Such meditations as these, my daughter, will help you, and having
made them, go on bravely in the spirit of humility to make your
general confession;--but I entreat you, be not troubled by any
sort of fearfulness. The scorpion who stings us is venomous, but
when his oil has been distilled, it is the best remedy for his
bite;--even so sin is shameful when we commit it, but when reduced
to repentance and confession, it becomes salutary and honourable.
Contrition and confession are in themselves so lovely and sweet-savoured,
that they efface the ugliness and disperse the ill savour of sin.
Simon the leper called Magdalene a sinner, (1) but our Lord
turned the discourse to the perfume of her ointment and the
greatness of her love. If we are really humble, my daughter, our
sins will be infinitely displeasing to us, because they offend
God;--but it will be welcome and sweet to accuse ourselves thereof
because in so doing we honour God; and there is always somewhat
soothing in fully telling the physician all details of our pain.
When you come to your spiritual father, imagine yourself to be
on Mount Calvary, at the Feet of the Crucified Saviour, Whose
Precious Blood is dropping freely to cleanse you from all your
sin. Though it is not his actual Blood, yet it is the merit of
that outpoured Blood which is sprinkled over His penitents as they
kneel in Confession. Be sure then that you open your heart fully,
and put away your sins by confessing them, for in proportion as
they are put out, so will the Precious Merits of the Passion of
Christ come in and fill you with blessings.
Tell everything simply and with straightforwardness, and
thoroughly satisfy your conscience in doing so. Then listen to the
admonitions and counsels of God's Minister, saying in your heart,
"Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth." It is truly God to Whom
you hearken, forasmuch as He has said to His representatives,
"Whoso heareth you, heareth Me." (2) Then take the following
protest, as a summary of your contrition, having carefully studied
and meditated upon it beforehand: read it through with as earnest
an intention as you can make.