By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.— Gal 5:22-23 (NRSV)
PROVINCIAL HOUSE USA (CR News) — Sister Superior was cracking down on her fellow nuns recently. Her goal was for each of her sisters to become holy. Her strategy was simple — practice holiness!
In Sister Superior’s world, practice makes perfect. Let’s talk.
It seems that Sr. Lucinda was having a certain, little problem. We don’t know what it was, but apparently, it was a bad habit that she had formed over time.
Father’s penance typically required some form of additional prayer, fasting, or charitable act. And it often required a time of contemplation.
Sister Superior’s solution was for her to go to confession VERY often (nearly every day). Sister Superior knew that Father always gave penance when he absolved sins in persona Christi (in the person of Christ or as Christ’s physical representative).
Sister Superior understood that each of these activities was part of a disciple’s training program. Like an athlete who practices drills again and again to master her body, each time a person comes to confession, Father gives that person “spiritual drills” to practice what Christ’s disciples do.
Nitty Gritty …
Uninformed people mistakenly think that priests dish out punishment for sins with penance. But actually, Jesus has already paid the price for our sins (1 Cor 15:3-4). Penance is about sinners becoming disciples.
When a sinner is aware of sin and is sorrowful enough to actually confess that sin, the sinner experiences complete absolution in the sacrament of Reconciliation (Jn 20:23). But unless the sinner practices behaviors that stand in opposition to sinful behavior, he or she is likely to return to those behaviors. The Bible compares it to a dog returning to its vomit (Prov 26:11; 2 Pet 2:22).
Enjoying the freedom from sin which Christ makes available to all people is realized in a personal way by practicing discipleship behaviors. That’s what we see in confession and penance. And that’s what’s behind Sister Superior’s plan to create a strong team of holy women in her order of sisters.
Our Story …
That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.
It’s cool to be Catholic. COOL2B!