(c)Mary TV 2012
Confession, the Tonic Sacrament
December 6, 2012
Dear Family of Mary!!
"Dear children! In this time of grace, I call all of you to renew prayer. Open yourselves to Holy Confession so that each of you may accept my call with the whole heart. I am with you and I protect you from the ruin of sin, but you must open yourselves to the way of conversion and holiness, that your heart may burn out of love for God. Give Him time and He will give Himself to you and thus, in the will of God you will discover the love and the joy of living. Thank you for having responded to my call." (November 25, 2012)
Fr. Alfred Wilson continues to amaze me with his wisdom about Confession. He describes the Sacrament of Penance as "The Tonic Sacrament":
We know from experience the beneficial "tonic" effect of devotional Confession, which has an effect on the soul similar to that of a hot bath on the body. It renews our vigor and enables us to keep spiritually fit. It is sun ray treatment for the soul.
If we neglect frequent Confession our spiritual life soon begins to languish and decline. Bad habits gain renewed strength, temptations are harder to conquer, spiritual truths seem unreal, and we lose our sense of contact with the Master. Quite rightly we make a great point of keeping physically fit; it is infinitely more important that we should keep spiritually fit. Spiritual fitness is as essential for spiritual health as physical fitness is for physical health. If we keep in training spiritually, we shall be able to take in our stride obstacles which prove insurmountable to the spiritually flabby. If you have not already done so, join the "keep-fit" movement of frequent devotional Confession.
For brevity's sake, I can do no more than give a list of some of the reasons why devotional Confession has such a beneficial tonic effect on the soul. Each point deserves attentive consideration.
1. It deletes sin. The Sacrament has special efficacy for this.
2. It remits the temporal punishments due to sin, and does this more effectives than ordinary acts of virtue because of Sacramental efficiency.
3. It heals the soul from the evil effects of sin.
4. It has an incomparable power of restoring peace of soul. Making a clean breast of things gives us the maximum relief of mind and powerfully restores our resolution.
5. It gains us a right to actual graces for future combats and supernaturally strengthens our purpose of amendment.
6. It is a powerful moral and educational force, which fosters self-knowledge and self-control, gives insight into human nature, and makes us more sympathetic and understanding and therefore more helpful to our fellow men.
7. Confession to a fellow-man helps to knock the conceit out of us and nullifies a grave danger to personality and salvation.
8. It enables us to get useful advice and surer guidance.
9. It increases sanctifying grace and the fervor of charity.
These reasons have been summed up admirably by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical on "The Mystical Body of Christ". To hasten daily progress along the path of virtue, we wish the pious practice of frequent confession to be earnestly advocated. Not without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was this practice introduced into the Church. By it genuine self-knowledge is increased, Christian humility grows, bad habits are corrected, spiritual neglect and tepidity are countered, the conscience is purified, the will strengthened, a salutary self-control is attained and grace is increased in Virtue of the Sacrament itself." (Fr. Alfred Wilson, C.P. "Pardon and Peace." P. 53-54)
Who would not want to "get fit"!! Thank you, Holy Mother Church for this great Sacrament!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2012
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