Commonplace Book: January 2003 Archives

A Form of Confession


This resonated when I read it:

from Before the Altar Venerable Concepcion Carera de Armida

There are immense areas of neglect in my life: I have not always done my duty to my neighbor, or to the members of my family, nor have I fulfilled the most holy obligations of religion.

Instead of seeking God, I have sought myself, I have desired comforts, I have been vainglorious and obstinate in defending my own opinion, I have taken pleasure in worldly friendhsips, and have sought my own gratification even in my special prayer time with you!

How often have I yielded to a desire to have others approve of me, to being too easily hurt, to culpuable weaknesses!

How much self-indulgence, what excuses, what idleness, pleasure seeking, and sluggishness in the service of God; what imprudence, what vainglory, touchiness, cowardice and uncharitableness! O my Jesus, it makes me tremble when I consider that it is the end of the day a, that night is coming on, and that my heart, alas, remains full of vices, stains, and iniquities.

Have not envy, jealousy, and pride invaded even my life in religion, which should have been a life of sanctity; and angelic life, on one of self-immolation?

Where are the humility, the patience, the obedience, the gentleness, the costly victories; where the sacrifice, which was to be the very essence of my life in this community?

All of this from a mother of nine who had written approximately 148 books in her life. All of the saints record these feelings. And they record them not from a masochistic desire to chastise self, but from the true realization of all the opportunities they have missed for loving God completely. Each chance to serve, while often an exercise in humility, is also an exercise in being IN God, of living within Him and His Kingdom.

When we reflect on our omissions and sins, the reflection should be primarily one of how much we have lost by not being available to God. Certainly there are other considerations--heaven, hell, death, and judgment--but all of these seem to pale in the face of the tremendous crime of not living life as it was meant to be lived--in the joy of union with God.

These last things swing like the sword of Damocles over us--impending with threat, but they are considerations that force the sullen flesh into action. We who claim to be of Christ, who do have some vague sort of religious life (at least), do not need them to inspire us to action or to keep us on the right path--though they are always there. What we need to be more in mind of is the infinitely sad missed opportunities to be present to God and to be One with God in His service.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Commonplace Book category from January 2003.

Commonplace Book: December 2002 is the previous archive.

Commonplace Book: February 2003 is the next archive.

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