Grace Notes

Picture of Grace Jervis
by Grace Jervis - Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 3:10 PM

Dear Students/Colleagues,

Grace and peace be with you! I thought it would be great to share with you, something that has been occupying my heart and mind for a while and about which I have committed to thoroughly informing myself so that I can better understand and share such understanding, in more than a theoretical way. I am speaking about the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Some of you may have done a double take at the word since it is not one of the seven we speak about let alone engage with any regularity. I have been pondering the need for more intentional and focused education about the efficacy of this sacrament in the face of the sad reality of unforgiveness in our society, world and yes...the church!

It seems to me that a significant part of the reason many of us are unable to move on from places of hurt and pain that hold us captive, so to speak, is inability (largely unacknowledged) to forgive others and ourselves and as a consequence, too many relationships remain superficial at best; even that with our Lord Jesus.

What is abundantly clear, as I embark on this journey towards greater understanding, is that without a full embrace of the essential nature of this sacrament to a deepening relationship with God in Christ, mediated by the Holy Spirit, such designations as... community of the redeeed and body of christ to name a few, will remain words we utter and images we are even able to explain but alas, never fully actualize.

To aid my journey, I am reading Reconciliation: Preparing for Confession in the Episcopal Church by Martin L. Smith.  I hope to use this space to share with you further on this and other topics and welcome your comments and insights. Additionally, if you are able to procure this book for yourself then let's read it together. I am convinced that as we wrestle with the demands and blessings that inhere in this very important yet under utilized sacrament, we will glean much food for thought and action, as we seek to be reconciled to God and to walk in love (cf. Ephesians 5: 1,2).



Picture of Carol Haughton
Re: Reconciliation
by Carol Haughton - Thursday, 1 December 2016, 3:07 PM

Canon Grace,

As I read your post, the section that spoke to me is "many of us are unable to move from places of pain and hurt".  In this position we are held captive because our minds are so fixed on our pains, it dims our eyes, eyes of the soul and repentance at this point is not an option.  Without repentance there will be no reconciliation.

We have to recognize where we have erred and confess our sins. If  someone else has wronged us, we need to pray about it.  Through prayer we bare our souls to God, in essence that is confession.  When confession takes place, a healthy climate comes into being which enables us to recognize our wrong and the wrongs of others through eyes of compassion, ultimately this should lead to repentance a doorway for reconciliation.