St. Alphonso on Confession

From the Sermons of St. Alphonso de Liguori for this day:

A disciple of Socrates, at the moment he was leaving a house of bad fame, saw his master pass: to avoid being seen by him, he went back into the house. Socrates came to the door and said: “My son, it is a shameful thing to enter, but not to depart from this house.”

To you also, brethren, who have sinned, I say, that you ought to be ashamed to offend so great and so good a God. But you have no reason to be ashamed of confessing the sins which you have committed.

Gloss: It isn’t as if God isn’t aware of your sins until you confess them. He knows them better than you do. Once they are done, the only question is what you will do now, for by that your nature will be shown. Do you slink and try to hide, content to keep your favorite sins so long as no one knows about them? If so, it is not God you care about offending, but other people. Do you stand on your dignity and declare that because you like doing these things, that means they cannot be sins and anathema sit to anyone who dares say otherwise? Then again, you don’t care about offending God or acknowledge His authority; all you care about is having your own way. Do you humble yourself, confess your sins, and do penance? Then you show that, for all your sins, you do acknowledge God’s authority, care whether you offend Him, and long to do otherwise.

Intent is shown by action, not merely what we tell ourselves.

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