A few months ago, on a Tuesday, we were celebrating, eating a lot, wondering how we could live through Lent without milkshakes, chocolates, french fries. We thought about how we might grow spiritually during Lent.
Today, again on a Tuesday, we are pondering how we have kept those commitments, how we have failed, and wondering if we have taken advantage of the manifold opportunities which God, in his goodness, has showered upon us. On one Tuesday, we have thought about giving sweets, on this Tuesday, we are thinking about giving up sin.
We are good people, made in the image and likeness of God, but since the fall of man, have a tendency toward sin, called concupiscence. Although with God's grace we could live our lives avoiding all sin, we don't, instead we give into temptation, we buckle under the pressure of the situation, we despair of God's love for us, of His grace. We feel unworthy to be in His presence, in communion with him. We are unfaithful, but He has said He would never be unfaithful. We turn from Him.
In doing so, we are like everyone else in the world, who either give into temptation, or lustily sin because they have never been taught better. Years ago, in a book I read on Confession, the author wrote about preparation for Confession, and how we realize we are part of a communion of sin, a communion of sinners, looking to do better, calling upon God's grace to turn from doing evil.
We must not despair when we think about our sins; even the great St. Paul spoke of the sin which afflicted him over and over again during life, without, of course, defining it. The great St. Isidore of Seville, who was renowned as a great saint, even during his lifetime, felt that to those who had been given much grace to become holy, even minor sins became grave. So, this great man from his deathbed, ordered that he be carried to the Cathedral Square, in the year 636, and be put in sackcloth and ashes, publicly showing God, and the people, how sorry he was for the even little ways which he had turned away.
During these last few days of Lent, during these grace filled days of Holy Week, look for the ways in which you have turned away from God and try to root them out.
If you know you have sinned in little ways, tell God of your sorrow. Pray the Act of Contrition, perform an act of penance, make a Confession of Devotion.
If you have been away from Church for a while, realize that it is a hard step you take to return, but the obstacles are all your own. Once you make that decision and return, perhaps attending Good Friday Services, making a Confession, expressing your sorrow to God, grace upon grace will be yours.
God love you!