We are halfway through Holy Week. The days of Triduum are about to begin. Wednesday of Holy Week is also known as Spy Wednesday. Recall the Gospel passage from last Sunday--can you guess why it earned this title?
What are the ways in which you've turned your back on Christ? Do you repent of your sins after acknowledging them honestly before God? Do you allow Christ to forgive you, or do you despair of your fallen humanity?
Many of us were unable to receive absolution for our sins as we normally would during Lenten penance services this year. Nonetheless, there are several spiritual tools we can employ to advance on the spiritual path.
1) Make an Act of Contrition. God is not bound by His sacraments. Here is a beautiful example one might pray after spending time reflecting on one's sins (click here to see more): O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.
2) Take up a Daily Examination of Conscience. End off your day by identifying both the ways you encountered God today and the ways you turned away from Him in sin. Write both down in separate columns on the page of a spiritual journal. Make sure to thank God for the ways He met you along your day, and make sure to rip out the column of sins once you're next absolved in the sacrament of Confession!
3) Watch through FORMED's study program videos on Confession. Learn how to approach this sacrament with the grace of contrition and true hope in God's mercy. Learn why Catholics go to a priest for absolution. Learn about the gravity of sin and the effects it has on your soul. Learn the difference between mortal and venial sin, and how to make a proper confession.
Of course, go to the sacrament of Confession as soon as you can. This may be a while away for many of us. Until then, be not afraid of recognizing your sin before God and asking His forgiveness whenever you do fall. Then pick yourself up, confident in His mercy, and continue on as Jesus did on His way to Calvary. Don't allow your sins to drag you into despair as they did with Judas. Christ is always offering His forgiveness to those who would ask. The only sin God cannot forgive is the one for which we refuse to ask forgiveness.