Grace to you!
In today’s reflection, I share a way of dealing with guilt and finding peace of soul.
In the epic drama of William Shakespeare, Macbeth, we read of Macbeth, the main character, who couldn’t handle the guilt of a bloodied soul and a bloodied hand. The torment for the evil (murder) he committed due to unbridled ambition was unbearable.
In the Gospel story of Luke 9:7-9, we also read of Herod the Tetrarch. News about Jesus Christ and the great works he was doing had reached his ears. He was perplexed as people suggested if John the Baptist, whom he had killed, had come back to life in the person of Jesus. He couldn't silence the mind. Guilt is hardly subdued. It rears its ugly head and speaks aloud in the midst of our cosmetic, external, and pretend solitude.
One common denominator for many who ply the route of hateful injustice is the unsettling reality that truth survives the brutality of hate or violent ambition against the innocent. Truth surges in the heart. It stirs the soul. It speaks even when it isn't heard. Often, one may sit on the truth, but it doesn't mean that the mind and the heart get the pass without repercussions. Evil catches up with the evildoer. The Blessed Lord would say that "those who live by the sword, die by the sword" (Mt 26:52). "What goes around comes around."
A word for somebody dealing with unresolved guilt may be appropriate here. Lay it down before whom healing is possible. Confess it to the person whose hands are of solace, whose heart is of love and whose judgment is of mercy and peace—Christ the Lord. God, who is generous, forgives, and heals.
The question, therefore, is how one could deal with guilt. Meet a psychologist? Good idea if the guilt is psychological. Much guilt, however, is spiritual and moral. Guilt is like smoke, indicating combustion inside the human heart due to spiritual or moral misconduct. Guilt breathes and breeds in unresolved injustice and/or lack of love.
See it as an indirect gift to find spiritual wholeness. Worrying about it and doing nothing to restore the peace wouldn't help.
So, begin by addressing the situation that has brought it upon you. If it is something that has to do with past injustice, restore what harm has been done. Practice more charity and be generous. Do some makeover. Correct what should be remedied. Mend ways. Ultimately, if necessary, as it is in many cases, confess to the victim.
Similarly, the good news is always here. God has provided in his Body, the Church, a powerful means of cleansing and restoration (see John 20:22-23). The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) heals from guilt. Confess to God, who heals.
By so doing, you won't need to carry the guilt anymore. You deserve better. Best if you lay it down at the feet of Christ, who heals and saves. Ask those who regularly confession; you would hear many testimonies of spiritual healing and grace of reconciliation. As they walk out of the confessional, hearing those words, "I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," they know for sure they are healed and forgiven. They return to their homes with divine peace, their hearts filled with joy.
Praying that our guilt is healed. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time: Hg 1:1-8; Lk 9:7-9]
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Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.