faith,  virtue challenge

Virtue Challenge: Week 5

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Warning:I’m not a trained theologian or doctor of the Church. If something here seems to contradict teachings of the Church, note that I do not speak on behalf of the Magisterium.

Note on last week’s challenge: Oooof, the Lord has been answering my Litany of Humility, a little too well if you know what I mean. He keeps drawing my sins to the surface and extracting them like venom from a snake bite. It’s painful, but the Lord is purifying me by having me deal with all this pride I possess. So bring on the pain Lord, if it’s what is needed in order for me to be a Saint!

Joyful & Fun
Now, let’s examine this week’s virtue challenge. I focused on being joyful and fun. I’m going to talk about how I’ve experienced temptation to despair, to let go of being joyful and fun this week. I think it might be the understatement of the year when I say I have a tendency to be scrupulous. I’m a perfectionist. I will start things over until it’s JUST right. I’m learning to let go of this need for perfection, but rather, focus on sainthood.

At times, when I do my examination of conscience, I can find myself reflecting and obsessing on venial sins that happened nearly a decade ago. It’s so important to understand the difference between venial and mortal sins in understanding our transgressions against our Father. I was born with the original sin. I suffer from a fallen human will.

When I focus on these venial sins from my past, that I had forgotten and haven’t had a chance to bring up in Reconciliation, I fear I’m not receiving our Lord in a perfect state of grace during Communion. These thoughts come from the enemy. The devil would have me believe that my sin is greater than the ocean of mercy our Lord has for me. He uses scruples to draw me away from God’s love and tempts me with despair.

I tend to cope with scruples by spending time in personal prayer and fasting to repent from these venial sins. Our Lord knows we are weak and fallen creatures, but He loves us and has so much mercy and justice. If He didn’t, we would never be worthy of receiving the Eucharist. Without His mercy, only Mother Mary would be worthy of Communion, in her immaculate conception.

Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed

Saint Josemaria put it best when he wrote: “Get rid of those scruples that deprive you of peace. What robs you of your peace of soul cannot come from God. When God comes to you, you will realize the truth of those greetings: My peace I give to you… My peace I leave with you… My peace be with you… And this peace you will feel even in the midst of tribulation”.

N.B. Do NOT purposefully omit to confess venial sins in the sacrament of Reconciliation. Do know, that any sins that you honestly forget to confess are forgiven when you receive absolution, but bring them up at your next Confession when you do remember them. It is good to confess these sins in prayer, but why deny yourself the amazing grace our Lord grants you through Reconciliation? The enemy will try to fool you into thinking that your venial sins have a stronger hold on you than God’s grace. Jesus diedfor your sins. Keep these verses in mind:
John 3:22-24 For there is no distinction; all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weaknesses.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, -in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.

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