« AnteriorContinua »
the soul. Abi! how hard it is to maiit. tain a castle , where the enemy has already surprised the avenues , 'aird has a strong party within , ready to open the gates to him! The third and chief remedy against relapse, is for the penitent to nourish carefully in his heart a truly penitential spirit, daily to renew his sorrow for his sins, and to recount in the sight of God, in the bittesness of his soul, all his past iniquities; daily to admire and adore that mercy, which has borne with him so long; and to value above all treasures that grace of reconciliaiion , by which he has been drawn out of so much misety, daily to beg of God with all the fervour of his soul, sooner to take him out of this world, than to suffer him any more to die by mortal sin. Good God! grant that this may be always the disposition of our souls, Amen. Anieli
On doing Penance for our Sins.
Christ", Luke xiii. 3 , 5. Except. you do penance, you shall all perish,
Behold here a general rule , nor does our Lord aake any exception. Penance thien is necessary, first, for all those whose conscience accuses them of mor-' tal sin : alas ! such as these inust ether do penance for their sins, or burn for them for all eternity! Poor sinners! their state is most deplorable ! they are playing upon the brink of hell, and eyery. Ino nent one or other of them is" tuinbling into that bottomless pit; and is it possible they should be unconcerned under so great and evident a danger? Why then do they nnt lay hold of the grace of penance, the only plank that can save them after shipwreck; the only Beans left for the salvation of their souls. Secondlyi, Penance is necessary for all those, who, though their conscience accuses thein not at present, yet have in their past life been guilty of such mortal offences. Ah! Christians, one mortal :sin is enough for us to do penance for all our life. And how can: we do less, if we consider What mortal sin is; what it is to have been the enemies of God; what it is. to have been under the sertence of eternal damnation; and never certainly to know whether this sentence has been cancelled? Is not this sufficient to oblige us to a penitential life? Can we otherwise pretend to be secure ?Even those (and God best knows how few they are) who are not conscious to themselves of having committed such a sin in their whole life time, must not therefore think theinselves exempt from the obligation of doing penance; as well because of their bidden sins, as of those which they may have ocCasioned in others.; for no man kaows whether he be worthy of love pr hatred; Eccl. viii, 2. as also, because a penj. tential life is the best security against sin , which will sensibly prevail over
if not curbed by self-denial, mortitication, and penance.
Consider secondly, that in the inethod of penance, different rules must be prescribed to different persons. 'Those wito have the misfortune to be actually in the state of mortal sin what is still more deplorable plunged in the depth of a habit of one or more kinds of mortal sins , as soon as their eyes are opened to discover the hellish monster which they carry about
with them, must, like the prodigal child, arise without delay, to return to their father. A sachifice of a conuite and humble heart is what God above all things requires at their hands; this ought to be the foundation of all their penance : without this , corporal gusteritius will be of small account. Sych sianers ought to give themselves no rest, till they have made, their peace with God: their sins ought to be always belore their eyes. Their first thoughts in the morning ought to be upon their misfortune, in being at so great a dis. tance froin God, enslaved so the devil, anıl liable to be his companions in eter: nal misery: the like ought to be their Jast thoughts at night when , like the penitent David, they ought to wash their beds with their tears. As often as they appear, before their God in prayer, it ought to be in the spirit of the humble publican, looking upon themselves as unworthy, 10 list, up their eyes to heaven, or towards tue altar of God; and with him , striking their breasts, with a Lord be mercifol to me a sinner.. Thus will they certainly oblain mercy from bim, who is the father
. Consider, thirdly, that after the sinner has done his best endeavours to seek a reconciliation with his offended God, by a sincere repentauce and confession of his sins, he must not think himself exempt from any further penance , as if he had now, no just debt to discharge to the justice of God, no obligation of making satisfaction for his sins by penitential works, and of bringing forth fruits worthy of penance. This would be a great and dangerous error. Nor must he content himself with barely quitting himself of the penance enjoined by his confessor, which is to be feared seldom is sufficient to satisfy the justice of God Alas ! ff sinners were truly sensible of the enormous injury done to God'hy mortal sili, as true penitents must be , they wouldi certainly do penance ir another manner, than too many do ; they would be more in earnest in chastising their sinful flesh by penitential works, and thus making a more proportionable satisfaction for their past treasons. 1. Consider, fourthly, that the true manner of doing penance for our sins, is Bitter learnt from the holy fathers