Sometimes when we go for mass, we know in our heads that it is an intimate encounter with God. But our hearts don’t feel that way. We feel distant and bland, because it’s just another ritual that we go through, despite being in the presence of the Eucharist.
It’s curious – or maybe apt – because when I sin, it’s the exact opposite. I feel closer to God because I run back to him in shame and guilt and reflect more deeply on his mercy. Yet I know that I’m further away from him (at least before I’ve received confession) because sin has broken the relationship. But I guess this is where the idea that there is both a subjective and objective element in every personal relationship.
It’s not an easy thing – to resist the temptation of just going up to receive communion (the irony~). To just sit there basking in the awareness that everyone that knows me will be wondering what mortal sin I had committed such that I could not receive the Eucharist. Rather, it’s easy to convince myself that my relationship with God has been mended, that my sin is simply venial. It’s easy to see past the objective intimacy of the mass, to focus on the subjective wellbeing of communicating with Jesus, to discard the hassle of going for confession and to cower from the shame of not going up for communion.
It’s easy to commit sacrilege.
But [1 Cor 10:13] No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
And although [Rom 3:23] all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;
[1 Jn 2:1] if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
And so [1 Jn 1:9] If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Clean hands. Pure heart. Nods.