This is the second part of what St. Francis de Sales said about penitence.
“There is a real temptation to become dissatisfied with the world and depressed about it when we must be in it. God’s providence is wiser that we are. We imagine we would feel better if we were on another ship; that may be, but only if we change ourselves!
We do no harm to the saints when, in speaking of their virtues, we tell of their faults. On the contrary, those who write about the lives of the saints do real harm to everyone by concealing faults under the pretext of honoring the saints, or by not telling the beginning of their life, afraid that this will diminish or lessen the esteem due their sanctity. Oh no, that is not so; this way they do an injustice to the blessed and to all posterity. It is good to see defects in the lives of the saints, not only to realize the goodness that God has shown in pardoning them, but also to learn to hate sin, avoid it, and do penance for it as they did.”
I will share with you the third and last part in our next issue of the bulletin. But for now, let us be reminded that even the saints had imperfections before they became saints – they too were sinners. But because of God’s mercy, their penitence and penance were rewarded by His forgiveness. Let us do the same, most especially in this season of Lent.
In Christ, Fr. Maro.