St. John Vianney
A clean heart create for me, God;
renew in me a steadfast spirit. Psalm 51:12
This Psalm is the ultimate prayer for repentance. It shows humility and the desire for forgiveness and the ability to do better next time. Isn't that why we go to Confession? We don't go to just get sins off of our chest, feel better about ourselves, and move on with life. No. We go to Confession to seek counseling from the priest. He's not there to make us feel better and tell us, "It's OK, you didn't mean it." He's there to tell us that we are absolved from our sins (because we did, we sinned) and help us to do better next time.
Confession is about God. Going to Confession is about truly feeling sorry for the sin I committed against my God, my God who died for me and my sins so I may spend eternity with Him. I think we look at our sins sometimes and say, "Oh that's not a big deal, God will forgive me." And we move on. Well, to a certain extent that's true. He will forgive us when we express the humility and desire for His forgiveness as the Psalmist did in Psalm 51.
Confession does help me to feel better. Not because I get my sins off my chest, but because I am able to talk to a man of the Church. Being new to all of this, I thought Confession consisted of spilling my guts, a blessing, and that was it. But when I go, the priest always counsels me. He talks to me. He shows me some compassion and helps me to understand what I did, why I might have done it, and how I can do better. Now THAT'S reconciliation! I go there because I truly feel sorry for having offended God, and I have that desire to want to apologize and do better in my life. Granted, this isn't always the case, but I do confess that too. Sometimes I sin but I don't feel sorry about it because I still have anger in my heart. The priest helps me with that too. It's an absolutely wonderful experience.
Today we celebrate the feast day of St. John Mary Vianney. He is the patron saint of priests. Our new pastor wrote an article on him that gave a really good biography on his life. It just so happened that people actually sought him out to be reconciled. Even on his death bed, he reconciled people's sins. They wouldn't let him quit!
So as we examine our consciences today, remember St. John Vianney and ask for his intercession to be with all of our priests to help them remain strong in their faith, just as he did. We need them to tell us the truth when we enter that confessional to receive their blessings and to be able to go out into the world and speak of God's love for us. Our priests have a very big job, and they need our help, as well as the help of all the angels and saints.
God, thank you for your mercy as I repent of my sins.
Numbers 12:1-13 Psalm 51:3-7, 12-13 Matthew 14:22-36
Speaking the Truth
We don’t like to speak the truth about evil because we’re going to hurt somebody. Let me tell you, you are going to hurt somebody, but that Somebody is God. If you would rather hurt God than your neighbor, there is something wrong with your spirituality. It’s your obligation to speak the truth and everyone can either take it or leave it. But truth must be in us. We live in such poverty of the truth today.
- Mother Angelica
- Mother Angelica