Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Good Confession

Thank God that I was able to receive the sacrament of reconciliation yesterday (a.k.a., confession). It's such an awesome channel of grace we have!

I tried something this time that worked out really well. In examining my conscience beforehand, I actually wrote down my sins, because I've often found that I forget all but the ones that pester my conscience most once I actually get in to confess.

I really think writing them down helped a lot. I mean, of course it helped me remember them, but I think in doing so, I was able to make a much fuller and complete confession than perhaps I ever have. It was great. Even though I know God is merciful and forgives even those sins we innocently forget, there's just something really.. fulfilling (?) about making such a full confession.

I was reading recently Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska's published Diary recently, and she recommends three things to those who want to benefit most from confession: complete sincerity and openness, humility, and obedience (Notebook I, 113). I think writing my sins down helps with both the first two. If I don't, I can easily fall into being overly generous and forgetful of my own faults, and that leads to pride. In writing them down, I see them staring me in the face, keep them in mind, and consequently will not be so easily led to pride but rather will maintain a more realistic view of myself (and work towards true humility).

I guess the adage of your mileage may vary applies, but it's probably worth trying. Also, if you have an iPhone, using the ShopShop (shopping list) app can be a good tool for this. :) Peace!

UPDATE (7 July 2009): I found on the Saint Cast site that there is an iConfess app for $0.99; it has stuff to help you examine your conscience, info about confession, some prayers, and a tagging capability that you could, I suppose, use to keep track of things to confess. I think I like the free form shopping list approach better, but it is a good start. Maybe v2 will expand.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Peace Be Still

Yesterday, our holy father, Benedict, said this in his homily for Pentecost:

So that Pentecost renew itself in our time, perhaps there is need -- without taking anything away from God's freedom [to do as he pleases] -- for the Church to be less "preoccupied" with activities and more dedicated to prayer. (Read the Entire Homily)

And also, in his address yesterday before the Regina Caeli:

The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. Without him to what would it be reduced? It would certainly be a great historical movement, a complex and solid social institution, perhaps a kind of humanitarian agency. And in truth this is how it is considered by those who look upon it from outside the perspective of faith. In reality, however, in its true nature and also in its most authentic historical presence, the Church is unceasingly formed and guided by the Spirit of the Lord. It is a living body, whose vitality is precisely the invisible divine Spirit.

Let us not forget, amidst all our busyness, even amidst our laudable, charitable corporal works, that we need to make time for quiet, focused time with God in prayer, making room for the inspiration, strength, and fruits of the Spirit to animate our actions.