Sin leaves an imprint on the soul that must be erased with pain, with much love. On the other hand, although sin is always a personal offense against God, it does not cease to have its effects on others. For better or for worse, we are constantly influencing those around us, in the Church, in the world. Not only by the good or bad example we give or by the direct results of our actions. "This is the other side of that solidarity which, on the religious level, is developed in the profound and magnificent mystery of the communion of saints, thanks to which it has been said that "every soul that is elevated, elevates the world". To this law of elevation corresponds, unfortunately, the law of descent, so that one can speak of a communion of sin, by which a soul that is lowered by sin lowers with itself the Church and, in a certain sense, the whole world. In other words, there is no sin, even the most intimate and secret, the most strictly individual, that affects only the one who commits it. Every sin has repercussions, with greater or lesser intensity, with greater or lesser harm, on the whole ecclesial whole and on the whole human family."
The Lord asks us to be a source of joy and light for the whole Church. It will be a great help in the midst of our work and our chores to think of others, to know that we are a help - also in penance - to the whole Mystical Body of Christ, and especially to those people whom the Lord has placed close to us in the journey of life and with whom we maintain a special union: "If you feel the Communion of Saints - if you live it - you will gladly be a penitent man. -And you will understand that penance is "gaudium, etsi laboriosum"-joy, though laborious-: and you will feel "allied" with all the penitent souls who have been, are and will be." "You will find it easier to do your duty when you think of the help your brothers give you and of the help you fail to give them, if you are not faithful."
The penance that the Lord asks of us, as Christians in the midst of the world, must be discreet, joyful...; that wants to go unnoticed, but does not fail to translate into abundant concrete deeds. For the rest, it does not matter much if it is ever noticed. "If they have been witnesses of your weaknesses and miseries, what does it matter if they are witnesses of your penitence? If other people have witnessed our bad temper or lack of love, or our laziness, or other sins, it should not matter to us that they know and see that we are making amends for those weaknesses