Sunday, August 10, 2008

Overcoming Vice

I love to hear a good sermon at Mass and today was no disappointment. It's been a month since I last attended the Latin Mass, (I've had to go to the much closer NO Mass lately) and I would like to share with you the words of wisdom that were spoken today.

First, Father lamented the number of Catholics who spurn frequent Confession, but still choose to receive Holy Communion. He told us how the devil influences us to make us think our sins are so small they are not even worthy of confessing. He strongly encouraged us to make frequent confessions, even if we have only venial sins to confess. Then he told us something very useful for overcoming vice and developing virtue: how to make a particular examination of conscience.

A particular examination of conscience is done every day when one is trying to overcome some vice that leads them to sin. We are to examine our consciences every day for the one vice we most want to root out, and apply the opposite virtue to overcome this tendency to sin. Rather than taking on the whole army, we are fighting one enemy at a time, so to speak, and also practicing the virtue that opposes the vice. For example, if impatience is the vice I most want to be rid of, I must practice the virtue of patience every time I find myself being impatient with someone or something. Then I would review all the actions of that day, examining if or how that virtue was practiced in each and every action.

Since we cannot possibly hope to achieve immediate perfection of all Christian virtues, through the particular examination of conscience we can acquire one virtue at a time, while eradicating its opposing vice from our lives.

Capital Virtues and their opposing sins:

Capital Virtue
Opposing Sin


4 comments:

ignorant redneck said...

Thank you. Struggling.

Marilena said...

our priest was mentioning this morning that the 7 capitol sins are leprosy of the soul. i really enjoyed his homily. very well done. makes you think how awful these sins are and how they appear to Jesus. one would want their soul to be spotless to Jesus and not filthy and leprous.

paramedicgirl said...

Marilena, our priest also talked about leprosy; he mentioned Father Damien who went to administer to the lepers in Hawaii and how this holy priest lived among the lepers administering the sacraments to them.

He had no other priest to hear his own confession, since they were afraid to come close, and once he had to call his confession to a priest on a ship because that priest was afraid of being in contact with him. In the end, Father Damien did indeed contact leprosy and died from it. He is now considered Blessed by the Church

Tom in Vegas said...

A good examination of conscience before confession can do wonders. I suppose that sometimes nerves get the best of people and they omit (inadvertently) things they should have confessed.

If I'm not mistaken, Father Damien is set for canonization some time in 2009.