by M. J. Joachim
Begin by praying one Our Father and one Hail Mary.
Eternal Father, accept as worthy, for the needs of the Holy Church and as atonement for the sins of all of mankind, the Precious Blood and Water which poured forth from he wound of Jesus’ Divine Heart. Be gracious and merciful toward us. Blood of Christ, the last precious content of His Holy Heart, wash me of all my and other’s guilt of sin. Water from the side of Christ, wash me clean of all punishments for sin and extinguish the flames of Purgatory for me and for all the Poor Souls. Amen.
Blood of Christ, wash sin away. Water cleanse all punishment.
Sin must be atoned. This is different from being acknowledged. It requires more than a simple apology. Reparation requires a willing effort, which ultimately requires sacrifice.
It’s sort of like making someone whitewash a building, after they get caught spray painting graffiti on it, or making someone do community service for littering. Repairing the wrong, not simply by admitting it is wrong, but by taking time to make it right.
While you can never undo what has been done, you can remedy the wrong by doing something right. Atonement is about consequences.
Time-out is a useful tool to help children diffuse an escalating situation. However, simply removing them from the situation, doesn’t atone for their actions when they’ve hurt someone. In conjunction with teaching children that certain behaviors aren’t acceptable, we need to give them tools to choose better behaviors in the future.
Adults also need tools to make atonement for poor decisions. We need opportunities to practice positive consequences for our negative behaviors. Moms who are at their wits end with teenagers may well need a time-out. However, they also need to spend quality family time with their kids – doing what they want to do, and at least pretending to enjoy it. Doing so on a regular basis opens up dialog with teens, and teens need to be able to talk to their parents.
It all sounds good in theory. Practicing these things is often difficult, even for those with the mildest of personalities.
People need each other. We need to overlook one another’s faults, own up for individual failures and wash clean the slate, more often than pointing the finger of blame at one another.
The Blood of Christ washes away sin. The water from His side cleanses us. This is our ultimate atonement for sin. It is the example we must follow. It is the goal we must attain. Faith without action is dead. If we just keep plugging away, working at it a little bit more every day, our faith will grow in the depths of our hearts, making it so much easier to share with others.
This is the last post in a series of St. Bridget Prayers on the Passion of Jesus. Thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope you enjoyed following these posts, as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you.
Thank you for visiting Being Catholic.
Until next time, I wish you every good thing.
Photo credit: Fra Angelico, Reproduction by the Yorck Project, GFDL/PD
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