Since Ash Wednesday, the readings at Mass, every Mass prayer, and every Lenten devotion calls us to repentance, to change our ways of thinking and acting toward God, ourselves, and others for good. Partaking of the sacrament of Confession gives one the beautiful graces and the will needed to change. St. Therese of Lisieux says these graces are given because of God’s unfathomable, even unbelievable, love for us. When one comes to a realization of this love as well as knowing love as the Person of Jesus, we are changed. When one knows Jesus will completely and tenderly forgive, one can enter into the sacrament of Confession with humble confidence – confidence in His unfathomable love. “It is the blind hope which I have in His mercy… there is my only treasure. Why should this treasure not be yours?” (St. Therese of Lisieux)
In fact, St. Therese goes on to say, “the weaker one is, with neither desires [for good] nor virtues, the more one is fit for this consuming and transforming love.” Anxiety, embarrassment, and even fear of rebuke are natural feelings before partaking of the sacrament of Confession. Who hasn’t thought, ‘I’ve done this one sin again – what is Fatfer ___ going to think of me?’ But St. Therese comforts with her words. “It seems to me there will be no judgement, but rather that God will hasten to reward with.. His own love.” Can you imagine that? A God that actually rewards our efforts to partake of the sacrament of Confession by filling us with His love and grace. And it is this same love that changes our sinful desires into the desires to love.
The F.C. Ziegler Company offers a great resource in studying the Divine Mercy and Love of God, and this resource can be used to prepare for the Sacrament of Confession or as a personal retreat.
I Believe in Love, A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieuxby Father Jean C.J. d’Elbee has been labeled a spiritual classic and offers a reader friendly set of meditations that can be read in just a few minutes each day. Father d’Ebee’s teachings are inspirational, easy to read, and go straight to the heart.