The Lenten season is a season of
prayer, fasting and good works. It is a season wherein good
Catholics try to become better Catholics. The life of prayer,
fasting and good works assumes that the Christian soul has ceased
from all serious sins, otherwise, the prayer, fasting and good works
will be done badly.
We must repent before our sins can
be forgiven; and the steps toward repentance are:
A) Know your sins. To be able to do
this, we must know all the commands of Christ (not merely the ten
commandments of God), since sin is defined as disobedience to the
commands of Christ. Since much study and reflection is needed to
know the commands of Christ, most Catholics, due to ignorance, tend
to underestimate their sins, the consequence of which is an improper
B) Accept your sins; like the
prodigal son we must say, "Father, I have sinned against heaven
and against you. Treat me as your servant."
C) Acting as a judge, condemn
D) Punish yourself;
E) Confess your sins to God and to
If we miss even one of these steps,
our repentance is defective and our sins remain in our soul.
A good Lenten retreat, therefore,
consists in staying home, living a quiet life, reducing all business
affairs by half, increasing one's prayer, fasting and good works. .
.all to the end of finding out one's sins exactly as they are.
St. Caesarius of Arles