All of us regret things we have said,
All of us regret times we have acted in anger, in selfishness,
All of us regret the things we could have said or done, but didn’t.
When our regrets way heavy on our heart
And Satan is quick to condemn us
To heap guilt upon us…
Even as we strive to love God with all our heart.
I write this for the thousands of devoted, loving and imperfect Catholic moms and dads who (like me) have experienced struggles in their marriages and families – despite their best efforts and their endless prayers.
I write this to remind ourselves of the words of Mother Teresa:
“God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful.”
And to keep in mind:
There is no more perfect, no more loving parent or spouse than God the Father — and just look and see how many of His Children and His loved ones have rejected Him and gone astray. This tells us that we cannot control others. Nor can we undo the mistakes of the past. But our God is all-powerful! He has destroyed the power of sin and death for all who are repentant! And He can transform our lives into lives of glory when we acknowledge our sin and call on Him in faith and love.
So, why are we cast down in shame and regret? Instead, God calls us to hope in Him, assured that:
“All things work together for good for those who love God.” Romans 8:28
As well as the words of St. John Paul II:
“We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures. We are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son…”
I share with you a prayer that came to me after years of praying on these things in Mass, with Scripture and in Adoration.
Help me to be gentle of heart
Gentle with myself
Help me to let go of perfectionism,
Stress, oppressive guilt and pressure that I place upon myself
To change things that I have no control over
May these tendencies have no part of my thoughts, words, emotions or actions…my life!
Jesus and the Holy Spirit,
Help me to
Know and believe, accept and receive
The Father’s love.
The Father’s love
His arms enfolding me
I love you.
You are enough.
You are pleasing to me.
Your desire is pleasing to me.
I don’t expect perfection,
Only the desire to love
Only openness to receive my love
Receive and know My Love for you
I AM not displeased
I AM here enfolding you [your marriage and children]
I AM in Control
Have no fear
Be at peace
Be at rest
Allow me to love you
Allow me to always forgive you
I AM Love itself
I do not seek to judge you but save you
And bring you and your children into My embrace
My inner life
of Love, Joy, Power and Glory Unspeakable.
I AM forgiveness and Mercy
I AM All-Powerful and I write straight with crooked lines
Be at peace
All is well
I AM at Work in your children [and spouse]
I can do all things
Fear is useless
What is needed is trust
Trust in my Fatherly care
That will never yell at or deride you
Or cause you to fear Me
I AM perfect justice
But ALL-LOVE with those
who strive to live close to me.
I AM with you!
I love you!
You are beautifully and wonderfully made
Do not shirk back
In fear and trembling
I AM your Advocate
Your Guardian and Refuge
My LOVE is your refuge
More enfolding than the most loving arms of any parent on earth.
I AM your Father
And you are mine
Dearer to me than all the rest
Dearer as ALL are dearer to me as if none other exists—
As I have no favorites
But ALL are perfectly dear
LIVE IN MY LOVE
Do not be afraid!
I AM with you
I hold you close and
Nothing can happen outside of My Will!
Cease striving for control
Do your best without striving endlessly
And be at peace
It brings Me much joy
For you to glory in My Love
And the beauty of My creation.”
Even in our sins and failures, can we trust in the Father’s love for us?
Copyright Janet Moore 2015. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by DamiWurtz (2014) via Pixabay, CCo Public Domain.