Effectiveness of the sacrament of Penance

In the Old Testament the Messiah is described as the shepherd who was to come to care for his sheep with solicitude, coming to heal the wounded and sick. He came to seek what was lost, to call sinners, to give his life as a ransom for many. It was He, as prophesied, who endured our sufferings and bore our griefs, and in His stripes we have been healed.

Christ is the remedy for our ills: we are all a little sick and therefore we need Christ. "He is the Physician and He heals our selfishness, if we allow His grace to penetrate to the depths of our souls". We must go to Him as a sick person goes to the doctor, telling the truth of what is wrong, with a desire to be cured. "Jesus has warned us that the worst disease is hypocrisy, the pride that leads to concealment of one's sins. With the Doctor, absolute sincerity is essential, explaining the truth in full and saying: Domine, si vis, potes me mundare (Mt 8:2), Lord, if you are willing - and you are always willing - you can cure me. You know my weakness, I feel these symptoms, I suffer from these other weaknesses. And we simply show you the sores; and the pus, if there is pus. Lord. You who have healed so many souls, grant that, holding you to my breast or contemplating you in the Tabernacle, I may recognise you as the divine Physician".

At times, the Lord will act directly in our soul: I want to, be clean, go ahead, be more humble, do not worry. At other times, and whenever there is a serious sin, the Lord says: Go and show yourselves to the priests, to the sacrament of Penance, where the soul always finds the appropriate medicine.

Reflecting on the function of this sacrament," says Pope John Paul II, "the conscience of the Church discovers in it, in addition to the character of judgement..., a therapeutic or medicinal character. And this is related to the fact that Christ is frequently presented in the Gospel as a Physician, while his redemptive work is often called, since Christian antiquity, medicina salutis. "I want to heal, not to accuse", said St. Augustine referring to the penitential pastoral practice, and, thanks to the medicine of Confession, the experience of sin does not degenerate into despair. It ends in great peace, in immense joy.

We always count on the Lord's encouragement and help to go back and start again. He is the one who leads the fight, and "a leader on the battlefield has more esteem for the soldier who, after having fled, returns and attacks the enemy with ardor, than for the one who never turned his back, but never took courageous action". It is not only the one who never falls who is sanctified, but the one who always gets up. The bad thing is not to have faults - because we all have faults - but to make a pact with them, not to fight. And Christ heals us as a Physician and then helps us to fight.

Meditación diaria