The Sovereign Lord says:
“It is the one who sins who will die.
A son is not to suffer because of his father’s sins,
nor a father because of the sins of his son.
Good people will be rewarded for doing good,
and evil people will suffer for the evil they do.
If someone evil stops sinning and keeps my laws,
if he does what is right and good,
he will not die; he will certainly live.
All his sins will be forgiven,
and he will live, because he did what is right.
– Ezekiel 18:20-22 (GNT)
We can lose the effectiveness of true penance,
which is the turning of the heart towards God,
if we fall into the temptation (rife both in ages gone by and also in our day)
of failing to admit that sin is something personal.
We must individually bear the consequences of our sin.
Consequently, each of us also carries the responsibility
of personal penance
and of personal salvation.
God wants us to turn away from sin…and to live…
but we have to cooperate with God by our repentance and works of penance.
That is why it is a grace from God
when we keep on repenting our past sins
and when we make no attempt to cover up our present wrongdoings,
and our weaknesses and errant disposition.
Even if they happen to be no more than imperfections, failures to love…
we need to be able to say
“I recognise my faults;
I am always conscious of my sins.” (Ps 51:3)
Even though we would have confessed our sins
and the Lord would have said to us: “Go, but do not sin again.” (Jn 8:11)
we need to remain conscious of the fact
that sins leave their mark on the soul,
Personal penance helps us work at removing those obstinate marks; at those tendencies.
Personal penance helps us purify our soul through making amends for our shortcomings,
and, ultimately to live…by doing what is right in God’s eyes.
REPETITIVE PRAYER FOR TODAY…
Jesus, forgive me.
Help me do what is right, for I want to truly live.
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Note: The main source of today’s REFLECTION is the seven-volume work
“In Conversation with God” by Padre Francisco Fernández Carvajal.