Wednesday, October 14, 2009

IN FOR A PENNY IN FOR A POUND?

So let's say that you are in a state of sin and need to go to confession. Before you is a great temptation. It could be anything. Maybe your weakness is gluttony and right in front of you – for absolutely free – a gift of a friend that you do not want to disappoint – is the biggest, baddest, sloppiest, most gloriously monstrous sunday you have only seen in your dreams. And it’s all for you. Go ahead! Dig in! After all, you are already in a state of sin and have to go to confession anyway. Right? I mean, you already blew it. So what’s the point in resisting - what good is resisting and doing good when you are in a state of sin anyway?

Ah! But it does matter. This is a dangerous mindset to have (and believe me, I’ve had the temptation too!) Instead of practicing virtue and to be stronger in it when we have gone to confession, we practice our vice and grow stronger in it.

And in truth it just doesn’t make sense if you take the time to think about it. Place it on a human level. Suppose you are man who has really ticked off your wife. Would you think, “I’ve already messed up our relationship and so, before I make a great effort at apologizing I am going to keep on doing what annoys her since it won’t matter anyway.”

Au contraire mon fraire! To continue in the annoying behavior will only make your apology seem less sincere. “And you kept doing it anyway because you thought, what they hay, she’s already mad at me?” That is not a magical formula for a great apology.

God is a person too. A Divine Person grant you – but a Person with whom we are in relationship. And even if we have gone a long way in messing things up, we can start to make amends even before the official apology known as confession. Start practicing virtue instead of vice. Our mending of our lives will be more sincere and our capacity for virtue will have been strengthened.

And gladly, we will have less to confess.

3 comments:

Warren said...

"Au contraire, mon frère".

If you put the e-accent-grave in there, it makes you look like you knew what you were doing. :-)

W

Cracked Pot said...

Great meditation, Father, especially the words: "God is a person too. A Divine Person grant you – but a Person with whom we are in relationship."

Kevin said...

guilty as charged and convicted. thank you for the spiritual direction. will need to pray for the grace to practice virtue.