Two weeks ago, I met a man who made a lasting impression on me. What struck me so deeply about this man was his unshakeable conviction that God loves everyone. He said,
[God] loves us in an intimate and personal way. He has a passionate love for each one of us.
God loves me? As you might, I wrestle with this idea, because I am imperfect, flawed, and wounded. At times, I experience pain, sickness, challenges and frustrations…and then I wonder, Does God really love me? Well, I’ve recently remembered the answer. All I had to do was go to Confession.
HOW I LEARNED ABOUT THE ‘DAILY DUMP’
When I recently walked into the Confessional “box,” the priest asked me how I was doing. My heart was very heavy with many things, so I cried, confessed my sins, and Father listened very patiently. He told me that—from my own words and disposition, he could see that I’d forgotten how much God loves me. For my penance, he wrote down some Scriptures on which I should reflect.
Then, he told me something I’d never heard before: Just like we have to go to the bathroom every day, we also need that spiritually! (I almost chuckled when he said this.) The truth is that our souls have to daily get rid of all the junk: the lies we have believed about ourselves, about others, and about God.
In other words, we need to take a daily ‘spiritual dump.’
THE THREE-STEP CHALLENGE
This made perfect sense to me. We can all get very down on ourselves (I’m such a failure, I’m no good, I’m worthless, Why aren’t I like her/him?) and we play the blame game toward others & God. What we need is a fresh start. Here’s how Father explained this process to me.
STEP ONE: Remember and affirm who you are in God’s eyes.
Dust off your Bible, open it up, and write down the Scriptures that especially speak about God’s love for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this process. Here’s what Father recommended to me:
- 1 John 3:1-3
- Romans 8:1
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Galatians 2:19b-20
- Psalm 23:4
Then, Father recommended I write my own “litany” of reminders about who I am in God’s eyes. For example: I am a new creation. I am a daughter of God. I am God’s beloved child. I am desired by the King of Heaven. I am a precious temple of the Holy Spirit. I am redeemed by Christ’s cross…(etc.) Base your “litany” on the Scriptures you find.
Every day, begin your ‘Daily Dump’ by praying this litany. Give thanks to God for His love and goodness!
STEP TWO: Examine your conscience.
After declaring who you are in God, reflect back on your day: When were the times that I lived up to this litany? When were the times that I failed?
STEP THREE: Repent, reject, and praise.
Repent of your sins and failures — these are the times you failed to live as God’s beloved child, temple of the Holy Spirit, etc. Ask God for his mercy.
Then, the dump: Reject in Jesus’ name the evil and lies which have led you into sin. For example: “In the name of Jesus Christ, I reject the lie that I am a failure. In the name of Jesus Christ, I reject the lie that [Person’s Name] is lesser than me. In the name of Jesus Christ, I reject the lie that [Person’s Name] is the object of my lust. In the name of Jesus Christ, I reject the lie that I do not have time for prayer… (etc.)”
Finally, say a few words of thanks and praise to God — maybe pray the “Glory Be” and say, “Thank you, Lord! I love you. Help me to live for you.”
GET GUARANTEED RELIEF
While this daily process takes only a few minutes and helps us combat sin, there’s a place where we can get guaranteed relief.
Both outhouses and confessionals are awkward little boxes where we dump the junk that’s weighing us down. Neither box looks particularly appealing! But confessionals are unique; if we enter them sincerely willing to give all the grime to God, we’ll get guaranteed relief.
Yep, confessing our sins and failures can be terribly embarrassing. But we often forget that Confession is not merely confessing sins. It is a sacrament — tailor-made by God, to give us new life! Humbling ourselves and admitting our failures in Confession, we slowly conquer our pride — and God gives us sacramental grace to become stronger against temptation. Through the priest, he listens to us, speaks to us, forgives us, fills us with his love, and unites us to himself. Don’t wait any longer — go to Jesus in the Sacrament of Confession!
Whoever confesses his sins … is already working with God. God indicts your sins; if you also indict them, you are joined with God. Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: when you hear “man” — this is what God has made; when you hear “sinner” — this is what man himself has made. Destroy what you have made, so that God may save what he has made. … The beginning of good works is the confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light. (Saint Augustine)