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Preparing for confession

Words of the Saint John Vianney, the Holy Curé of Ars, on mercy

God's mercy is like an unleashed torrent. It bears all hearts away in its flood.

It is not the sinner who returns to the Father to beg his forgiveness, but God who runs after the sinner and makes him return to him.

Our faults are like grains of sand beside the great mountain of God’s mercy.

The Good God wants to make us happy and we do not want it.

He is waiting for us patiently.

We commit sins as we drink water, without fear or remorse. We sink in this mud; we crouch there like moles, for months, and years!

It is a beautiful thought that we have a Sacrament which heals the wounds of our soul.

Nothing offends the Good God so much as to lose hope in His mercy.

These ‘pretend’ Christians cannot bear anything. Everything shocks them, they respond to sharp words with sharp words.

Does the fish seek the trees and the fields? No; it darts through the water. Does the bird remain on the earth? No; it flies in the air. And man, who is created to love God, to possess God, does not love Him and looks elsewhere for affection...

More time should be spent in asking for contrition than in examining our conscience.

How beautiful is a pure soul! The image of God is reflected in a pure soul like the sun in the water.
If a Christian had faith, he would die of love.

Mary, do not leave me for an instant, be always at my side.

Act of hope and confidence in God

My God,

I believe most firmly that You watch over all who hope in You and that we can want for nothing when we rely upon You in all things. Therefore I am resolved from now on to live without worries and to cast all my cares upon You.

People may deprive me of worldly goods and status. Sickness may take from me my strength and the means of serving You. I may even lose your grace by sin, but my trust shall never leave me. I will preserve it to the last moment of my life, though the powers of hell shall seek in vain to wrestle it from me.

Let others seek happiness in their wealth and in their talents. Let them trust in the purity of their lives, the severity of their mortifications, in the number of their good works, the enthusiasm of their prayers. As for me, Lord, in my very confidence lies all my hope.

This confidence can never be in vain. I am assured, therefore, of my eternal happiness, for I firmly hope in it, and it is from You, O loving God, that I receive all my hope.

I know too well that I am weak and changeable. I know the power of temptation against the strongest virtue. I have seen stars fall and the pillars of the firmament crumble; these things do not alarm me. While I hope in You, I am sheltered from all misfortune, and I am sure that my trust shall endure, for I rely upon You to sustain this unfailing hope. Finally, I am firmly convinced that my confidence cannot exceed Your generosity, and that I shall never receive less than I have hoped for from You. Therefore I hope that You will sustain me against my evil inclinations, that You will protect me against the deceitful attacks of the evil one, and that You will cause my weakness to triumph over every hostile force.

I hope that You will never cease to love me and that I shall love You unceasingly, and to raise my trust even higher, I wish to place all my  hope in You, O my Creator, now and forever.

Amen.

Saint Claude La Colombière (Sermon 68 on Trust)