We all have our vices. Our addictions. Our very bad habits.
For awhile, all seems well. We overlook those vices and go on.
Then something happens and we want to get away from the bad habit we’ve allowed ourselves to do. We want to move on, as they say. To another place perhaps, a different scene.
The problem is we take our vice with us. Because it isn’t a change of scene that will rid us of it.
Only a change in ourselves can do that. And that change is something only we can make happen. No one else can do it for us.
Unless we make a difficult commitment, our vice may stay with us for the rest of our lives.
If you don’t behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.– Fulton J. Sheen
So how do we avoid the awful habits that present themselves to us? Well, we can’t. At some point, good and evil touch in each life. Two opposite forces confront each other. And that causes an action. And action takes energy and that produces growth. From physics to psychology to spirituality, opposite forces cause action.
BUT sometimes that action causes change.
When we want to change our undesirable behaviors, we are facing the opposite force; we are in battle with it. We are confronting the ‘self’ we are, and the ‘self’ we really want to be. But we need help in doing it, and we need mercy.
Catholics love mercy, so we make good use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation; Confession. And how happy we are once we have been!
First comes knowing that we can be forgiven. Second is reconciliation with God and those we have hurt through honest sorrow. Third is recommitment–our personal recommitment to change.
Why a Sacrament of Reconciliation?
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation–2Corinthians 5:18
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1441-1442
Only God forgives sins, but since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, “The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” and exercises this divine power: “Your sins are forgiven.” Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name.
Christ has willed that in prayer and life and action his whole Church should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that he acquired for us at the price of his blood. But he entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the “ministry of reconciliation.”The apostle is sent out “on behalf of Christ” with “God making his appeal” through him and pleading: “Be reconciled to God.”
When we are reconciled to God, We are happy, and even more. We have a real peace, so that no matter what comes, or what we do to ourselves, we get through it, and rise above it, with His merciful love.