Last night Jesus gave me a very beautiful message about patience with sinners and indeed patience with the first sinner in our lives…ourselves.
Since becoming Catholic one thing I’ve struggled with more than any other has been the pressure to be perfectly pure in the area of my sexuality and the accusation and condemnation if I wasn’t.
Yet this pressure never came from Jesus but it did come from priests.
I remember being at a conference with Fr Bing where he told everyone that masturbation was a mortal sin. Immediately I though of all the sexual addicts that I’d worked with in Australia and the young people struggling with porn addictions and I was glad that they weren’t there.
The Jesus I know understands our wounds and pasts and takes all that into account especially in the area of sexual addictions or other addictions.
Pressuring people will only lead to fear, shame, depression and eventually just giving up.
On another occasion I was on the bus in Italy with a Irish priest and his mother! Some of you will know who she is!
In between the three hundred rosaries she took a quick breath (in case Satan got in if we chatted) and told us of the scandalous story of a local priest going in and having tea with a young couple living in sin!
What was she expecting the priest to do? Hose them down?
These judgement and pressuring attitudes only drive people further from the church and didn’t Jesus eat with sinners?
And so today’s message from Jesus is a reminder of how he likes to do things and how he values the gradual change of heart rather than a rapid and meaningless change of outward appearances.
Do not worry my child. I too was hated and distrusted by so many for my radical love and hatred of religious hypocrisy which distanced and rejected the very people closest to the merciful heart of God.
My mercy my children sees beyond sins though they may be scarlet and sees the wounded and broken hearts behind them.
My mercy is patient and patiently and lovingly seduces sinners like a young man in pursuit of a beautiful woman.
My mercy sees beauty in sinners and thirsts to restore this beauty defiled by sin.
My apostles of love and mercy, you must be patient with sinners and not frighten them away with heavy burdens and religious rules.
You lack of patience is a sign of your lack of trust in my love and mercy for both yourselves and others.
You endeavour to clear away the visible sins such as lust while making such little effort with even greater sins such as pride and hypocrisy.
Do not frighten away my children in my name. Do not add wounds to their wounds and shame to their shame because on judgement day you will be held accountable for each one of these souls.
Instead I ask you to listen with your hearts and speak words of hope and encouragement. Your job is not to convert souls, it is to love souls and your love and prayers will save many souls even though they never converted on earth.
Only God sees the heart and He does not judge on outward appearances as you do.
Give thanks at all time for the gift of faith and conversion that you have received through no merit of your own and consider everyone that you meet to be just like you and say to yourself “in different circumstances I may be in the same situation as them and maybe worse”.
Only from this place of humility which little Therese found as she considered the life of Mary Magdalene can you truly help others.
Yes my children, learn to love with your hearts and count not on your good deeds for all is grace.“
This is indeed a very stern warning from Jesus not to judge and discourage others no matter how sinful or far from catholic perfection they may seem!
If it was as easy to stop sinning as turning off the light then I’m sure that we’d all be saints and so we must learn to love people and bring people closer to Jesus and trust in his mercy and in the gift of purgatory for the bits that don’t get purified on this side of the veil!
Off now to meet more filthy sinners at the gym!!