I said: “My God, I am too ashamed and confounded to raise my face to you,
O my God, for our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads
and our guilt reaches up to heaven.
From the time of our fathers even to this day
great has been our guilt,
and for our wicked deeds we have been delivered up,
we and our kings and our priests,
to the will of the kings of foreign lands,
to the sword, to captivity, to pillage, and to disgrace,
as is the case today.” (Ezr 9:6-7)
I had a professor in the major seminary who, whenever any student said that he was sorry, would say, “Don’t be so Irish!”
When we asked him what he meant by that, he said that most of the Irish people that he knew operated on a “collective guilt” and appeared to apologize for everything.
He said that if they did nothing but apologize, they would never have an opportunity to look ahead and start anew.
I think we all get to that point at some time or another in our lives. We get to the point where our sins overwhelm us and we feel “too ashamed and confounded” to raise our faces to God. We begin to think that we are unlovable and not able to be saved.
Nothing could be further from the truth, however.
God does love us.
And He has already saved us through the death and resurrection of His Son.
If He has done all of that for us, why would we think that He would not look upon us with kindness and mercy.
Do we do things that we should not do? Yes.
Should we wallow in the guilt of our sinfulness so that we fail to look to the Lord? Absolutely not!
God is waiting to hear from us.
FAITH ACTION: Making a good examination of conscience, recount your sins and then hand them over to the Lord as you ask for forgiveness. Make a good act of contrition and trust in His saving love. If necessary, plan on going to confession soon.