True repentance. Act of contrition

 Besides great strength, true contrition gives the soul a particular joy, and disposes it to be effective among others. "The Master passes, again and again, very close to us. He looks at us... And if you look at Him, if you listen to Him, if you do not reject Him, He will teach you how to give supernatural meaning to all your actions..... And then you too will sow, wherever you are, consolation and peace and joy".

Judas was also under the gaze of the Lord, who urged him to change when, at the moment of his betrayal, he felt called with the title of friend. Friend! Why have you come here? He did not repent at that moment, but later he did: seeing Jesus sentenced, repentant for what he had done, he returned the thirty pieces of silver.

What a difference between Peter and Judas! Both betrayed (in different ways) their fidelity to their Master. Both repented. Peter would be - in spite of his denials - the rock on which the Church of Christ would be built until the end of time. Judas went and hanged himself. Simple human repentance is not enough; it produces anguish, bitterness and despair.

With Christ, repentance is transformed into joyful sorrow, because the lost friendship is recovered. In a few moments, Peter was united to the Lord - through the pain of his denials - much more strongly than he had ever been. From his denials he draws a fidelity that will lead him to martyrdom.

Judas was just the opposite, he remained alone: "What do we care, there you go," the chief priests told him. Judas, in the isolation that sin produces, did not know how to go to Christ; he lacked hope.

We must often awaken in our hearts the pain of Love for our sins. Especially when making the examination of conscience at the end of the day, and when preparing for Confession.

"To you who are demoralized, I will repeat something very consoling: to him who does what he can, God does not deny his grace. Our Lord is Father, and if a child says to Him in the stillness of his heart: My Father in Heaven, here I am, help me.... If he goes to the Mother of God, who is our Mother, he will succeed".