In confession, while the man abases
himself, the sacrament raises him. While he covers himself with
squalor, it renders him cleaner. While he accuses himself, it excuses
him. While he condemns himself, it absolves him. The less you
excuse yourself, the more God will forgive you.
* * *
THE THREE STATES OF
There are, in truth, three
states of conversion -- the beginning, the middle and the perfection.
In the beginning, they experience the charms of sweetness; in the middle,
they experience the contests of temptations; at the end, they experience
transcendent delights. A gentle beginning, therefore, soothes the life
of every convert; a rugged middle course proves it in the way and,
afterward, full perfection gives it lasting blessedness.
St. Gregory the Great
* * *
CONFESSIONS: PETER AND THE CENTURION AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS
The confession of St. Peter
was great when he said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living
God;" and that which the centurion made was great when he said,
"Truly this was the Son of God." St. Peter said, "Thou art. .
."; the soldier said, "He was . . ." But though the
latter was most imperfect in one way, it was more perfect in another; for it
was spoken not like the other, before a select few, but before a vast crowd,
not of disciples but, of enemies. This centurion, the first Gentile who at
the Cross confessed Jesus, was afterwards one of the first to receive the
crown of martyrdom; thus, imitating St. Peter in his confession and St.
Stephen in his death.
* * *
After sinning, Adam noticed he
was naked. Yes, he was. Having disobeyed God, he now needed alms,
prayers and good works, the white clothing that will cover him. We, too, are
naked and unsightly before God because of our sins. But, unlike Adam, we
don't realize we are naked. Buy for yourself clothes from Christ to cover
yourself; buy the cloth of repentance.