We need to take advantage of every opportunity that we have to grow in holiness. There are always ample influences working on us every second to get us away from God and the holy way of life.
Advent is one of those times that God has put into our Catholic faith to again, give us an opportunity to let go of things that do not please Him and to put into real practice those things that do please Him.
If we could just remind ourselves each day in Advent of the hard hitting truth; MY SINS offends God greatly. Every one of our actions, that is contrary to God’s loving rules, is very offensive to God.
All of us are rightfully disturbed when someone else offends us with mean actions or words. But, most of the time, we could care less about offending the AUTHOR of our LIFE, just because we love ourselves and the instantaneous pleasures we get from SIN.
In order to prepare for Christmas, which will be here much quicker than we can imagine, we need to take TIME to reflect on these actions and attitudes that we have accepted as normal in our lives, but yet are loathsome in the eyes God.
Then we need to work on truly admitting how evil these sins are, no matter how much we or the world have justify them. Then we need to do everything we can do to root them permanently out of our lives.
Advent is that time of GRACE when God gives us an extra shove, and extra light, to help us PERMANENTLY remove these rotting vices from our souls. But we have to avail ourselves to these graces by praying, being truly sorry and avoiding things, places or persons that tempt us, (avoiding ALL near occasions of sin).
Please, for once, be perfectly honest with yourselves. Remember, we are not fooling God, ourselves or others when we pretend that sin is alright. Deep in our souls we know what is good and what is evil. But we have worked hard over a long period of time to cleverly developed thought patterns that “justify” continuing in sin. This list that we have concocted, to not mind sinning, is endless;
- Everyone is doing it.
- I am lonely, depressed, so I need some “pornography”, “sex”, “drugs”, “alcohol”.
- There is nothing wrong with this.
- Its not that sinful.
- My spouse left me, so I am normal and need intimacy and sex.
- I can go to confession. (Grave sin of presumption).
- I tried and cannot stop sinning.
- I am addicted.
- It just happens.
- It is what other people do that causes me to sin.
- The Bible is old fashion.
- The Catholic Church is wrong.
- I am human and it is human to sin.
- Honestly admit you are offending God greatly by every sin.
- Honestly admit that these are sins.
- Stop fooling yourself by watering down the gravity of ONE mortal sin; Death to your soul and eternal punishment in hell.
- Immediately turn to God and Mary for help through prayer.
- Keep busy doing good for God and others.
- Do everything possible to help others know what is sin and to stop sinning.
- Open your eyes to the consequences of sin throughout the whole world.
- Reflect on the suffering you have experienced from other people’s sins.
- Read the Holy Bible to have the grace of knowing the truth about the gravity of sin.
- Remember the effect of sin, that horrible separation from God, the guilt, the depression, the shame, that you experience after sinning.
It takes a great amount of prayer and effort to stop habitually sinning. But each minute, each hour, each day, each week, each month, it becomes easier and easier, with God’s help and your determination.
- Take time to read a good examination of conscience.
- Be sure you are extremely sorry for rebelling against God.
- Be sure you are extremely sorry for offending God.
- Have a period of time you have stopped doing the habitual sin before you go.
- Humbly listen to the priest’s admonition.
- Do the penance given.
- Read over before hand the Act of Contrition and be sure you can really put into practice what you will pray before God and the priest.
- Humbly admit you are a weak sinner in need of God’s help to be holy.
How wonderful it will be to have a pure heart full of the light of grace to receive Jesus into this Christmas.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.