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Penance Prayer

God is my God, and I am His daughter.

This prayer was given to me to pray as penance after one of my confessions. The priest directed me to ponder and pray this for as long as I chose. It’s been a while, and I’m still chewing on it!

This penance-prayer has been so fruitful in many seasons of my life.

Several years ago, as part of a spiritual formation program, I began entering into a deeper relationship with God the Father. During this time, I noticed being drawn deeply into the beauty of nature. Ever watchful for these experiences, creation spoke to me in my heart. Oceans and streams, sunshine and shadow, growth and decay, animals big and small, all bespoke the love of a father for his children. The more I gathered these experiences, the greater my wonder and gratitude grew. More clearly than before, I understood – God is my God, and I am His daughter.

In the midst of waiting, that all too familiar condition of an active Christian’s life, believing in unanswered prayers can be tempting. Hanging on to hope after months (or years!) seems like something only the saints can do! During a particularly hard stretch of waiting, instead of continuing to ask for my petition, I prayed my penance-prayer.

Two things happened.

First, when discouragement threatened, I was reminded that He knows. He cares about what I need and want – my trust grew. Second, when frustration threatened, I was reminded that He knows! His ways are best – my humility grew. More clearly than before, I understood – God is my God, and I am His daughter.

Most of us realize that people aren’t perfect and don’t expect them to be. However, the wounds caused by human frailty, rejection, neglect, or abuse, especially by those who should love us the most, can seem immeasurable, unbearable and permanent.

When even the thought of forgiving and healing hurts, when the wounds threaten to dominate everything, when the enemy taunts with memories and imagination, when fear and anger rear their ugly heads, it’s in these most fragile moments that this penance-prayer shattered each of my chains.

More clearly than before, I understood – God is my God, and I am His daughter.

Belonging, growing and changing, forgiving and healing are some of the gifts from a loving God to his children.  Ultimately, to be loved by Love so as to love as Love is what it’s all about.

Enter more deeply into Love today. God is your God, and you are His daughter.

During this Lent, go to your Father.

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Sharon Rockers

Sharon is wife to a happy husband and homeschooling mom of five fabulous kids.

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