ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

To Begin . . . . Again

Updated on December 11, 2019

This Blood that but one drop of has the power to win all the world forgiveness of its world of sin.” ~ St. Thomas Aquinas

Today’s Gospel (Matthew 18:12-14) reminds us that Jesus is always in search of his lost sheep, and thus it affords us the opportunity to reflect upon one of the more prevalent Advent themes, that of repentance.

Repentance has been called the “radical reorientation of one’s whole life.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that Christ calls us to conversion and penance. However, this call to conversion and penance does not "aim first at outward works," such as fasting and mortification, "but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance" (CCC No. 1430).

Upon partaking of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, St Therssa of Avila would wait for her fellow sisters who were also confessing their sins, and with a gentle hand on their shoulder would encourage them to “begin again.”

“Don’t flirt with sin! You can’t handle sin!” That was the advice and warning of an old pastor of mine in New York City, channeling his inner Colonel Jessup from “A Few Good Men,” apparently all-too-aware of my proclivity for overstaying my welcome at any one of a number of the numerous Irish Pubs that dotted 3rd Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

He had a point. Sin is ugly...it’s sneaky...it can grab you by the throat before you even know you’re mired knee deep in it.

Repenting from sin alleviates us of our guilt, this despite the fact they some residual shame can in fact remain. Perhaps that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “So-and-so is shameless” you’ll occasionally hear said in reference to someone, perhaps a person who refuses to admit their fault pertaining to a specific matter, or maybe because they simply do whatever they like, with no regard for the consequences despite how awful those consequences may be. Regardless of the context, never is it said in a flattering or complimentary fashion. The proper and perfect development of one’s conscience is a tricky endeavor, one that requires much prayer and reflection coupled with a life rooted in the sacramental healing of the Holy Eucharist and habitual visits to the confessional.

What causes one to be shameless, to be unrepentant? What would cause someone to never say I’m sorry, to the people in their lives or even worse, to God? Perhaps it’s pride, maybe it’s vanity. Or maybe it’s just a life rooted in utter denial. It is a grave and dire mistake is what it is. it was the sweat and blood of Jesus’ agony on the cross that has freed us from our sins. If we accept it. How tragic it is that so many waste the precious blood of Jesus that was poured out for us. Tragic.

Advent is the time to repent, to bask in the glory and unrelenting light of God’s mercy, this “ocean of mercy“ that devotees of the Divine Mercy Chaplet reflect upon every day at 3:00PM. As Jesus revealed to Sister Faustina, “accept my mercy now or face my judgement later.”
It just doesn’t seem like a difficult choice.

"It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep, for our salvation is closer than when we first accepted the faith. The night is far spent; the day draws near. Let us cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:11-12)

For more on the Lost Sheep discourse, please revisit my Daily Reflection from last year.
https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Daily-Mass-Reflections-1211

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)