Book Talk Tuesday, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part 1, Chapter 19

Book Talk Tuesday, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part 1, Chapter 19

CHAPTER XIX. How to make a General Confession.

SUCH meditations as these, my daughter, will help you, and having made
them, go on bravely in the spirit of humility to make your general
confession;–but I entreat you, be not troubled by any sort of
fearfulness. The scorpion who stings us is venomous, but when his oil
has been distilled, it is the best remedy for his bite;–even so sin is
shameful when we commit it, but when reduced to repentance and
confession, it becomes salutary and honourable. Contrition and
confession are in themselves so lovely and sweet-savoured, that they
efface the ugliness and disperse the ill savour of sin. Simon the leper
called Magdalene a sinner, [21] but our Lord turned the discourse to
the perfume of her ointment and the greatness of her love. If we are
really humble, my daughter, our sins will be infinitely displeasing to
us, because they offend God;–but it will be welcome and sweet to
accuse ourselves thereof because in so doing we honour God; and there
is always somewhat soothing in fully telling the physician all details
of our pain.

When you come to your spiritual father, imagine yourself to be on Mount
Calvary, at the Feet of the Crucified Saviour, Whose Precious Blood is
dropping freely to cleanse you from all your sin. Though it is not his
actual Blood, yet it is the merit of that outpoured Blood which is
sprinkled over His penitents as they kneel in Confession. Be sure then
that you open your heart fully, and put away your sins by confessing
them, for in proportion as they are put out, so will the Precious
Merits of the Passion of Christ come in and fill you with blessings.

Tell everything simply and with straightforwardness, and thoroughly
satisfy your conscience in doing so. Then listen to the admonitions and
counsels of God’s Minister, saying in your heart, “Speak, Lord, for Thy
servant heareth.” It is truly God to Whom you hearken, forasmuch as He
has said to His representatives, “Whoso heareth you, heareth Me.” [22]
Then take the following protest, as a summary of your contrition,
having carefully studied and meditated upon it beforehand: read it
through with as earnest an intention as you can make.

[21] S. Mark xiv. and S. Luke vii. 39.

[22] S. Luke x. 16.