How is your relationship with Jesus going? Are you in need for a spiritual renewal? Is impurity getting in the way of growing closer to Jesus?
Struggling with impurity became a huge obstacle for me when I tried to make God the centre of my life. I would fall into temptation, then feel horrible about myself, turn to God to say sorry, then go to confession and promise that I would not do it again, only to find myself falling into the same sin the next day, and the shame cycle of sin started all over again. I caught myself in that shame cycle over and over again… to the point where I was starting to lose hope.
Does that sound familiar?
This is what I learnt over the years: sin doesn’t have to be an obstacle.
Don’t get me wrong… Sin is always going to be wrong. The fact I am trying to put across is that sin does not define our relationship with Christ! As humans we are going to be prone to sin, because of our flawed nature. But no matter how grave the sin, no matter how often we may sin, it will never stop Jesus from loving us and desiring to give us His Love and Mercy.
If you get caught in that shame cycle, God gives you an opportunity to start anew every single moment, so we can receive Jesus into our lives again and again. We have been given so many gifts we can use to renew our spiritual journeys daily. These are four of the ways you can receive Jesus into your own life right at this moment, even when you are struggling with impurity:
Get to know Jesus through the Gospels
This is the thing: how can you receive someone that you don’t even know? You wouldn’t be starting a relationship with a total stranger! That is why it is such a blessing that the apostles left the Gospels with their account of Jesus’ life and ministry, their account of His Passion, death and Resurrection. You get to know how Jesus loved throughout His life, how He served with compassion, how He healed through His Mercy. Reading the Gospels opens our minds and hearts to realise the immensity of God’s Merciful Love for us.
Go to confession
Yes, I mentioned confession as part of the shame cycle. But if you realised how great a gift confession was then you would not take it for granted! When I was in high school, I honestly did not like the fact that I had to go to confession over and over again. But as I grew older and got to know Jesus more, I started seeing the beauty of that sacrament, the gift Jesus was giving all of us. Confession is actually Jesus’ gift to the world to give us the opportunity to begin again and again and again.
Through the sacrament of confession, we are able to reconcile our relationship with Jesus by admitting our weakness, seeking forgiveness from Him through the priest and receiving His Mercy. It is honestly really hard to break the habit of sin, especially when it comes to impurity. But even when you struggle with the same sins, confession is there, as Jesus’ outlet to let you know that He knows your weakness, that He forgives you and that, even through your weakness, He still wants to be part of your life.
During the mass we celebrate the Eucharist, and if you understand what the Eucharist really is, then you will know that it is the commemoration of the Last Supper, the sacrament where we relive Christ’s offering of His life for our Salvation. An old tendency of mine was to believe that I was not worthy to go to mass because of how impure I was. I believed that by not attending mass I would be paying respect to God’s greatness. But doing so actually does the total opposite! I was completely rejecting His love for me!
Christ gave His own life for love of us, despite our flawed nature, and by attending the mass we are giving thanks to Jesus Christ for the great sacrifice He made for the sake of our sins. By celebrating the Eucharist and we are accepting and receiving Jesus’s act of love for us. That is what Jesus wants: for us to receive His unconditional and merciful love in the midst of our struggle with impurity.
Persevere in prayer
When we continuously fall over from our lives of virtue we may think that we have two choices: either to hide away from God – like Adam and Eve did when they disobeyed God in the garden of Eden – or to give up on our struggle. But do you know there is a third option? That third option is perseverance to continue on pursuing that relationship with Christ despite our failures and weaknesses.
In the past I would find myself discouraged whenever I committed a sin, and totally left my prayer life on the side until one or two weeks later. But to receive Jesus into our lives we need to continue that conversation with Him. That conversation happens through prayer.
It doesn’t scare Jesus off that you struggle with impurity! On the contrary, when you find yourself in difficulty, that is the time when He wants to be the closest to you, so to help you carry your burden. So allow Jesus to enter your life by reading the Gospels, receiving His mercy through the sacrament of confession, celebrating mass and persevering in constant prayer with Him. Little by little, you will realise that through that perseverance He is giving you little bits of grace for you to slowly overcome your struggle.