Turn away your face from my sins, blot out all my guilt. A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit Psalm 51
When discerning about religious life it is essential to look at yourself and where you have been in your life. My last blog posed the question of who loved you immensely and in some way introduced you to the intimate love of God as reflected in Psalm 139. Today I look at Psalm 51, another passage I suggest for discerning about your personal history.
Psalm 51 is powerful because it recalls the loving, forgiving and nurturing God. It portrays our lives in the hands of a gentle, forgiving God who accepts our imperfections. None of us is perfect, of course. How well we accept our imperfections or failings is important. I tend to believe this is the journey of our life – knowing, accepting, changing and living with our imperfections. At least for me this is true.
Psalm 51 is quite personal. The author recalls their many ‘offenses’ and ‘ sins’ which ’causes much guilt. How true a human experience is this!! The author also acknowledges their behavior is not as God wants. We all have our times of feeling guilt as a result of something we did or didn’t do. Again, that is our human condition. However, the Psalmist reminds us that we need to lay those ‘sins’ or ‘offenses’ in the hands of God and pray for forgiveness and to seek God to ‘blot out my offenses and cleanse me from my guilt’.
The truth is that we know a God who does this. A God who can ‘create a clean heart in me’ and ‘renew my Spirit’. Jesus is that power of forgiveness and understanding and healing. Nothing is too much for Him to handle if it comes from a sincere heart. It is important, in my opinion, to remember this in your discernment. No matter where we have traveled, no matter what has happened in our lives – we can be made worthy by God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Don’t let your past stop your future!! we all have our stories and experienes that bring us to this very moment..and made us who we are right now.
Religious life is not about your past but about giving your future to a life centered in God and Jesus Christ. It doesn’t have to be an obstacle. Not one of us is perfect – God knows our hearts and renews our Spirit. Trust in God.