The Confessions of the Joker

Confession2

That’s right… even the Joker is serious about the Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation! Have a listen to his conversion story!

Here’s the transcript:

Hi…

Most of you know me as the Joker. When Evan heard about my conversion, he contacted me and asked I could share my experience on Holy Smack. I said, I’d love to, but only if I could say whatever I wanted. He said okay. So here goes…

Last time you saw me, I wasn’t in a really good mood.
I killed people.
For fun.
I almost destroyed Gotham.
For fun.
And I tore down Gotham’s White Knight.
But her Dark Knight… oh, that Bat Man flipped my life around.
You see, while I was in prison, I was kept in isolation, and for good reason. I was insane.
And I never had any visitors. Except for one man.
He was a Catholic priest.
And he told me something I’ll never forget. In fact, I’m gonna tell you what he said, and I hope you’ll never forget it either:

You see, in confession, all your sins just… disappear.
You go into the confessional, and there’s the priest. Just sittin there. You can be anonymous to him, and he doesn’t care. You can tell him anything, even everything, and he doesn’t care. You think you’re sins are special? Original? Yeah… right… there was only one original sin, and Adam and Eve beat you to it long time ago…

Anyway, the priest can’t tell other people what you confess. What’s spoken in confession, really does stay ONLY in confession. He can’t tell your friends (if you have any), he can’t tell the police (yup, separation of Church and State at its best and original form), he can’t tell a recording device, he can’t tell another priest (not even the Pope!), and he can’t tell even your own sweet mother…

That’s called the seal of the confessional. And whatever you confess stays between you and Jesus. In fact, most priests even forget your sins as soon as you walk out the door. The Holy Spirit gives them a holy amnesia, otherwise, can you imagine living life knowing all the sleaze people do? It’d drive you crazy! Not to mention that confession can even get boring after you hear the same sin for the thousandth time… but don’t go out and try to impress a priest now! Trust me, that’s beside the point.

But in confession, you’re in hand to hand combat with the devil. Satan is a fiend. Worse than what I ever was. And he doesn’t want you there. He doesn’t want you anywhere near confession, because in confession, you’re really near the Lord. Confession is actually more powerful than exorcism! And in confession, you’re humbling yourself, and the devil is one prideful, stuck up jerk. And in confession, he’s hiding in the shadows of your past.

And the closer you get to Jesus, digging up your history of sins (and it might me from 5 years back, 20 years back, or maybe even just 20 minutes back), the stronger the light breaks in. Oh man… that light burns, like 10,000 UVA and UVB. And it obliterates the shadows. That’s when you can see the worst sins trying to get away from confession — they want to hide from being exposed. They first try to convince you that they’re no big deal, small fry, no more sins here, just move on. But keep going after them, and they get nasty. Then they try to convince you they’re too big for forgiveness, way too big to be rid of, way too much and you can’t handle it… you’ll be so embarassed by them.

Don’t listen to those lies. In fact, that’s when you know for sure this festering thing has to be purged. So grab it, and it’s black greasy tentacles will freak out. Like some leprous octopus. So drag it out into the light, spit it out in confession, and it’ll scream: “Let me go! Jesus can’t forgive you! You’re disgusting! Leave me alone!”

But that’s it’s last words. Because Lumen Christi — the light of Christ, that’s right, I know my Latin — His light sears and cuts that demon down, and it fizzles off like a fart in the wind. Nothing left. Just… gone.

That’s the power of the priest’s absolution: Christ working through the obedient and docile man, so he can pluck off and chop up the leeches that sucked on your soul. If you need to know how ugly sin is, just look up images of leeches and lampreys and pelican eels, and remember that sin is even uglier.

And now, why am I telling you this? Well because it worked for me.

I went to confession. And I confessed a sin that was festering in me since I was a little 10 year old boy. No matter how much a tried to stop, I just couldn’t keep clean. It haunted me, perverted me, and I lost control of my childhood. I was addicted; I became evil. But I didn’t want to stay this way.

So thank God. Because after that confession, that sin no longer had any control over me, and today, I’m free. Even in prison, my soul is free. I feel stronger and better today than I can ever remember!

And if it can work for me, it can work for you.

Now, all I need to do is try and talk like a normal person again… baby steps… baby steps…

God love you.

Happy to be Hated

Today is Good Friday.

Christians today around the world remember the scourging, suffering, crucifixion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, it is the day we murdered God, the day He let us kill Him.

There are many things we can discuss about this: why did God let us kill Him? how can God die? why would we do such a thing? etc…

But right now, I want to share why I think we call this infamous Friday good.

Doesn’t it seem ironic that we call this day good? It’s like calling September 11th Good Tuesday. Doesn’t it seem absurd? And doesn’t it seem even more absurd to be happy about it?

What do I mean? I mean it is a great thing, a happy thing to be hated by haters. It is a good thing to be hated by what I dub:

AntiCatholicKlub

Yes, this exists. Members of the Official Anti-Catholic Klub [OACK] include the KKK, the Nazis, and Communist Parties. There are other members too, like radical Islam, Satanic cults, militant atheists, and even some misguided Protestant denominations. All these groups are very different from one another, but they share one thing in common: they hate the Catholic Church.CatholicHaters

Why do they hate the Church? Because they want power they don’t have. They want power they can never have. They want to have a leader who leads forever. They want a leader who can create universes from scratch. They want a leader who is not only invulnerable and incorruptible, but immortal and invincible too. A leader who — even if he somehow gets killed — can resurrect Himself!

And we have that one-and-only leader in the Lord Jesus. So on this Friday twenty centuries ago, when hatred, death and sinners (you and me) cut down our Christ, we Christians call it a good day — because this day means we’re on the right side. We’re on the winning team.

We’re supposed to be hated by evil-doers. We’re supposed to be hated by the prideful, the envious, the wrathful. Because if they like us, if they call us friend… that means we’re not threatening to them, that means we are just one of them — part of their klub.

So don’t be afraid of being hated by the haters. It’s a good thing. But notice that if you hate them in return, you just joined their team…

So do what Jesus does.

Start today.

P.S. If you’ve never watched the Passion of the Christ, give it a look!

A Barefoot Lenten Journey

Holy Stomp!There’s that stereotype about ladies and their shoes. I’ve known of some who owned upwards to 50 pairs! Whereas I have had just four pairs in the last six years — and I’m still wearing them!

But then there’s my friend, Angel.

Angel just surrendered her shoes for the next 40 days of Lent 2014, and she forfeited them for some great prayer and fasting intentions. That means she’s going barefoot, and that means she’s going to have some very interesting experiences to share on her tumblr, like this:

Hi there! 🙂 So today is Day 2 of Lent. It’s March 6, 2014, I’m sitting in my 8 am college biology lecture, and my feet are freezing. Thinking back to how I got here, it was pretty much how all of my decisions are made: spur of the moment and really, really impulsive. I had been thinking for weeks about what to give up or add to my life for Lent and I kept drawing blanks. In previous years, I gave up things for the wrong reason. My older brother and I used to give up meat for Lent. While he had real reasons behind his fasting, I honestly just did it for the heck of it because it seemed fun. But this year, I knew I couldn’t do that again. First, because my brother isn’t around anymore to monitor the crap out of me. Second, because I was doing it for the wrong reasons. What’s the point of giving something up, if it has nothing to do with your relationship with God or improving your spiritual life?

So this year I gave up shoes. You’re probably thinking, “Angel, you’re an idiot.” And I won’t argue you there. But hear me out! This year’s theme is evangelical poverty. This past year I blew so much money on a lot of new shoes that I didn’t need. Meanwhile, there are people in the world who don’t even own one pair. And I can take something like that for granted. Do you realize how blessed we all are that I can give no second thought to putting on a pair of shoes? Giving up something that I use literally all day, every day, makes me reflect all day, every day. It reminds me to be thankful for what I have, to pray for those who are not as fortunate, and to not just abstain from sin, but to fully and truly convert my heart and mind as a follower of Jesus Christ.

So, blessed Lent everyone! Take some time out of your day to count your blessings, and thank God for what you’ve been fortunate enough to have and experience.

So please, don’t just read about Angel’s sacrifice here on HolySmack! Visit her humble little home on the world wide web: DownToMyToes.

Down To My Toes

Children of Dust

Don’t get me wrong — I love Christmas, and Easter, and Advent… but there’s a special love for Lent. I asked myself, “Why, Evan? Why do you love Lent? Lent’s so dreary, so deprivational, so austere…”Ash Wednesday

Well, I love Lent because it helps me live simpler, so that I may simply live! Lent helps me remember that I eat to live, and not live to eat. The hunger of fasting reminds me how mortal I am, that I need someone higher than myself to guide me, lead me. It puts my life in the proper perspective, and actually makes the little things in life more meaningful.Smiley Face with Ashes

And as a Catholic Christian, Lent (especially on Ash Wednesday) smacks me in the face, smears my brow with dust, reminds me that I am dust, and to dust I shall return… we are all mere children of dust.

Yet this is beautiful, because I don’t stop there. None of us stop there. Though all our possessions will return to dust, we don’t end there. Depending on our Faith in Christ, our dust will rise, reassemble, get an upgrade, and then the real life begins!

And I WANT REAL LIFE!

I want Resurrection! Didn’t you see the preview Jesus gave us when He rose? Didn’t you see how He wasn’t some zombie or half-dead corpse? Didn’t you see how He didn’t exact vengeance on Peter (for denying Him)? Didn’t you see? And don’t you want that kind of life, love and forgiveness yourself? and for your beloveds?