Wednesday, 25 September 2013
horribly wrong – including, worst of all, the damage we have done to others – perhaps cannot be undone in the way we would like. But they have changed us from being the people who made those mistakes. There is a danger they have made us bitter, or filled us with self-hatred, but that is where the mistake really lies, and that can be undone.
We have to accept the past as over, and as a gift. Right now God is giving us our past, as it is, with all the mistakes we have made, mistakes that he permitted us to make, and saying, "Now go from here." He is with us in the here and now, and he can bring out of this situation a greater good than we can imagine. He wants us to arrive at heaven's gate expanded and with the maximum capacity to receive what he wants to give us: the knowledge and the love that he has to share with us. It is only in that way that he can make everything all right. It is only that final gift that heals the past completely; not by changing what happened but by making it part of an experience that has changed us, in the end for the better. The experience of misery, regret, resentment, fear, anger, hatred, and despair that we go through afterwards all form part of the furnace from which we finally emerge. That is what the sacrament of Confession is for. That furnace is also the Cross; it is part of what he went through on our behalf – the regrets of Peter, of Judas, and of all the sinners who crawl their way back, painfully, to the foot of that Cross, even at the last possible moment, to see the light shining even more brightly in the darkness.
Posted by Stratford Caldecott at 08:57