Reflecting on our lives and past decisions, we will inevitably see mistakes – choices that we made that we wish we didn’t.
On the one hand, we can’t beat ourselves up over these bad choices. All of our decisions, the good and the bad, have led us to this moment, to who we are today.
On the other hand, it’s important that we use our past to influence our present.
All of us have sinful pasts. As the quote goes, “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” Every saint has sinned. The difference is that the saints saw their sins for what they were, and used the knowledge of the self to change their ways in the future.
In many ways, this is big part of spiritual progress from sinfulness toward sanctity – knowing ourselves, knowing what leads us to sin, and avoiding it. It seems almost too simple. But, because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not difficult.
How many of us seem to confess the same sins every time we go to confession. A red flag should go up when this happens – there’s a lesson to learn here. Maybe we are especially susceptible to a certain temptation, or we are particularly weak when it comes to X, or the devil is using sin Y to make us feel guilty and turn away from God. We must draw these lessons out through self examination and use this knowledge in the future.
Let us pray for the grace to see our sins for what they are, and the strength to stand firm when we are tempted again.
Be the Men.