Wednesday, 5 September 2012

I am not worthy

As a parish priest, I encounter people from time to time who say to me that they "are not worthy to go to church."

The truth is that we have all done things in our lives that we are sorry for or that we need to be sorry for. We all make mistakes, and it is important that we do have some sense of guilt for harm that we cause to others and ourselves. But once we work through our guilt, do what we can do on our part for reconciliation, and seek to adjust and change, then we move forward with a new beginning.

Will we keep on making mistakes? Yes. But hopefully we are becoming more self aware in the process, and therefore becoming less judgemental of others. As we recognize our own need for understanding, compassion and forgiveness, then we should be developing a greater awareness of non-judgemental compassion towards others.

In other words, as I experience more and more the power of the Cross of Christ in my own life, I should be becoming a more forgiving person towards all others.

Some say "Because I make mistakes in my life, then I am not worthy to go to church." Not true.
Others say "Because the church is filled with people who make mistakes, I don't want to be part it." Shouldn't be true.

Because you are not perfect, you should be coming to church in order to experience the power and wonder of God's love and forgiveness. And as you become part of this healing process, you can become part of the reaching out to and the necessary healing of those around you.

Richard Rohr writes that "religion's main job is to reconnect us to the Whole, to ourselves, and to one another - and thus heal us." No matter what mistakes we've made in our lives, at a deeper level of consciousness, we are in fact not separate from God nor from one another.

You are worthy to come to church. The church needs you. The world needs a compassionate and non-judgemental Church.

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