Sanctification is the work of a lifetime

Conversion is the task of a moment; sanctification is the work of a lifetime. The divine seed of charity, which God has sown in our souls, wants to grow, to express itself in action, to yield results which continually coincide with what God wants. Therefore, we must be ready to begin again, to find again — in new situations — the light and the stimulus of our first conversion. And that is why we must prepare with a deep examination of conscience, asking our Lord for his help, so that we’ll know him and ourselves better. If we want to be converted again, there’s no other way. – St Josemaria, Christ is Passing, 58, 9

The power of God is made manifest in our weakness and it spurs us on to fight, to battle against our defects, although we know that we will never achieve total victory during our pilgrimage on earth. The Christian life is a continuous beginning again each day. It renews itself over and over. – St Josemaria, Christ is Passing, 114, 2

Forward, no matter what happens! Cling tightly to Our Lord’s hand and remember that God does not lose battles. If you should stray from him for any reason, react with the humility that will lead you to begin again and again; to play the role of the prodigal son every day, and even repeatedly during the 24 hours of the same day; to correct your contrite heart in Confession, which is a real miracle of God’s Love. In this wonderful Sacrament Our Lord cleanses your soul and fills you with joy and strength to prevent you from giving up the fight, and to help you keep returning to God unwearied, when everything seems black. In addition, the Mother of God, who is also our Mother, watches over you with motherly care, guiding your every step. – St Josemaria, Friends of God, 214, 5

Your interior life has to be just that: to begin … and to begin again. – St Josemaria, The Way, 292

 

True humility leads us to ask for forgiveness

If ever you fall, my son, go quickly to Confession and seek spiritual guidance. Show your wound so that it gets properly healed and all possibility of infection is removed, even if doing this hurts you as much as having an operation.

Sincerity is indispensable if we are to achieve greater union with God. If you have an ugly “toad” inside you, my son, let it out! As I have always advised you, the first thing you must mention is what you wouldn’t like anybody to know. Once the “toad” has been let out in Confession ‑‑ how well one feels.

“Blessed be God” you said to yourself after having finished your sacramental Confession. And you thought: it is as if I had just been born again. You then continued calmly: “Domine, quid me vis facere? ‑‑Lord, what would you have me do?” And you yourself came up with the reply: “By the help of your grace I will let nothing and no one come between me and the fulfilment of your most Holy Will: Serviam ‑‑ I will serve you unconditionally.”

Humility teaches each soul not to lose heart in the face of its own blunders. True humility leads us to ask for forgiveness.

If I were a leper my mother would kiss me. She would kiss my wounds without fear or hesitation. Well then, what would the Blessed Virgin Mary do? When we feel we are like lepers, all full of sores, we have to cry out: Mother! And the protection of our Mother will be like a kiss upon our wounds, which will then be healed.

– St Josemaria, The Forge

Prières du jour

Seigneur, nous te demandons de te révéler à nous, de nous montrer ton cœur plein d’amour, de nous aider à te connaître intimement. Qu’à l’école de Marie ta mère, elle qui te connaît mieux que tous, nous apprenions à te rencontrer personnellement et intimement, à nouer avec toi une profonde et vraie amitié.

Jésus, je te loue pour ce que tu es, mon Dieu et mon Sauveur. Je te loue, parce que tu n’as de cesse de m’aimer. Merci de m’enseigner le chemin vers le Père, un chemin d’amour envers le prochain. Merci, car tu m’as donné l’exemple, et que tu ne m’as pas laissé seul pour vivre ce commandement de l’amour, mais tu m’as envoyé l’Esprit Saint, force et consolation dans l’épreuve. Je te remercie tout particulièrement parce que même si je « devais passer en jugement » pour t’avoir insulté et ne pas t’avoir respecté, avoir renié ton amour devant les autres, à chaque fois tu es prêt à me donner une nouvelle chance, à me pardonner en confession, à me relever et à continuer à veiller sur moi. Marie, donne-moi ta force et ton courage pour répondre à l’amour de Jésus pour moi avec amour.

What sins must be confessed?

Under normal circumstances, all serious sins that one remembers after making a thorough examination of conscience and that have not yet been confessed can be forgiven only in individual sacramental confession.

Of course there will be reluctance before making a confession. Overcoming it is the first step toward interior healing. Often it helps to think that even the Pope has to have the courage to confess his failings and weaknesses to another priest – and thereby to God. Only in life-or-death emergencies (for instance, during an airstrike in wartime or on other occasions when a group of people are in danger of death) can a priest administer “general absolution” to a group of people without the personal confession of sins beforehand. However, afterwards, one must confess serious sins in a personal confession at the first opportunity.

“According to the Church’s command, “after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.” Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.” (CCC 1457)

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.

If you ever fall… go quickly to Confession

“If ever you fall, my son, go quickly to Confession and seek spiritual guidance. Show your wound so that it gets properly healed and all possibility of infection is removed, even if doing this hurts you as much as having an operation.” – St Josemaria, The Forge

“Sincerity is indispensable if we are to achieve greater union with God. If you have an ugly “toad” inside you, my son, let it out! As I have always advised you, the first thing you must mention is what you wouldn’t like anybody to know. Once the “toad” has been let out in Confession ‑‑ how well one feels.” – St Josemaria, The Forge

“At the time of examination beware of the devil that ties your tongue.” – St Josemaria, The Way