Update: Just a quick update before I move on to what I want to share with you today. My grandma is still alive. She’s not eating or drinking and her kidneys continue to fail. I can’t imagine this will go on much longer. I continue to pray that these last moments with grandma are ones that create precious memories that last a life time. Thank you again for your prayers.
Now on to what I want to share with you…
I am participating in a book discussion group with two close friends of mine. The book we are discussing is The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. It is a wonderfully rich book talking about God’s amazing grace for each one of us. It is a book I read a number of years ago, but it has been great to dive into it again and discuss it.
Yesterday we read a chapter that largely dealt with our response to this awesome grace. As he is talking about responding to God’s grace with trust, Manning shares the following story:
Four years ago in a large city in the far West, rumors spread that a certain Catholic woman was having visions of Jesus. The reports reached the archbishop. He decided to check her out. There is always a fine line between authentic mystic and the lunatic fringe.
"Is it true, m’am, that you have visions of Jesus?" asked the cleric. "Yes", the woman replied simply. "Well, the next time you have a vision, I want you to ask Jesus to tell you the sins that I confessed in my last confession." The woman was stunned. "Did I hear you right, bishop? You actually want me to ask Jesus to tell me the sins of your past?"
"Exactly. Please call me if anything happens."
Ten days later the woman notified her spiritual leader of a recent apparition. "Please come", she said.
Within the hour the archbishop arrived. "You just told me on the telephone that you actually had a vision of Jesus. Did you do what I asked?"
"Yes, bishop, I asked Jesus to tell me the sins you confessed in your last confession."
The bishop leaned forward with anticipation. His eyes narrowed. "What did Jesus say?"
She took his hands and gazed deep into his eyes. "Bishop," she said, "these are his exact words: ‘I CAN’T REMEMBER."
Bennan Manning continues: "Christianity happens when men and women accept with unwavering trust that their sins have not only been forgiven but forgotten, washed away in the blood of the Lamb"
What an excellent reminder of this awesome love, grace and forgiveness of this amazing God we have. Not only does God forgive us our sins, but God forgets them. We forgive each other, but we never truly forget. And because we never forget, when a person continues to sin against us it can get harder and harder to forgive them. But God does not have that problem. And thank God for that.
Praise be to God…ALWAYS and forever…Amen!