Blog Post - August 11th
S. Clare of Assisi| S. Philomena| SS. Tiburtius and Susanna| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
One of the more sugary movies made about Francis of Assisi (October 4) pictures Clare as a golden-haired beauty floating through sun-drenched fields, a sort of one-woman counterpart to the new Franciscan Order.
The beginning of her religious life was indeed movie material. Having refused to marry at 15, she was moved by the dynamic preaching of Francis. He became her lifelong friend and spiritual guide.
At 18, she escaped one night from her father’s home, was met on the road by friars carrying torches, and in the poor little chapel called the Portiuncula received a rough woolen habit, exchanged her jeweled belt for a common rope with knots in it, and sacrificed the long tresses to Francis’ scissors. He placed her in a Benedictine convent, which her father and uncles immediately stormed in rage. She clung to the altar of the church, threw aside her veil to show her cropped hair and remained adamant.
End of movie material. Sixteen days later her sister Agnes joined her. Others came. They lived a simple life of great poverty, austerity and complete seclusion from the world, according to a Rule which Francis gave them as a Second Order (Poor Clares). Francis obliged her under obedience at age 21 to accept the office of abbess, one she exercised until her death.
The nuns went barefoot, slept on the ground, ate no meat and observed almost complete silence. (Later Clare, like Francis, persuaded her sisters to moderate this rigor: “Our bodies are not made of brass.”) The greatest emphasis, of course, was on gospel poverty. They possessed no property, even in common, subsisting on daily contributions. When even the pope tried to persuade her to mitigate this practice, she showed her characteristic firmness: “I need to be absolved from my sins, but I do not wish to be absolved from the obligation of following Jesus Christ.”
Contemporary accounts glow with admiration of her life in the convent of San Damiano in Assisi. She served the sick, waited on table, washed the feet of the begging nuns. She came from prayer, it was said, with her face so shining it dazzled those about her. She suffered serious illness for the last 27 years of her life. Her influence was such that popes, cardinals and bishops often came to consult her—she never left the walls of San Damiano.
Francis always remained her great friend and inspiration. She was always obedient to his will and to the great ideal of gospel life which he was making real.
A well-known story concerns her prayer and trust. She had the Blessed Sacrament placed on the walls of the convent when it faced attack by invading Saracens. “Does it please you, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children I have nourished with your love? I beseech you, dear Lord, protect these whom I am now unable to protect.” To her sisters she said, “Don’t be afraid. Trust in Jesus.” The Saracens fled.
On her deathbed, Clare was heard to say to herself: “Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for he who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Blessed be you, my God, for having created me.”
The 41 years of Clare’s religious life are poor movie material, but they are a scenario of sanctity: an indomitable resolve to lead the simple, literal gospel life as Francis taught her; courageous resistance to the ever-present pressure to dilute the ideal; a passion for poverty and humility; an ardent life of prayer; and a generous concern for her sisters.
Patron Saint of:
Today in the Latin Calendar we commemorate S. Philomena, Virgin and martyr. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
St. Philomena the Wonder-Worker: Her Story in Her Own Words
She is not well known everywhere, but knowledge of Saint Philomena seems to be steadily growing. Catholics around the world are discovering her and becoming fervently devoted. Her beautiful name is familiar on their lips.
But this is quite a recent development.
Saint Philomena was martyred under the reign of Diocletian around 300 A.D. For more than fifteen hundred years, she became an unknown martyr, joining the numbers of beautiful but nameless souls who had died for Christ.
But it seems that Jesus wanted to share her with the world.
The Discovery of A Forgotten Saint
In 1802, a worker’s pickax struck the surface of a tomb in the darkness of an underground cemetery, within the catacombs of Priscilla. A Vatican overseer was notified and came with several other witnesses. Sand was cleared away; the tomb of a martyr was unearthed. Three funeral tiles bore the words PAX TECUM FILUMENA. [Peace be with you, Philomena] The letters were painted in a vermilion-red lead and were still easily legible.
"...documented by Msgr. Ponzetti, Custodian of the Holy Relics, as bearing 'FILUMENA,' an interpretation of the epitaph consistent with...the ancient custom of beginning inscriptions from the second tile..."
When competent authorities examined the remains found within, they discovered them to be the bones of a young woman between the ages of 13 and 15.
With due reverence, the remains were taken to the treasury of Sacred Relics, and placed with care; but nothing at all was known about the saint, and it seemed that this would always be the case. How could anything more be discovered about a young woman who had died 1,500 years ago?
But Philomena’s legacy had just begun.
Philomena Shares Her Story
Some years after her relics were discovered, the saint revealed her story to three different people. These three people had never met each other, lived in different places around the world, and yet reported accounts of Philomena’s life that were eerily identical.
The best-known account was given to Venerable Mother Maria Luisa di Gesù, a Dominican tertiary. In August of 1833, Mother Luisa was praying before a statue of Saint Philomena, and felt a keen desire to know the details of Philomena’s life and martyrdom. Later, when she was in her cell, her prayerful desire was granted. The gentle voice of Philomena spoke to her.
So here is the story of this lovely saint, told in her own words.
"My dear Sister, I am the daughter of a Prince who governed a small state in Greece. My mother is also of royal blood. My parents were without children. They were idolaters. They continually offered sacrifices and prayers to their false gods.
A doctor from Rome named Publius lived in the palace in the service of my father. This doctor professed Christianity. Seeing the affliction of my parents, by the impulse of the Holy Ghost, he spoke to them of Christianity, and promised to pray for them if they consented to receive Baptism. The grace which accompanied his words enlightened their understanding and triumphed over their will. They became Christians and obtained the long desired happiness that Publius had assured them as the reward of their conversion. At the moment of my birth, they gave me the name of "Lumena," an allusion to the light of Faith of which I had been, as it were, the fruit. The day of my Baptism they called me "Filumena," or "Daughter of Light," because on that day I was born to the Faith. The affection which my parents bore me was so great that they had me always with them.
It was on this account that they took me to Rome on a journey that my father was obliged to make on the occasion of an unjust war with which he was threatened by the haughty Diocletian. I was then thirteen years old. On our arrival in the capital of the world, we proceeded to the palace of the Emperor and were admitted for an audience. As soon as Diocletian saw me, his eyes were fixed upon me. He appeared to be pre-possessed in this manner during the entire time that my father was stating with animated feelings everything that could serve for his defense.
As soon as Father had ceased to speak, the Emperor desired him to be disturbed no longer, to banish all fear, to think only of living in happiness. These are the Emperor’s words, ‘I shall place at your disposal all the force of the Empire. I ask only one thing, that is the hand of your daughter.’ My father, dazzled with an honor he was far from expecting, willingly acceded on the spot to the proposal of the Emperor.
When we returned to our own dwelling, Father and Mother did all they could to induce me to yield to Diocletian’s wishes and theirs. I cried, ‘Do you wish, that for the love of a man, I should break the promise I have made to Jesus Christ? My virginity belongs to him. I can no longer dispose of it.’
‘But you were young then, too young,’ answered my father, ‘to have formed such an engagement.’ He joined the most terrible threats to the command that he gave me to accept the hand of Diocletian. The grace of my God rendered me invincible, and my father, not being able to make the Emperor relent, in order to disengage himself from the promise he had given, was obliged by Diocletian to bring me to the Imperial Chamber.
I had to withstand for some time beforehand a new attack from my father’s anger. My mother, uniting her efforts to his, endeavored to conquer my resolution. Caresses, threats, everything was employed to induce me to compliance. At last, I saw both of my parents fall at my knees and say to me with tears in their eyes, ‘My child have pity on your father, your mother, your country, our country, our subjects.’
‘No! No,’ I answered them. ‘My virginity, which I have vowed to God, comes before everything, before you, before my country. My kingdom is heaven.’
My words plunged them into despair and they brought me before the Emperor, who on his part did all in his power to win me. But his promises, his allurements, his threats, were equally useless. He then flew into a violent fit of anger and, influenced by the Devil, had me cast into one of the prisons of the palace, where he had me loaded with chains. Thinking that pain and shame would weaken the courage with which my Divine Spouse inspired me, he came to see me every day. After several days, the Emperor issued an order for my chains to be loosed, that I might take a small portion of bread and water. He renewed his attacks, some of which would have been fatal to purity had it not been for the grace of God.
The defeats which he always experienced were for me the preludes to new tortures. Prayer supported me. I did not cease to recommend myself to Jesus and his most pure Mother. My captivity had lasted thirty-seven days, when, in the midst of a heavenly light, I saw Mary holding the Divine Son in her arms.
‘My daughter,’ she said to me, ‘three days more of prison and after forty days you shall leave this state of pain.’
Such happy news made my heart beat with joy, but as the Queen of Angels had added that I should quit my prison, to sustain, in frightful torments a combat far more terrible than those preceding, I fell instantly from joy to the most cruel anguish; I thought it would kill me.
‘Have courage, my child,’ Mary then said to me; ‘are you unaware of the love of predilection that I bear for you? The name, which you received in baptism, is the pledge of it for the resemblance which it has to that of my Son and to mine. You are called Lumena, as your Spouse is called Light, Star, Sun, as I myself am called Aurora, Star, the Moon in the fullness of its brightness, and Sun. Fear not, I will aid you. Now nature, whose weakness humbles you, asserts its law. In the moment of combat, grace will come to lend you its force, and your Angel, who was also mine, Gabriel, whose name expresses strength, will come to your aid. I will recommend you especially to his care, as the well beloved among my children.’
These words of the Queen of virgins gave me courage again, and the vision disappeared, leaving my prison filled with a celestial perfume. I experienced a joy out of this world. Something indefinable.
What the Queen of Angels had prepared me for was soon experienced. Diocletian, despairing of bending me, decided on public chastisement to offend my virtue. He condemned me to be stripped and scourged like the Spouse I preferred to him. These are his horrifying words.
‘Since she is not ashamed to prefer to an Emperor like me, a malefactor condemned to an infamous death by his own people, she deserves that my justice shall treat her as he was treated.’
The prison guards hesitated to unclothe me entirely but they did tie me to a column in the presence of the great men of the court. They lashed me with violence until I was bathed in blood. My whole body felt like one open wound, but I did not faint.
The tyrant had me dragged back to the dungeon, expecting me to die. I hoped to join my heavenly Spouse. Two angels, shining with light, appeared to me in the darkness. They poured a soothing balm on my wounds, bestowing on me a vigor I did not have before the torture.
When the Emperor was informed by the change that had come over me, he had me brought before him. He viewed me with a greedy desire and tried to persuade me that I owed my healing and regained vigor to Jupiter, another god that he, the Emperor, had sent to me. He attempted to impress me with his belief that Jupiter desired me to be Empress of Rome. Joining to these seductive words promises of great honor, including the most flattering words, Diocletian tried to caress me. Fiendishly, he attempted to complete the work of Hell which he had begun. The Divine Spirit to whom I am indebted for constancy in preserving my purity seemed to fill me with light and knowledge and to all the proofs which I gave of the solidity of our Faith, neither Diocletian nor his courtiers could find an answer.
Then, the frenzied Emperor dashed at me, commanding a guard to chain an anchor around my neck and bury me deep in the waters of the Tiber. The order was executed. I was cast into the water, but God sent me two angels who unfastened the anchor. It fell into the river mud, where it remains no doubt to the present time. The angels transported me gently in full view of the multitude upon the riverbank. I came back unharmed, not even wet, after being plunged with the heavy anchor.
When a cry of joy rose from the debauchers on the shore, and so many embraced Christianity by proclaiming their belief in my God, Diocletian attributed my preservation to secret magic. Then the Emperor had me dragged through the streets of Rome and shot with a shower of arrows. My blood flowed, but I did not faint. Diocletian thought that I was dying and commanded the guards to carry me back to the dungeon. Heaven honored me with a new favor there. I fell into a sweet sleep, and I found myself, on awaking, perfectly cured.
Diocletian learned about it. ‘Well, then,’ he cried in a fit of rage, ‘let her be pierced with sharp darts a second time, and let her die in that torture.’ They hastened to obey him. Again, the archers bent their bows. They gathered all their strength, but the arrows refused to second their intentions. The Emperor was present. In a rage, he called me a magician, and thinking that the action of fire could destroy the enchantment, ordered the darts to be made in a furnace and directed against my heart. He was obeyed, but these darts, after having passed through a part of the space which they were to cross to come to me, took a quite contrary direction and returned to strike those by whom they had been hurled. Six of the archers were killed by them. Several among them renounced paganism, and the people began to render public testimony to the power of God that protected me.
These murmurs and acclamations infuriated the tyrant. He determined to hasten my death by ordering my head to be cut off. My soul took flight towards my heavenly Spouse, who placed me, with the crown of virginity and the palm of martyrdom, in a distinguished place among the elect. The day that was so happy for me and saw me enter into glory was Friday, the third hour after mid-day, the same hour that saw my Divine Master expire."
Saints Who Loved This Saint
There are many saints who were deeply devoted to Philomena. They sought out her intercession, had great trust in her desire to help them, and spread devotion to her among the people around them. Here are several of those saints:
Saint John Vianney (Cure de Ars) Padre Pio Saint Frances Cabrini Saint Damien of Molokai Saint John Neumann Saint Peter Julian Eymard Blessed Anna Maria Taigi
There is even a Saint Philomena Scapular as well as a Saint Philomena Chaplet that you can pray.
Sometimes, Saint Philomena chooses people. That is, she definitely seems to have chosen my younger brother Liam! He first happened to read a brief pamphlet about her that was placed in a local parish when he was a very young teen. He did not seek her out after that, but she kept popping into his life. For example, while visiting a shrine's gift shop, he plunged his hand into a bin full of medals and picked one at random. It was a Saint Philomena medal. Things like this would happen to him more than once.
One year, on his birthday, my mom asked him what he wanted for his birthday. He requested a book about Saint Philomena. (My mom was delighted but surprised that a teenage boy would ask for something like that.) Even more amazing—my brother decided to choose her as his confirmation saint! He was a little embarrassed, at first, to have a girl's name for his saint. But his devotion to her overcame his hesitance.
Regarding the Controversy Surrounding St. Philomena
St. Philomena's feast day was removed from the official liturgical calendar in the 1960s during the liturgical reforms of Pope John XXIII. This was due to the lack of verifiable historical evidence surrounding her existence, the fact that her miracles were not formally approved in the usual process, and that she was never officially declared a saint in the usual manner when her tomb was discovered in the 19th century.
This has led some to conclude that Philomena is not really a saint, and that it is wrong for Catholics to persist in venerating her as such — considering that she was removed from the liturgical calendar by the Sacred Congregation of Rites due to lack of credibility.
Indeed, St. Philomena's case is unusual. She was unknown in Church history until her tomb was discovered in modern times, after which miracles attributed to her intercession abounded. The papal response to the discovery of the relics and the resulting miracles (at least one of which was known personally to the Holy Father) was that Pope Gregory XVI, by papal decree, added her feast day to the liturgical calendar. This decree was based on her miracles alone, despite the lack of knowledge about her life and the absence of known veneration by previous generations of Christians.
At the time her body was discovered, there was not yet a canonization process by which miracles were painstakingly investigated as they are today—but the Holy Father gave approval to her public liturgical veneration with a Mass and a Divine Office, which is an acknowledgment of her heavenly status. This stands in place of the typical canonization procedure. It is indeed an irregular situation (likely based on the unusual way in which Philomena was discovered), however it is lawful for a pope to canonize a saint based on the fame of miracles alone apart from the usual procedure. Papal canonization is protected from error by the Holy Spirit. We can therefore say that Philomena is Saint Philomena.
She was not only given a feast day, however; she was also given an archconfraternity which was raised to a Universal Archconfraternity by papal decree. (Put simply, an archconfraternity is an association of Catholic faithful that ascribes to and promotes a particular devotion thereby enjoying certain privileges and graces.)
Although Philomena's feast was removed from the liturgical calendar, it does not follow that her veneration is forbidden; her archconfraternity and universal shrine still exist with papal approval, just as they have since their founding.
According to the Universal Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena:
From the liturgical approval of Pope Gregory XVI to the papal decrees of St. Pius X, Nineteen acts of the Holy See in the course of five successive pontificates were issued in positive promotion of popular devotion to Saint Philomena expressed in the form of elevations in rank of liturgical cultus, the erection of confraternities and archconfraternities, and the granting of plenary and partial indulgences."
Although the Church has removed her feast from the modern liturgical calendar, Pope Pius X declared that Philomena's veneration as a saint is part of the infallible Magisterium. You can read more detailed evidence for the lawful veneration of St. Philomena here.
Saint Philomena is the patron saint of priests, youth (especially babies and children), the afflicted and imprisoned, the suffering and sick, afflicted mothers who turn to her for material or spiritual aid for their children, students and test-takers, young married couples, spiritual and temporal problems, and more. She is the Protectress of the Children of Mary. It is said: "There is no case too trivial or unimportant to concern her."
Why is her intercession powerful? Because she turns to the Blessed Mother! On one occasion, when she interceded on behalf of Mother Luisa (to whom she told the story of her life as mentioned earlier), Philomena then said to Luisa, "Have you seen how this was done? I asked the graces from Mary and, through Mary, they were granted to me."
Now that you've "met" Philomena, why don't you ask her to be your spiritual sister and intercessor? I am sure that she will be more than happy to intercede for you. After all, like all our family in heaven, she wants you to one day be there with her and with her Divine Spouse!
Have you ever heard of Saint Philomena before?
If not, what do you think of her?
If so, has she been of help to you in your seeking of Christ?
Also today in the Latin Calendar we commemorate SS. Tiburtius, Martyr and Susanna, Virgin and Martyr.
SAINT TIBURTIUS AND SAINT SUSANNA (VIRGIN), MARTYRS
Today is the feast day of Saint Tiburtius and Saint Susanna, Martyrs. Orate pro nobis.
by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876
Tiburtius, a son of the Roman prefect Chromatius, received holy baptism at the same time as his father, and not only endeavored to lead a Christian life, but also to bring others to the knowledge of the true faith. One day, while he was walking through the street, a boy fell from the roof of a house to the pavement, and was so injured that it was thought that every moment would be his last. Tiburtius going towards him, made the sign of the cross over him, and commanded him, in the name of Jesus Christ, to rise, and to abandon heathenism. The boy immediately arose, became a Christian, and persuaded many who had witnessed the miracle to do likewise. At another time Tiburtius went to a youth named Torquatus, who, although baptized and calling himself a Christian, did not conduct himself according to the dictates of the church. His dress was too luxurious; he spent too much time in idleness, gaming, dancing, and other amusements; he was unrestrained and licentious in his conversation and conduct. He was seldom at prayer, but frequently in dangerous company. Tiburtius exhorted him most earnestly to change his unchristian behavior. Torquatus feigned a determination to follow his advice, but secretly went to the judge Fabian, and revealed to him that Tiburtius was a Christian.
This he did in revenge for the reproofs which Tiburtius had given him. But, that he might not be known as the accuser, he requested to be arraigned with Tiburtius. When this had taken place, the judge asked Torquatus who he was. “I am a Christian,” was his reply, “and this man Tiburtius has converted me to the true faith.” But Tiburtius said: “I have never recognized you as a Christian; for, your life has not been that of a Christian. To dress luxuriously, not to observe the fast days, to be indifferent to your prayers, to pass the day in idleness, to associate with the other sex, to be licentious in your words, are not the characteristics of a Christian. Christ does not recognize such as His followers.” Fabian would not listen to these reproofs, but, having the ground strewn with hot coals, he said to the saint: “You have your choice either to throw incense over these coals, and thus offer to the gods, or to walk barefoot over them.”
Tiburtius, without a moment's hesitation, took off his shoes, and courageously stepping upon the coals, walked up and down over them, without a sign of pain. Addressing the judge, he said: “See and know, that the God of the Christians is the only God, whom all creatures obey. Your live coals seem to me but lovely flowers.” The judge, highly incensed, exclaimed: “I knew long since that your Christ instructed his followers in magic. I shall, however, pay no attention to it.” The holy martyr rebuked this blasphemy, and as Fabian saw that the heathens began to admire the God of the Christians, he ordered him to be beheaded, thus bestowing upon him the crown of martyrdom.
St. Susanna, one of the most noble virgins of Rome, and a near relative of the emperor Dioclesian, was educated by her father, Gabinus, and Pope Cajus in the Christian faith from her earliest infancy. As soon as she was old enough to understand the value of chastity, she vowed never to choose another bridegroom than Jesus Christ. It was not unknown to Dioclesian that Gabinus and his brother Cajus were Christians, but being so nearly related to them, he feigned ignorance of the fact. After having chosen Maximian Galerius as his colleague and heir to the imperial throne, he intended to give him Susanna in marriage, and thus make her empress. To inform Gabinus of this intention, he sent his sister's son, Claudius, to him. Gabinus begged for time to consider the proposal, and repaired immediately to Pope Cajus to consult with him. Both informed the chaste Susanna of the emperor's intention, and asked her how she wished to act in this important affair. “The Christian faith,” replied she, without hesitation, “and virginal chastity possess a higher value for me than a crown. I will not become the spouse of one who is not a Christian; besides, I have promised myself to God, and neither honor, riches, nor any other earthly advantage shall induce me to break my vow.”
Cajus and Gabinus were rejoiced at this answer, and encouraged her to constancy, and advised her to prepare herself, by prayer, fasting, and other good works, for a hard struggle, as there was reason to believe that it would cost her life, if she dared to resist the emperor's will. “And what could be a greater honor to me,” she said, “than to obtain, instead of the crown of the empire, the glorious crown of martyrdom?” Three days later, Claudius returned to Gabinus for the answer. On entering the house, he saw Susanna herself, and approaching her, offered, as a mark of respect, to kiss her hand. But the virgin, filled with holy indignation, withdrew her hand, saying severely: ” I have never, from my childhood, allowed any man such a liberty, still less shall I permit you to take it; for, you are an idolater, and your lips are soiled from the sacrifice of which you have partaken.” She then spoke to him so earnestly of her faith, that Claudius, unable to say a word, for some moments stood silently before her; but at last, impressed by her words and manner, and persuaded by an inner voice, he resolved, with his wife and children, to embrace the Christian faith.
Another courtier, Maximus, who had followed Claudius to receive Gabinus' answer, acted in the same manner. The emperor, hearing of it, was enraged, and ordering Claudius, his wife and children, and Maximus, with his family, to be seized, he caused them to be burned alive, while Susanna and her father were cast into a dungeon. A few days later, he released Susanna, and placed her in the charge of Serena, his wife, who was to endeavor to persuade her to become the wife of Maximian. Serena, however, who was secretly a Christian, strengthened Susanna in her resolution, and exhorted her to spurn riches, honors, and the imperial crown, rather than break her promise to God. At last, Serena imparted Susanna's unchangeable resolution to the emperor, who, contrary to all expectations, sent her back to her father's house, leaving it to Maximian to plead his own cause. He stormed her father's house at night, determined by force to rob her of her most precious treasure. But when he opened the door, he saw her absorbed in prayer, and surrounded by a heavenly light. Awed by the sight, he drew back and went to Dioclesian and related all he had seen. The emperor then commanded Macedonius, an apostate from the faith, either to force her to worship the gods or to kill her. Macedonius, who could prevail upon her neither with promises nor menaces, had Susanna cruelly scourged and then beheaded in her own house. During her martyrdom, she gave thanks to God that He had thought her worthy to suffer and die for His sake.
The Perfect Prayer:
The Lord's Prayer is the most perfect of prayers.... In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them. —St. Thomas Aquinas
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Those who aspire to pure love of God have no need to be patient with others to the degree we should be with ourselves.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236
We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!
Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.
The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!
Reflection 223: A Dreadful Day
Nothing in life has to be dreadful. Even the greatest struggle and suffering we endure can easily be transformed by God to become a source of His Mercy and our sanctification. But there is one thing that would be truly dreadful if it were to come upon us. And that one thing is the Day of Judgment if we were to remain closed to the Mercy of God through our obstinance and refusal to humbly repent and change our lives. This is a frightening reality to behold. When we stand before the Judgment Seat of God we will never be able to justify our stubborn adherence to sin. No amount of rationalization or self-justification will appease the Justice of God. Do not allow yourself to come to this point. Repent now. Honestly repent and confess your sin. Do not hold onto your self-righteousness. This will be easy to accomplish if you clearly understand the infinite Mercy of God offered you now and until the day of your judgment. After that, it will be too late. Do not wait (See Diary #1160).
What do you need to repent of? Seriously, what is it? Do not cling to your own self-righteousness acting as if you have no sin. You may fool others, you may even fool yourself, but you will never fool God. His love for you is greater than you’ll ever fathom and knowing this should ease your worries about admitting your sin. Do it and watch the floodgates of Mercy open before you.
Lord, I am sorry and I do repent of my sin. I am so sorry, especially for the ways that I have failed to honestly admit my wrongs. Give me the grace, this day, to see my soul as You see it and to admit to the ways that I have turned from You, clinging to my own sin and especially my pride. Have Mercy on me, dear Lord. I give myself and all my sin to You. Jesus, I trust in You.