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Don’t Be Discouraged

  /   Sunday, January 30, 2022   /   Comments(0)

Years ago, when I was still in my 20s, I remember going to Confession after what was, well, not a good week. There was an older priest whom I really liked to go to, and fortunately, he was there in the confessional. As I was leaving the confessional, I remember the last thing he said before I left was “don’t be discouraged.”

This sounds simple enough. I’m sure I wondered why he said that rather than something to the effect of “you need to get your act together.” The words came back to my mind when, probably a decade or more later, God lead me to unpack this more.

Have you ever thought that you had overcome some problem or sin (or at least hoped you had) only to commit some sin that demonstrated that the problem still existed? In that moment, you may see that you are still as you were, or at least you see that you still have some work to do. It’s very easy to get down on yourself. Don’t! This can be a manifestation of pride or even a trick of the Devil.

To be sure, we need to be sorry for our sins and resolve to do better next time. It is never okay to willfully choose to remain in sin, especially mortal sin. However, if we give in to discouraging thoughts that God must be really angry and that we can never be better, it will only drive us further into the sin.

If God allows us to fall into the sin and reveal to us where we are, it is to our benefit. We can thank God that we see this now and can repent and really make that change. We can humble ourselves in the realization that we are weak and can do nothing without Christ, but we need to also have confidence that Our Lord will give us his grace. We can recognize the love and mercy of God in this moment. We can, from this fall, strengthen our resolve not to commit this sin again. It also helps to become a more merciful and loving person if we use this to be come more understanding of the weaknesses of others.

As much as I’d like to say I’ve perfected this art now, well . . . Please realize the preceding paragraphs often apply to me very well. In fact, writing these things is a helpful tool for me to get these better embedded in my heart as well as to help others benefit.

One more note, I’d recommend How to Profit From Your Faults by Joseph Tissot if you want further reading on this.

Category: Spirituality


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