Redeemed

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the blood of Christ;
all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!
‘Father, the atheists?’
Even the atheists. Everyone!”
~ Pope Francis ~

My Sicilian grandmother was born in 1898 and was way ahead of her time.  I don’t remember how old I was when she stopped going to church, but I was concerned she wasn’t going to go to heaven.  When I asked her, she told me in her broken English: “I good. I not go to hell because I no go to church.  You see, my heart is full of love for God, Jesus, and the Blessed Mother.  Plus, ya know, the Mafia goes to church.  Hmpf.”

My father, who was born Irish Catholic, never entered the church when I was little.  Well, that’s not totally true – weddings and baptisms were the exception – plus, he was our parish’s maintenance man.  As a foster child, he had experienced an array of religions growing up.  As an adult, he believed that his relationship with the Lord was just that, a relationship between him and the Lord.

Today, I don’t frequent the church.  I miss it at times.  It is where I remember the most about my Mom and how she influenced my spiritual path.  I grew up Catholic, and ended up exploring every non-denominational church in the area of my young adulthood.  I returned to the Catholic church because I found no perfect church.  I grew to believe that it didn’t matter what building I celebrated in as long as my heart was with God.

Back to my little Grandma.  When I mentioned that she was ahead of her time, I meant it.  I believe that she would have truly loved the teachings of Pope Francis.  She believed that God loved everyone.  He did not discriminate.  He knew everyone’s heart.  She believed that a person’s heart and actions were more important than whether or not they entered into a certain building to pray.

I talked to my priest about it.  We joke every holiday.  When I go up to communion, he whispers, “nice to see you”.  My reply usually is “you, too.  The walls and the altar shook upon my arrival.  Did you feel it?”  He knows that I carry a wee bit of guilt over not attending Mass every week.  Yet, he always seems to reassure me that God hears my prayers and knows my heart wherever I worship Him.  I’ve been redeemed.

When I heard Big Daddy Weave sing “Redeemed”, there was a tweak in my heart. It was if God’s hand stitched an open wound. Holy Days are upon us and the season of Lent is drawing to a close.  I have attached Big Daddy Weave’s video below.  I hope that it blesses you as much as it has blessed me.  There is no greater love than God’s love.  Remember even in the hardest of times, we have been redeemed.

Blessings!

 

Seems like all I can see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight that’s already been won”
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
And wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed
I’m redeemed
All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember oh God, You’re not done with me yet
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
And wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
And wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
And wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
Oh God I’m not who I used to be
Jesus I’m not who I used to be
‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed

Songwriters: BENJI COWART, MICHAEL WEAVER, MICHAEL DAVID WEAVER
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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