Jesus! She wanted to thank Him, to pour out her gratefulness for His forgiveness, to show her great love for Him. She risked her life! They (the Pharisees) had stones in their hands. They wanted to murder her, a just reward for her adultery many times over.
But before His great love for this sinners, the Pharisees are helpless. They let the stones drop from their hands. "He who is without sin cast the first stone."
FORGIVENESS IS SWEET
Forgiveness is so sweet. What can we do before Jesus except to confess our sins completely and totally, and receive His mercies and forgiveness so evident on His torn body, His wounded body on the crucifix? Over and over we sin, over and over He forgives us. We must speak to Him, hear His voice, feel His touch, and let Him gather us in His arms like sheep that are gone astray.
When the Pharisees accused Magdalene, they showed up the worst sin that there was. Which of the sins are the most and terrible? All are extremely destructive and can send us into hell, but the worst is really Pharisaism or blind pride, when we cannot see our own sins.
The Pharisees are blind. They cannot see their own sins. They will not confront their own personal sins. They are selfish, they condemn others, but not themselves. They see themselves better than others.
Now sin is sin! We must see and accept our own personal sins! We must never turn our backs on our sins, nor others. Wrong is wrong and right is right - whether it be our sins or others. We must admit to ourselves, to God, and to representatives of our communities, but always confidentially, lest gossips spreads, and people cast stones at us.
"Her many sins are forgiven because she has loved so much." Love! Love! Love! We must never stop loving, we must never stop giving! Even though we have sinned, we must not stop loving and giving.
Flesh is just flesh - sin will not stop. There is such a thing as concupiscence of the flesh. "Thy faith hath saved thee. Go in peace." Carry the burden of your sinful flesh until death. Temptations will never cease, sin will never cease. We must try, try, try again. Get up from the dust, dust ourselves off, and start all over again.
And as we try again, we must have peace in our hearts. "Thy faith hath saved thee. Go in peace." (Luke 7:36-50).
Now I can sleep in peace.