E-mail from Heaven: Is your computer on?
St. Augustine: In his famous Confessions St. Augustine is brutally honest with himself about his sins. We should imitate him by examining ourselves often and sincerely repenting.The abyss of the human conscience lies naked to your eyes, O Lord, so would anything be secret even if I were unwilling to confess to you? I would be hiding you from myself, but not myself from you. But now that my groans bear witness that I find no pleasure in myself, you shed light upon me and give me joy, you offer yourself, lovable and longed for, that I may thrust myself away in disgust and choose you, and be pleasing no more either to you or to myself except in what I have from you. To you, then, Lord, I lie exposed, exactly as I am. I have spoken of what I hope to gain by confessing to you. My confession to you is made not with words of tongue and voice, but with the words of my soul and the clamour of my thought, to which your ear is attuned; for when I am bad, confession to you is simply disgust with myself, but when I am good, confession to you consists in not attributing my goodness to myself, because though you, Lord, bless the person who is just, it is only because you have first made him just when he was sinful.
St. Ignatius of Loyola: An integral part of the first week of the Spiritual Exercises is Confession and Penance. Penance is important for three reasons: to make restitution for past sins, to reign in our sensual nature, and to obtain a particular grace. Interior penance consists in sorrow for one’s sins and a firm purpose not to commit them or any others. Exterior penance is the fruit of the first kind. It consists in inflicting punishments on ourselves for the sins we have committed.
St. Vincent de Paul: The practice of penance is available to all by accepting trials that come their way. God sends us trials and infirmities to give us the means of paying the enormous debts we owe Him. Hence, the wise receive them with joy, thinking more of the good they derive from them than of the sufferings they are undergoing. St. Teresa of Avila: Learn to suffer something for the love of God, without letting everyone know about it.
St. Albert the Great: Like St. Ignatius, St. Albert believed that praying and meditating on the Passion stirred the soul to great love for Our Lord. We must give great importance to meditation on the Passion of our Redeemer. Simply remembering or reflecting on the Passion is worth more than scourging ones’s self once a week for a year and fasting on bread, or reading the entire Psalter every day.
St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi: Eucharistic Adoration is another sure path to growing in the love of Christ. Just as one often visits a friend, wishing him good morning at the start of the day and good night at the close, and calls on him frequently in the hours between, so should you often visit Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. In every visit offer His Most Precious Blood to the Eternal Father several times and you will find these visits marvelously increasing your love.