Imitation of Christ
That it is Sweet to Despise the World
Now, will I speak again, O Lord, and will not be silent, I will say in the hearing of my God and my King Who is on high: Oh, how great is the abundance of Thy sweetness, O Lord, which Thou hast hidden for those that fear Thee! But what art Thou, for those who love Thee? What, to those who serve Thee with their whole heart? Unspeakable indeed is the sweetness of Thy contemplation, which Thou bestowest on those who love Thee. In this most of all hast Thou showed me the sweetness of Thy love, that when I had no being, Thou didst make me; and when I was straying far from Thee, Thou brought me back again, that I might serve Thee: and Thou hast commanded me to serve Thee. O Fountain of everlasting love, what shall I say of Thee? How can I forget Thee, Who hast vouchsafed to remember me even after I was corrupted and lost? Beyond all hope Thou showest mercy to Thy servant; and beyond all desert, hast Thou manifested Thy grace and friendship. What return shall I make to Thee for this favor? For it is granted to all who forsake these things, to renounce the world, and to assume the monastic life. Is it much that I should serve Thee, Whom the whole creation is bound to serve? It ought not to seem much to me to serve Thee; but this does rather appear great and wonderful to me, that Thou vouchsafest to receive one so wretched and unworthy as Thy servant. It is a great honor, a great glory, to serve Thee, and to despise all things for Thee, for they who willingly subject themselves to Thy holy service, shall have great grace. They shall experience the most sweet consolation of the Holy Spirit, Who for the love of Thee, have cast aside all carnal delight.
AN ALL DAY EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
For the guide to the examination please go HERE
Thoughts on Confession
Based on Fr. Eugene Boylan’s Book
This Tremendous Lover chapter 9
Hope and Confidence in God
Sometimes, the sight of our many sins can induce despondency, or even despair. THAT IS NOT THE WORK OF GOD, but of the devil. God loves the sinner, but hates the sin. If you can arrive at that same hatred of sin, then there is nothing to worry about—no matter how great or frequent those sins may have been! Our Lord Himself said:
“For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”(Lk. 19:10 Mt. 18:11)
“But the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying to His disciples: Why do you eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said to them: They that are whole need not the physician, but they that are sick. I came not to call the just but sinners to penance. (Lk. 5:30-32)
There is no sin that cannot be forgiven.
If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool (Is. 1:18) All God wants is repentance and sorrow for past sin. “If the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all my Commandments, and do judgment and justice, living he shall live and not die. I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done: in justice which he hath wrought, he shall live. Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways and live?…Because he considereth and turneth away himself from all his iniquities, which he hath wrought, he shall surely live and not die…Be converted, and do penance for all your iniquities: and iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed, and make to yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. (Ezek. 18:21-31)
The Mercies of God Are Above All His Works
It is of capitol importance that we never ever let our past sins—no matter how great or filthy they may have been—come between God and ourselves, or make us in any way doubt God’s love, friendship and mercy. As the Psalmist says: “The Lord is gracious and merciful: Patient and plenteous in mercy. The Lord is sweet to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works”. (Ps. 144: 8-9) God does not do things by halves. When He forgives sins, He forgives completely. Their guilt is blotted out entirely and He will not reproach us with them again.
Yet His generosity goes even further. When a soul falls into mortal sin, all the merits from its past life are lost. If, however, the soul repents and obtains pardon, these merits revive again. Such is God’s generosity and love. This is a point of great importance. There is always a great temptation to discouragement and distrust, even after our sins have been forgiven. We feel that God still holds our sins against us; that His Providence will be less favorable to us in the future; we feel that He no longer trusts us and that He will be reserved and sparing in His granting of graces.
We imagine too, that no matter how great our progress may be in the future, the ultimate result will always be spoiled by that unfortunate past. There is a certain height which we could have formerly reached before falling into sin, which we now imagine to be beyond our reach.
All that is natural—BUT it is also quite wrong! It is based upon a wrong notion of God. God loves to bring good out of evil. He did so with Saint Paul, Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint Augustine, with Saint John of God[…] and with many more. It is our lack of confidence which places obstacles in the way. To quote Cardinal Billot: “The penitent can recover something greater, in so far as one who gave himself to heroic works after sin, is more loved by God, then one who, though never stained by mortal sin, is remiss in the exercise of virtues”. (De Poen. Q.89 Summa Theologica, IIIa, Q89 a,2)
Many sins were forgiven Mary Magdalen because she loved much. If we love Him as she did, our sins will be forgiven us; and we can be more pleasing to God by a life of ardent love after our sin, then the lukewarm life of our previous innocence. Truly God can bring good out of evil!
Thanks and Taken from: