Reading – 1 John 1: 5-10
from Pope St. John Paul II – Reconciliation and Penance, par. 13
One time during college, I went to grab dinner with a classmate at our dining hall. I think we started talking about times when to get together to do homework and studying that week, and I mentioned that I would be going to Confession on a certain day and that I would be available afterwards.
I knew my buddy is Catholic so I figured he would at least appreciate the fact that I’d be going to Confession. I encouraged him to go with me so we could go do our study session afterwards.
And I’ll never forget what he said.
“Psh, I don’t need to go to Confession. I’m perfect.” Ok, maybe not exact quote but close.
I mean, knowing the guy, I was thinking inside of my head that just even from my own observations of his actions and words through interacting with him that perhaps a little soul scrub in Confession would do him some good.
But I felt sad for him because he was too prideful to admit that he’s not perfect. I felt sad for him because he maybe didn’t recognize areas in his life where he could improve for God’s sake (and not just his own sake).
For today’s Total Consecration preparation, I read that in 1 John 1
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us… If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
To be a sinner and to not admit to sinning would be living a lie. It’s not the truth. There’s no sorrow in living a lie. Continuing in that lie continually brings me further away from God. I know He reaches out, but do I humbly reach out to return back to Him?
And that’s why it’s important to have penance. To repent. Pope St. John Paul II says that this is “the essential first step in returning to God.” In doing penance, we need to do so in the “fullest sense of the term: repenting, showing this repentance, adopting a real attitude of repentance.”
Confession isn’t efficacious unless I approach it with a truly repentant heart. And there have definitely have been times where I’ve gone to Confession and not really felt completely sorry for the times I’ve fallen short.
Through Marian consecration, it’ll help me form a more perfected desire for holiness and a truly sorrowful heart for the times I’ve rebelled against God.
I think my resolution is to humbly ask God for the grace to feel a real sense of sorry whenever I screw up. As my ego and pride seem to be off the charts lately, it’s easy for me to screw up and think too highly of myself to feel that true sorrow.
I’m using Fr. Brian McMaster’s Totus Tuus to prepare for Total Consecration. Get yours here on Amazon!
Confession with Pope Francis // GalleryHip.com