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Forgive, and you will be forgiven... (Luke 6:37)
"In this Sacrament (Reconciliation)... you are freed from sin and from its ugly companion which is shame. Your burdens are lifted and you experience the joy of new life in Christ." --Pope John Paul II, St. Louis, Missouri
Shame is that yucky feeling we have when we know we have done something wrong--something that goes against what God wants us to do. The way to get rid of the burden of shame is to seek forgiveness and to live our life like Jesus did from now on. When we do that, joy is the feeling we have inside.
When is the last time you received the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Check with your parish to see when the Sacrament is offered this week. Plan on going to receive the Sacrament and experience the lifting of the burden of shame that the Holy Father speaks of.
Lord, help me to know that when I feel shame it is because I have done something against your will. Help me to forgive others and to ask for forgiveness of others when I do wrong. Fill me with the feeling of joy.
Pope John Paul II was nearly killed by an assassin in 1981. Pope John Paul II, instead of harboring a lot of hatred towards his would-be killer, went to the prison where the assassin was being held and forgave him.
My Dear Young Friends: Pope John Paul II Speaks to Youth on Life, Love, and Courage
Copyright © 2002 -- Reprinted with permission of the editor, John M. Vitek.
My Dear Young Friends, a collection of fifty-two weekly reflections on living in the Spirit, invites young people to read and act on Pope John Paul II's inspiring addresses to young people gathered at annual World Youth Day celebrations. Please visit www.smp.org for more information from the publisher, Saint Mary's Press.