January 12, 2016

Confession and the Year of Mercy

Confession and the Year of Mercy

On Monday’s show I featured a new special bakery doing good work in Bethlehem [Thank you, Angela Sealana, for the tip!], Ordinary Time, confession and the Year of Mercy. In particular I share with you an excellent article by Elizabeth Foss entitled Year of Mercy: Start with Yourself. Love this! I very much needed to read it.

Finally, I share with you my secret weapon that makes every Monday a happy Monday for me. All this and more on The Catholic Foodie Show… where food meets faith.


Click the Play button below to listen to the show. You can always right-click and save-as to download the show for listening later.

The Bread of Bethlehem

Great work here… supporting Christians in the Holy Land and helping to keep them there. Check out the video to see a unique panettone… one that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

Memorable Confessions

The ladies of The Gist on CatholicTV share a few insights into their most memorable confessions. On the show, I chime in, too, and share with you thoughts of my first confession… and confession in general. Listen to Danielle Bean, Rachel Balducci and Carolee McGrath share their experiences:

Year of Mercy: Start with Yourself

I’m a perfectionist. I am my own worst enemy. There is no one harder on me than me.

And although striving after spiritual perfection can be a good thing, perfectionism is a problem. It’s a stumbling block.

As I mention on the show, I have come to realize over the years that when I have no patience with my children or my wife, or when I find that I am meting out punishment to my kids that goes way beyond what is called for in a particular situation, I’m not really upset with my kids (or my spouse, or my friends, or some random internet troll or politician). I’m upset with myself for failing to meet some unrealistic standard. A standard that I set up in the first place. I take the anger directed at myself and inflict it on everyone around me.

That’s not good.

I’ll tell you that I have been told many times in confession that I need to be gentle on myself. That I need to forgive myself. To allow myself to be human, to make mistakes. That in forgiving myself, I am opening myself up so that I can accept the forgiveness of God. Instead of focusing on how I can treat others around me in a better way, a more charitable way, I’m being counseled to be gentle with myself. Why? It’s a lot like the oxygen masks in an airplane. If the cabin loses pressure and the oxygen masks fall in front of you and your children, what are we always told to do? Put your mask on first. Then put masks on your children.

Being merciful to myself enables me to be merciful to others… particularly those who are closest to me. I do not find this easy, which is why I was so grateful to run across this article by Elizabeth Foss. Below is a snippet to whet your appetite. You can find the full article here: Year of Mercy: Start with Yourself.

But if the year just passed has been a bit of a struggle, hope meets fear at the turn of the year and they wrestle for the vision that will shape the next 366 days (this year has a lovely grace day bonus). Fear threatens it all. What if this year is no different from last year? What if I am forever stuck in this place of discouragement? What if we can’t do better?

Cease striving. He’s God. (Ps 46:10) He can make all things new. Lean in and trust Him. All those things you hope for this new year? All the ways you want it to be better than last year? Put them at the foot of the cross. Trust Him with them. Then, resolve to live anew in His mercy.

Mercy makes all the difference.

We stand before the threshold of a new calendar year, having just thrown open the jubilee doors and stepped into the Year of Mercy. This is the year the church has set aside to wash us in compassion. This is the year the church has set aside for us to do the works of mercy that bring relief to the souls and bodies of our neighbors. Mercy is like oxygen, though. You can’t extend it to others without first being merciful to yourself. None of those resolutions, none of your fondest wishes for this year to be different stand a chance unless and until you live mercy inside your own skin.

Resources for the Year of Mercy

  1. 7 Secrets of Confession by Vinny Flynn
  2. 7 Secrets of Mercy by Vinny Flynn
  3. Divine Mercy daily email list… by the Marian Fathers
  4. The Gaze of Mercy by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa
  5. Divine Mercy Explained by Fr. Michael Gaitley
  6. The Second Greatest Story Ever Told by Fr. Michael Gaitley
  7. Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly