The gradual journey into freedom from that death dealing prison goes lock step, goes hand in hand with the experience of being loved with a love that is unconditioned, unlimited, and unrestricted love. May all who read this be the recipients of such an awe-full vivifying life enhancing gift. This is a gift that cannot be earned. We cannot somehow deserve this gift. We definitely cannot qualify for such a gift. Because it is a gift and it is always freely bestowed. We, however must ask for the grace to love ourselves enough to say a continual "Yes" to what is offered. It is dawning on me that this mysterious gifting process has been an essential part of my slog, my trudge, my journey. For new beginnings, I was gifted with a new kind of confessor. A fellow Irish priest who was kindness, itself. As I began to trust and grow in the acceptance of what was offered, I slowly came alive to life. Life was not about mere existing it was about the possibility of there being heaven on earth. I was so familiar with hell on earth, what a gift to receive that there is heaven on earth as well. Where I choose to dwell is my every moment to moment decision, as it is yours as well. I pray, as I encourage you to pray for the grace to choose heaven over hell, life over death in each and every moment that has been gifted to us. "O god help me to love Joe in the same way that You love him." "God help me not to screw this up." Name : "My encounter with life saving love." How does that fit?
My journey into the acceptance of mercy-full love, transforming love of my personal Prodigal Father was, as I see it now, went hand in hand with the evolution of my understanding of sacrament and sacramentality. It was grounded into me that a "sacrament" was instituted by Christ to give "grace" and rightly so. Then with the advent of The Second Vatican Council there was an evolution in the understanding of what happens when we receive a Ritual Sacrament of the Catholic church. From all my readings of an evolving theology, and my own experience celebrating the ritual Sacraments, I understand that something dynamic, vitalizing happens with the reception of each Sacrament.