I was talking to an adorable new Scottish priest the other day about pornography and just general struggles with lust (as many of you know this is something I’m incredibly passionate about learning more about) and he said something that literally blew me away:
There are two people at the start of every temptation: God & the devil. The devil is there cheering you on, telling you it will feel good and that it isn’t a big deal and that’s it’s worth it. Then there is God, asking you to remain strong, offering you His mercy, asking you to turn away. And, even with God there sometimes the voice of the devil feels so much louder and so we fall into that temptation. And at the end of it all when we are left with our guilt and shame there are no longer two people there beside you. The devil has left – he is off partying somewhere thinking he’s won another soul. But God is still there, with his arms wide open, offering the same mercy and grace that He was at the beginning of it all.
Our God does not abandon us. Let me say it again for those who are struggling with that right now – our God does not abandon us. You may not be struggling with lust or pornography but I guarantee there is something else and you may feel like you’re listening to the voice of the devil every time and you may be filled with all of that shame but know that your God is right there beside you – He never left once, not even when you were committing the sinful act. Fall into the arms of His mercy sisters because wow is it freeing.
Yesterday, after like two hours of the most “feel good” prayer I went to mass all pumped for Advent. But, as soon as mass started it felt like I had to weight of the world on my heart and an anxiety attack pretty much came out of nowhere. The best way I can describe it was that the devil was literally squeezing my heart and I felt so alone and trapped and I hated it. Praise God for my guardian angel because immediately I knew I had to ask the priest for confession and a blessing after mass. The priest was so kind and took time out of his day to hear me and as soon as I unloaded so so so much (half of it wasn’t even sins I just needed to talk and get stuff off my chest and he was so patient with me haha) it was like the weight in my chest was gone and my heart was being held by the most gentle hands.
God’s mercy had won once again. Advent is a season of hope and if that isn’t what you are feeling right now I beg of you to find a priest and go to confession. You may be confessing to God in your hearts but I promise you as someone who has done that a million times – that isn’t enough. We need to speak things out loud to every actually feel free from that. That is why God and our Holy Church gave us confession… because the human heart needs to speak things out loud to feel free.
I’m kind of rambling on at this point but I want to end with this. Today in Blessed is She’s Advent Journal the main quote from the reflection was this, “What would it look like to make our days more about how great He is and less about how far we fall short?” Welp, shoot dang if that isn’t a slap in the face kind of comment. We will always fall short. We can spend our lives beating ourselves up and looking at all of our shortcomings or we can turn to our Father who never abandon’s us and is always ready to give us His mercy. Allow God’s glory to be revealed through your weakness. Allow Him to enter into your heart and heal those places that you don’t really want anyone to see or even know about. Allow the knowledge of the greatness of your God to overpower your own shortcomings. And, most of all – seek out His mercy in the sacrament of confession before Christmas this season.