ACCRM’s 40 Days With Christ For Lent: Day Thirty-One

The Honest Admissions of One’s Defects

[exerpts from “My Daily Bread” by Anthony J. Paone, S.J. [1954]


1. MY CHILD, let my infinite wisdom teach you what is best for you in your daily conduct on earth. Think of your sins with great displeasure and sorrow. Never consider yourself big because of your good works. The simple truth is that you are a sinner. Too often your actions are controlled by emotions or feelings rather than intelligence and grace.

2. If I leave you to yourself, you tend to what is wrong and fall into sin. You are easily overcome by selfishness. Your self-control falls apart in a short time. You are much weaker than you think. You have little reason to take pride in yourself and many reasons for humbling yourself.

3. Fear nothing so much as your disorderly tendencies and your sins. Run from them more than from anything else. They should displease you more than any other trouble. Be afraid of My judgment and fear the anger of the Almighty. Do not presume to criticize the works of the Most High. Look to your faults. Consider the wrong you have done and the good you have neglected.

4. Be angry with yourself, and do not let pride control you in anything. Foolish heart, what have you to complain about? Can you not accept the trials which come to you, when you have so often offended Me and deserved hell? My love has spared you. Still, you must be honest with yourself. Face the truth about yourself and be patient with your defects and limitations.

God loves an honest man. Why should it be so hard to admit what I am? If I hide the truth from myself, how can I ever become pleasing to God? I need not become depressed and discouraged as I look at my many faults. All that God expects of me is that I begin today to fight against them. Being a sinner is not the worst thing. The worst thing is to remain a sinner. God loves the repentant sinner, that is, one who detests his sins and makes an honest effort to be rid of his faults.

Dear merciful God, at last I understand. I will no longer become paralyzed with sadness or discouragement, over my faults. I shall do what You desire of me. I will prove my genuine sorrow for my sins by fighting against them in my daily life. Show me which fault displeases You most, and I will at once begin a campaign against it. I may never get rid of it, Lord, but at least I can keep on trying each day. I cannot offer You much in my life, but this honest daily effort against my main faults I can offer as a proof that I am truly sorry for offending You. Amen.


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