• Sarah Raad


“In failing to confess Lord, I would only hide You from myself, not myself from You.” (Saint Augustine).

Venerable Louis of Granada (Francisco Pacheco)

Venerable Louis of Granada said, “If all the calamities which have existed in the world since creation and all the sufferings of Hell were put into one side of a scale, and put one mortal sin into the other, it would outweigh all these evils, for it is incomparably greater.”

And I have been reflecting on that statement for some time now.

Saint Therese of Lisieux wrote in her autobiography, “Story of a Soul” that her confessor believed that she had never committed a mortal sin in her entire life. And when she wrote about that, she expressed such joy that when I read her words – even years prior to my conversion, which occurred through Grace and no merit of my own – I was astounded by them…

When she made a general confession of her whole life during her first months in Carmel, her confessor “spoke the most consoling words I ever heard in my life: ‘In the presence of God, the Blessed Virgin, and all the Saints, I DECLARE THAT YOU HAVE NEVER COMMITTED A MORTAL SIN… Thank God for what He has done for you.’… and gratitude flooded my soul.”

And in light of the message of the Venerable Louis, I can now – after much reflection – understand the joy of Saint Therese upon hearing those words from her confessor… And I can understand that joy, even in knowing that Christ has promised, “Your sins I will remember no more…” (Hebrews 10:17). Because “…He Himself bore our sins in His Body on the Cross.” (1 Peter 2:24).

You see, the saints understood sin – the real meaning of sin. They understood its MORTAL nature. After all, if we describe something as mortal what we are really doing is describing it as something that causes DEATH. And that is exactly what mortal sin does. While venial sins stain our souls and make us more susceptible to more serious – mortal – sins, mortal sins KILL OUR SOUL! A mortal sin on the soul is a sin that causes the soul to die.

And this means that without confession – without the Sacrament of Reconciliation such a soul will be damned eternally and miss out on eternal life…

And yet – even knowing this – how often I fail to make a good confession. How often pride causes me to excuse my sins… But Saint Augustine said, “In failing to confess Lord, I would only hide You from myself, not myself from You.”

Saint Faustina understood this very well. Once, when she was suffering a terrible temptation, she approached the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle and said, “Do what You will with me, O Jesus.” Suddenly she saw Our Lord who said to her, “Fear nothing: I am always in your heart.”

And that is what an absence of sin (particularly MORTAL sin) means… You see, an absence of sin (and MORTAL sin) means that God is inside my soul. And if God is there – the evil one cannot get in…

For where God is, so is all of heaven…

How carelessly I throw away a treasure such as this… What sorrow I have to think of my sins – especially my mortal sins – for in those I throw away such treasures as this…

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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