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Monday, June 18, 2012

Pecos, New Mexico 2012: Mercy Undeserving

This past weekend I went on a mission trip to Pecos, New Mexico to visit the Benedictine Monks. It was a 4 day retreat for the Lifeteen and it went pretty well. We learned a lot about the silence and how it is where our souls are at their best ability in finding Christ. We learned how in Silence, really the only thing keeping ourselves from Christ, is ultimately ourselves. We worked there at the Monastery voluntering to clean up some of their fields, buildings and gardens. It was a great time off, out of the world, and into our hearts to slow us down for self examination. For me it was rejuvenating, to serve once again, what I, what we are called to do.
Before the trip, I knew I had to make it to confession just so that I would be in the right state of mind when I went. So I went, and nothing really changed for me. Deep down inside I wanted to feel like I was forgiven, but honestly, I felt like I was just the same as when I walked in the confessional. I doubted God's mercy, and his forgiveness. Throughout the trip I tried to work when it was time to work, eat when it was time to eat, and pray when it was time to pray. In reality, it is a very hard thing to do, just to keep a balance of life is hard and I fail at it every single day. The first night we had confessions again, and I felt the need to go and just re-examine myself one more time before I went. So I did, and for the second time, I doubted again the mercy that God grants us, I doubted his presence and his forgiveness. But just like the last time, I was putting it inside of my head that I was forgiven and still somehow didn't feel like it. The next night we had the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, I prayed, everybody prayed, and I remember feeling so immersed, so focused on the Eucharist that no matter how hard I tried, I could not look away, I was so attracted and so relieved that at that instant, I felt the inner presence and mercy that God had given me. It was like a strike of a match, that was all there, It just needed that initiative to spark the flame. When the retreat was over, we got our rocks and through Divine Providence, I got the word 'Mercy' written on mine.. I think my devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary helped me understand and see that, without her intercession I don't think I would have been revealed the true Mercy that God offers for us. It helped me realize that no matter how useless you feel, no matter how unworthy you feel, God still finds a way to forgive us, no matter how much we done against him, no matter how many times we have turned our backs on him he still finds a way to call us back and pour that undeserving mercy into our hearts.
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