Friday, July 10, 2015

St. Charles Borromeo on Confession 

St. Charles Borromeo - one of the patron saints of Pro Tridentina (Malta) - taught the following to his penitents when they went to Confession: 

"Do you wish to know an easy way of exciting yourselves to true sorrow for your sins? Make three little visits: the first above, the second below, the third in the middle. Your visit up above will show you Paradise, which you have renounced for some empty pleasure, for some sinful thought, or word or act. The displeasure that will arise in your heart at the thought of this loss will be good attrition, or imperfect contrition, and in Confession will suffice to wash away your sins.

Your visit below will show you that frightful place in which you would be now if God had exercised His justice - that place where you would for ever suffer the torment of fire, far from your true home, which is Heaven. The sorrow arising from this consideration is also excellent, and sufficient in Confession.

Your third visit will show you Christ crucified and dying for you on Calvary amid pains and insults of every description. The knowledge that the Crucified One is Infinite Goodness Itself, your greatest Benefactor, Whom, instead of loving, you have insulted and crucified, will awaken in your heart sentiments of love and sorrow that will wipe away your sins even before you enter the confessional."

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