Confession

Frequent Confession

Frequent Confession

1. Confess Frequently

You don’t “have to” confess frequently, but it is a good idea.

Confession is not just for mortal sins. Frequent Confession is an easy and powerful means to overcome venial sins and lukewarmness. Because we love Jesus, we hate our sins. Because we hate our sins and understand His power to overcome them, we confess our sins to Him as He request through this Sacrament. Because we love Jesus, we hate our pride. Because we hate our pride, we imitate His humility (He humbled Himself to take on Flesh and dwelt amongst us!) and confess our sins to His representative (the priest) so He can forgive us directly.

Why not take advantage of the Sacrament where Jesus Himself works directly in the soul? Is there a better way to increase your sorrow for sin and to humbly express that sorrow by taking advantage of this great sacrament of forgiveness and mercy?

Why not approach the Just Judge NOW and accuse ourselves often when there is yet time to repent? Do you really want to wait until you die before you stand before the “Court of GOD” and His perfect Justice? Glorify His Mercy NOW during this time of Mercy so that His Perfect Justice will be tempered by your disposition to receive and forgive His mercy.

Unless you experience God’s forgiveness, how can you forgive those who hurt you? Don’t resist His will to forgive you – go to confession frequently!

Frequent, good confessions is humble and safe. Today, almost all souls go to Holy Communion on Sunday. But how many go to Confession? How can so much sin in the world be compatible with Holy Communion if all of those Communions were indeed Holy? If those Holy Communions were associated with frequent Confession, the world would quickly become sanctified!

2. Daily Examination of Conscience

Every night take at least a minute or two and review the day: What did I do wrong? Why did I offend God?

Make acts of sorrow. Make a formal Act of Contrition.

How can I do better? Resolutions give strength and integrity to your true contrition for your sins. Keep trying; if you fall; you get up again and keep trying. Jesus came not for the self-righteous for the sinner. The sinner who believes in Jesus will keep trying and by the grace of God will eventually become a saint!

3. Daily Particular Examination of Conscience

Each soul has his strengths given to him by God.

Our strengths are accompanied with our dominant weaknesses. Moreover, your strength is your weakness insofar as you don’t entrust yourself to God and build your foundation upon Christ! Every other foundation will come shattering down.

It is a good idea to spend a minute in the midday (maybe around Noon, the time of the Angelus) to check up on your dominant weakness: How am doing? Ask Jesus’ forgiveness for your sins that day and renew the battle then and there while the day is far from spent!

The “particular exam” regarding our dominant spiritual fault provides a powerful means to grow in grace and grow in real, lived-out virtue. We don’t “check out” of the plan to continually grow in grace by ignoring the battle; rather we consciously strive then-and-there to serve God first precisely in the matter where we need His grace the most!

Miracles of Our Lady, Stories of the Supernatural

Our Lady and the Three Dresses

Many centuries ago, three young nuns lived together in a convent. Day after day, they took their meals together, they went to chapel together, and they prayed and sang together.

One day, their priest-confessor advised them that, as a preparation for the feast of the purification of Mary, they should recite the whole Rosary every day for forty days. The three nuns obediently complied.

On the night before that holy feast day, the Heavenly Mother appeared to the three nuns as they gathered in the choir. To the first of these three sisters she handed a rich garment, embroidered with gold. Holy Mary thanked her and blessed her.

She then handed to the second nun a much simpler garment, and also thanked her. Noticing the difference in the two garments, the second sister asked, “Oh Lady, why have you brought my sister a richer garment?” Mary Most Holy lovingly replied, “Because she has clothed me more richly with her prayers than you have done.”

Mary then approached the third nun with a canvas garment. Being an observant young lady, this sister at once asked pardon for the half-hearted way in which she had prayed her rosaries.

A full year had passed when all three fervently prepared for the same feast, each saying her Rosary with great devotion. On the evening preceding the festival, Mary appeared to them in glory, and said to them: “Be prepared, for tomorrow you shall come to paradise.”

The following morning dawned, full of promise. Each nun wondered if this would be her last day in this vale of tears. When evening came, would they retire to their modest cells once more, or did Holy Mary have something else in store for them?

The sisters related to their confessor what had occurred, and received communion in the morning. At the hour of compline (evening prayers) they saw again the most holy Virgin, who came to take them with her. Amid the songs of angels, one after the other sweetly expired.

~Excerpted from “The Glories of Mary”

by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

February Feast Days

St Jean Théophane Vénard

Théophane Vénard studied at the College of Doué-la-Fontaine, Montmorillon, Poitiers, and at the Paris Seminary for Foreign Missions which he entered as a sub-deacon. Ordained a priest on 5 June 1852, he departed for the Far East on 19 Sept. After fifteen months at Hong Kong he arrived at his mission in West Tonkin (northern Vietnam). At the time, it was illegal to proselytise in Vietnam.

Shortly after Father Vénard’s arrival a new royal edict was issued against Christians, and bishops and priests were obliged to seek refuge in caves, dense woods, and elsewhere. Father Vénard continued to exercise his ministry at night, and, more boldly, in broad day. On 30 November 1860, he was betrayed and captured. Tried before a mandarin, he refused to apostatize and was sentenced to be beheaded. He remained a captive until 2 February, and during this interval lived in a cage, from which he wrote to his family beautiful and consoling letters, joyful in anticipation of his crown. His bishop, Monsignor Retord, wrote of him at this time: “Though in chains, he is as gay as a little bird”.

On the way to martyrdom Father Vénard chanted psalms and hymns. To his executioner, who coveted his clothing and asked what he would give to be killed promptly, he answered: “The longer it lasts the better it will be”. His head, after exposure at the top of a pole, was secured by the Christians and is now venerated in Tonkin. The body rests in the crypt at the motherhouse of the Paris Foreign Mission Society in Paris, France.

The cause of his beatification was introduced at Rome in 1879, and he was declared Blessed, 2 May 1909. He was canonized on 19 June 1988 by Pope John Paul II.

“A slight sabre-cut will separate my head from my body, like the spring flower which the Master of the garden gathers for His pleasure. We are all flowers planted on this earth, which God plucks in His own good time: some a little sooner, some a little later. Father and son may we meet in Paradise. I, poor little moth, go first. Adieu.”

~Saint Theophane in a letter to his father just before his martyrdom

February Feast Days

St.Catherine de Ricci

St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her baptismal name was Alexandrina, but she took the name of Catherine upon entering religion.

From her earliest infancy she manifested a great love of prayer, and in her sixth year, her father placed her in the convent of Monticelli in Florence, where her aunt, Louisa de Ricci, was a nun. After a brief return home, she entered the convent of the Dominican nuns at Prat in Tuscany, in her fourteenth year.

While very young, she was chosen Mistress of Novices, then subprioress, and at twenty-five years of age she became perpetual prioress. The reputation of her sanctity drew to her side many illustrious personages, among whom three later sat in the chair of Peter, namely Cerveni, Alexander de Medicis, and Aldo Brandini, and afterward Marcellus II, Clement VIII, and Leo XI respectively. She corresponded with St. Philip Neri and, while still living, she appeared to him in Rome in a miraculous manner.

She is famous for the “Ecstacy of the Passion” which she experienced every Thursday from noon until Friday at 4:00 p.m. for twelve years. After a long illness she passed away in 1589. Her feast day is February 13.