“Father, I stole some bubble gum...I said a few curse words...” Being only eight years old and knowing nothing about Confession, the one thing I did know was I needed sins! I figured bubble gum theft from my brother and curse words would do the trick.
For any young Catholic, First Confession can be a frightful experience. Imagine at the tender young age of eight walking into a small dimly lit room all by yourself with not a person in sight. I had to bear my soul to a screen. Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I expressed my sins with gravity. The priest seemed like he had heard these before and didn’t seem too concerned. I was relieved. He gave me penance. Success! Or so I thought.
When I exited the confessional, I noticed my mother who was waiting for me looked shocked. Her jaw was on the floor. “Philip!” she exclaimed, “the next time you give your confession you must be more quiet. Your sins were heard all throughout the church!” Oh, no! I thought it was supposed to be a private affair. Because of the screen, I wasn’t sure if the priest could hear me so I loudly broadcasted my sins for all to hear! Oops.
Joking aside, for many of us, the image of God we grew-up with conjures more thoughts of judgment and condemnation than of loving acceptance.
Paramhansa Yogananda said, “The Mother is closer than the Father.” No matter what you do, She still loves you. She won’t judge you. No matter who you are, She’s your friend. She’s on your side and will always forgive you.
We all long for a God who loves us exactly as we are, who doesn’t judge us but rather helps and encourages us to achieve our highest potential.
May you feel the love of Divine Mother awakening in your heart of hearts. And may you share Her blessings with everyone you meet and with the entire world, which is in such dire need of Her mercy and compassion. As Yogananda often prayed: “Divine Mother, may Thy love shine forever on the sanctuary of our devotion, and may we be able to awaken Thy love in all hearts.”
Narayan & Dharmadevi