One heart and one soul

As a child of God, with his grace in you, you have to be a strong person, a man or woman of desires and achievements. We are not hothouse plants. We live in the middle of the world, and we have to be able to face up to all the winds that blow, to the heat and the cold, to rain and storms, but always faithful to God and to his Church.

The work of the Church, each day, is like the weaving of a great fabric which we offer to God: because all of us who are baptized make up the Church. If we carry out our tasks, faithfully and selflessly, this great fabric will be beautiful and flawless. But if we loosen a thread here, a thread there, another over there… instead of a beautiful fabric we will have a tattered rag.

Pray to God that in the Holy Church, our Mother, the hearts of all may be one heart, as they were in the earliest times of Christianity; so that the words of Scripture may be truly fulfilled until the end of the ages: Multitudinis autem credentium erat cor unum et anima una ‑‑ the company of the faithful were of one heart and one soul. I am saying this to you in all seriousness: may this holy unity not come to any harm through you. Take it to your prayer.

Offer your prayer, your atonement, and your action for this end: ut sint unum! ‑‑ that all of us Christians may share one will, one heart, one spirit. This is so that omnes cum Petro ad Iesum per Mariam ‑‑ that we may all go to Jesus, closely united to the Pope, through Mary.

– St Josemaria, The Forge

 

God is here with us, really present

We should make no mistake. God is no shadowy or distant being who created us then abandoned us; nor is he a master who goes away and does not return. Though we do not perceive him with our senses, his existence is far more true than any of the realities which we touch and see. God is here with us, really present, living. He sees and hears us, He guides us, and knows our smallest deeds, our most hidden intentions. We believe this – but we live as if God did not exist. For we do not have a thought or a word for him; for we do not obey him, nor try to control our passions; for we do not show that we love him, and we do not atone … Are we going to continue living with a dead faith? – St Josemaria, Furrow

Seeking him, finding him, getting to know him, loving him

Interior life is strengthened by a daily struggle in your practices of piety, which you should fulfil – or rather which you should live – lovingly, for the path we travel as children of God is a path of Love. – St Josemaria, The Forge

I have distinguished as it were four stages in our effort to identify ourselves with Christ: seeking him, finding him, getting to know him, loving him. It may seem clear to you that you are only at the first stage. Seek him then, hungrily; seek him within yourselves with all your strength. If you act with determination, I am ready to guarantee that you have already found him, and have begun to get to know him and to love him, and to hold your conversation in heaven (cf Phil 3:20).

Try to commit yourself to a plan of life and to keep to it: a few minutes of mental prayer, Holy Mass — daily, if you can manage it — and frequent Communion; regular recourse to the Holy Sacrament of Forgiveness — even though your conscience does not accuse you of mortal sin; visiting Jesus in the Tabernacle; praying and contemplating the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, and so many other marvellous devotions you know or can learn…

Please don’t forget that the important thing does not lie in doing many things; limit yourself, generously, to those you can fulfil each day, whether or not you happen to feel like doing them. These pious practices will lead you, almost without your realising it, to contemplative prayer. Your soul will pour forth more acts of love, aspirations, acts of thanksgiving, acts of atonement, spiritual communions. And this will happen while you go about your ordinary duties, when you answer the telephone, get on to a bus, open or close a door, pass in front of a church, when you begin a new task, during it and when you have finished it: you will find yourself referring everything you do to your Father God.

– St Josemaria, Friends of God

What is required for forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance?

What is required for the forgiveness of sins is the person who undergoes conversion and the priest who in God’s name gives him absolution from his sins.

Essential elements of every confession are an examination of conscience, contrition, a purpose of amendment, confession, and penance.

The examination of conscience should be done thoroughly, but it can never be exhaustive. No one can be absolved from his sin without real contrition, merely on the basis of “lip-service”. Equally indispensable is the purpose of amendment, the resolution not to commit that sin again in the future. The sinner absolutely must declare the sin to the confessor and, thus, confess to it. The final essential element of confession is the atonement or penance that the confessor imposes on the sinner to make restitution for the harm done.