Perhaps you have done something you regret - who hasn't? I have to share with you this beautiful quote from Padre Pio:
"Any mental picture of your life that focuses on past sins is a lie and thus comes from the devil. Jesus loves you and has forgiven you your sins, so there is no room for having a downcast spirit. Whatever persuades you otherwise is truly a waste of time. "
The beauty of Catholicism is that we are blessed with the sacrament of Reconciliation. In it, we confess our sins to a priest, who represents Christ Himself. With the words of absolution, our sins are forgiven and our soul is clean.
Is there forgiveness?Yes!Do not think you are so original, there is not one sin that God cannot forgive. Are there consequences to our sin?Yes.So we then must work on repairing the damage done in other's lives as a result of our sin.
Sin is saying "No" to God. It is time now to say "Yes" to His amazing plan for our lives. We have to put away our dreams and our plans and exchange them for something so much better- God's plan and God's dream for our lives. Our lives become so much easier when we say "Yes" to God and "No" to self.
But saying "No" to self is a challenge. At religion class last night, we boiled it down to three S's that cause discontent and sin in our lives: Self, Sex, and Stuff.
Self:Self says that it's all about me. What can I do to make the results the best for me? Pride is the root cause of all sins caused by self. How do we conquer self? Prayer. Prayer is when we give all to God. We then have to focus on listening what someone else has to say, since God knows what is best for us.
Sex: An abuse of our sexuality is something that is rampant in our culture. Pornography, over-sexuality dressing and immodesty, and all things that twist the beauty of God-created sexuality boils down to one thing, Lust. How do we conquer lust? Fasting. By denying our bodies little things, like food, our favorite drink, extra TV, etc., we practice saying no to little things. When temptation sneaks around, we are able to say no to lustful desires because we already have practice with little things.
Stuff: Matthew Kelly once said: "God gave us people to love and things to use. Too often we love things and use people." When we place our material objects above other people and above our relationship with God, things aren't going to go so well. Why? Because our priorities are in the wrong place. This is not to say that people who have "stuff" can't get into Heaven - it is that they have to be able to use the blessing of their material possessions to draw themselves closer to God. How do we conquer stuff? Tithing. Not only giving money to further God's kingdom on earth, but also giving away our time and talent to use what God has given us for His greater good.