Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
Do you harbor a deep dark secret nobody knows about? Is this secret eating away at you like a bleeding ulcer leaving you irritable, nervous, and restless? What would it feel like to let go of the secret, receiving the Lord's healing mercy and forgiveness?
Secrets Revealed Recently, I watched a TED Talk by Frank Warren who in 2005 began a community mail art project called Post Secret. As part of the project, people send "anonymous" postcards sharing their most intimate secrets. No censorship is placed on the content although people are asked to tell the truth. Every Sunday, Frank posts 10 new secrets on his website. I've monitored the site for the past couple of months and find the posts very interesting. Some secrets display humor while others jaw-dropping seriousness. Secrets can be downright repulsive at times, leaving me scratching my head wondering the sanity of the person holding the secret. What I find most intriguing is the raw honesty behind the postcards. Some of the "revelations" are quite thought-provoking. They prove how human beings are all "wounded" in one way or another. We have strange hang-ups and "hiccups" that people may even relate to. Yet, God still loves his children regardless of the "secrets" revealed under the anonymity of snail mail or the Internet.
Every now and then a postcard appears with a religious flair. Here are a few examples which make me think "Hmmm..."
"I've been an atheist for years but sometimes I miss church. Tell your God I said "Hi."
"I wish God missed me...Like I miss him."
"I am proud to say I am well on my way to becoming the adult I prayed for as a kid."
"Working in a funeral home has made me appreciate my own life."
I read the posts from writers who wrestle with God. I often wonder what happened in their lives which made them turn away from religion in general. Did they suffer abuse or neglect? Did they grow up in a family who didn't believe in God? Do they hold a lot of guilt and anger? I find "secrets" relating to atheism to be particularly insightful. Sadly, I have more questions than answers.
Jesus' Secrets to Ministry Jesus reveals to his disciples what I like to think of as useful "secrets" to effective ministry. The Apostles are being taught what it means to be a teacher and a disciple. Jesus tells them not to be afraid. People will doubt and ridicule. People won't always be willing to listen to the good news. People will harbor secrets in the recesses of their hearts. Even Christ will tell the Apostles advice "undercover" that will ultimately need to be shared with others in compassionate ways.
God knows all of our "secrets" even when we do not openly share them. I find secrets often relate closely to sin. We naturally want to stick our hands in the sand and run away when we've done something wrong. The best way for secrets to be revealed is through the Sacrament of Confession. Through the privacy of a priest, we can let go of our sin and receive forgiveness. We don't necessarily have to resort to sending an anonymous postcard in the mail to confess a secret bothering our conscience.
If a long time has lapsed, perhaps it's time to make an appointment with Christ in the confessional.
Saint Benedict, Pray for Us!
"Isn't it astonishing that all these secrets have been preserved for so many years just so we could discover them!" -Orville Wright