A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Just Put ‘Em in the Wash

Posted on: April 14, 2014

Recently I was watching the movie Leap Year again. In one scene, the female lead character, Anna, steps in a cow pie while wearing $600 shoes. And the male lead character, Declan, responds, “Just put ’em in the wash; they’ll be grand.”

Obviously, “the wash” isn’t the answer for some stains, like cow manure on $600 shoes, or melted crayon shoved in a pants pocket and exposed to the heat of the dryer, or dye in every colour of the rainbow transferred from black suede gloves to three or four white taekwon-do uniforms (the last two, alas, are examples from my treasure trove of laundry horror stories).

But when it comes to us and our sins, a good wash is just what we need, and just what David asks for in Psalm 51:2, 7*:

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

and cleanse me from my sin!

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

At my parish this week, someone returned to the Church after being away for many years, not wanting to spend any longer outside the Church. Returning to the Church involves celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation so that we can have a clean heart–a clean conscience–before God. I know that when I first celebrated Reconciliation, I thought how wonderful it was to hear that all my sins up to that point were forgiven!

As we begin Holy Week, we can ask God to give us a clean heart, as David did, so that we may fully experience the joy of the Easter miracle this weekend. We can spend more time in God’s presence at Eucharistic Adoration, in prayer at home, at confession, and at the various Holy Week services. And we don’t have to give up the spiritual disciplines we’ve added to our lives for Lent just because this season of the liturgical year is drawing to a close.

As we approach Easter, may we bring to God the sacrifice he asks for: a broken and contrite heart (see Psalm 51:17) and a spirit willing to be cleansed and guided.

(*Scripture quotes and reference taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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