Neither the gravity of their faults nor their multiple relapses into errors should overwhelm them…..
Nothing is more just than that the evidence of our own misery keeps us humble. That it should make us lose confidence would be a catastrophe more dangerous than so many falls into error.
Weakness is great, I well know, but He will help you. In spite of having goodwill, you will perhaps have falls and relapses into evil, but the Lord is merciful. He only asks that you not let yourself fall asleep in sin, that you fight against bad habits.
Promise Him to confess promptly and never to pass through a night with a mortal sin on your conscience….
“Father,” He exclaims in the anguish of the agony. “forgive them, for they know not what they do.” During the passion, the Master had such a desire to save us that He did not cease for an instant to think of us.
On Calvary, He gives His last gaze to sinners; He pronounces one of His last words in favor of the good thief. He extends His arms wide on the Cross in order to indicate with what love He receives each repentant soul in His most loving heart.
—The Book of Confidence’, Father Thomas de Saint-Laurent
There is an honesty to these thoughts that needs examining. I think of a decision I enforced to break with an online influence who declared his prayers for those still purifying. Effeminate in nature, overly-sensitive and most impassionate about being perceived as an extremely intelligent individual, I tolerated his imperfections as he was quite perceptive and insightful regarding religious matters. Yet the declaration that he prayed for those still purifying forced me to acknowledge he worked through a delusional spiritual mindset that could be dangerous. Those religiously interacting with others based upon a self-perceived superiority may provide moments of extreme knowledge, yet I become more and more fixated upon the Trinity, the Church, and those submissive in authority. Too many religious authorities have let me down. With all due respect to everyone, I place my confidence, in faith, hope, and charity, upon the Trinity (contemplative unification) and a prayerful personal relationship with Mary and the Saints.
The idea of spiritual confidence emerges essential in spiritual growth, my personal path of contemplative pursuit. The Fort Wayne reconciliation proved quite complex, fortunate to be experienced. I will process everything through my spiritual director, open to counsel, pleased it will be with a spiritually humble individual that will call forth confidence in myself. Rather than establishing himself as my superior, he seeks to strengthen and elevate my spiritual life. My spiritual director stresses the importance of empowerment, independence, fearless courage to exert myself, while always accepting the possibility I may be wrong. In fact, I will be wrong often, yet that is ok. It is nothing to fear. I act strongly, while remaining vulnerable. Personal victory and/or glorification is not the reward. In the midst of warfare, I acknowledge limitations, fearful of delusional individuals clinging to self-protection, afraid of being wrong, unable to deal with brutal honesty. For myself, to learn to fight for myself through confidence is a gigantic step on the natural level.
Regarding sin, the battle is evermore. I will stumble, yet even worse is to lose courage, to forego confidence in the mercy of the Lord. He did not sacrifice His life in order for me to crush myself through guilt, or to grow arrogant, proud, and delusional within my Catholicism. He gave His life because he knew my weakness, because he truly loved in perfection. A warrior for Christ is not one who rationalizes victory, or seeks righteousness through the perceptions of others. Rather a warrior for Christ is one willing to acknowledge he is immersed within a battle he can never win based upon his own accord. Lord, I will fight for You, yet You know how wrong I can be. Know that I am trying, yet I keep falling and falling, sometimes barely even able to crawl. I will place confidence in my faith and hope, abandoning fear, unafraid to make attempts to be the man You want me to be.
You know my mortal weaknesses: drunkenness and lust. The drunkenness, You have defeated, myself remaining awestruck by alcohol’s power over me. Not for a second can I forget the depravity it inflicted upon my soul and life. If indulged, alcohol has unreserved mastery over me. I am truly powerless over alcohol. The lust I also admit absolute powerlessness over. I am so confused, entangled within years of waywardness. Celibate for decades, my mind is awful in fantasy, redirecting stress, subconscious dilemmas, and loneliness into poor behavior. You know how it breaks my spirit, crushes me, and humbles me. The humbling I accept, acknowledging it is virtuous in clearly demonstrating I am human. Defeat, I will not accept. I take confidence in Your mercy, knowing your insight into my heart, establishing fortitude and the awareness of the gradualness of proper perfecting. It hurts me deeply to offend You. I know I can never hide from You. You know, I pray for a wife, proper courting, not for lust–physicality completely usurped by healthy Christian contemplative companionship. Proper healing, to soothe away the years of being alone, improper thoughts, unrequited longings, through the sanctifying sacrament of marriage. My former spiritual partner, I was proper in longing, offering celibacy, desiring truly Catholic unity, a husband and wife joined through, with and in the Church. I have been through too much to find pleasure in teenage relationships, broken childish games; confused, complex, aimless immature, self-willed sickness regarding male/female interactions, even if draped in the guise of spiritual companionship, I reject spiritually perverse relationships. Through strength and relentlessness, I stand upon Your mercy. Prayerful, Lord I plead for spiritually and emotionally mature women to interact with. In sincere Christian friendship and fellowship, I desire purposeful women to enter and remain within my life. Do You Lord want me for religious service? I am utterly confused, yet not overwhelmed, willing to repose with confidence in faith, hope, and charity. Let the future come forth.