We must discover our sins right
away; and we must repent right away. The longer we postpone our
repentance, the harder it is to uproot our sins. Sins are like
trees; the longer they stay in our souls, the deeper the roots.
Uprooting them becomes a more painful process.
David sinned seriously; he
committed adultery and murder. But, realizing his sins, he
immediately covered his head with ashes and wore a hairshirt.
He did not delay the performance of his penance; and the business of
running a kingdom did not prevent him from doing penance.
Manasses filled all Jerusalem with
his iniquity; but, when chained and led into captivity, he did
penance with great humility.
We must stop sinning right away;
and, if we have sinned, we must remove the sin right away through
repentance. Fatal dissimulation is the main reason why we neglect to
seek repentance. We refuse to think of Christ's commands, we refuse
to find out our sins and, when we are informed of our sins , we
easily excuse ourselves. This dissimulation of our sins is fatal to
our spiritual life.
With fatal dissimulation, our
tendency is to postpone repentance. To repent later is likened to a
servant who serves one's enemy all his life, then, at the end of his
life, serves you. He who is unwilling to serve God when he is strong
will not serve God when he is weak.
St. Caesarius of Arles