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Mother Teresa on Confession

    The following passages are quotations of Mother Teresa from the book "Jesus, The Word to be spoken," compiled by Father Angelo D. Scolozzi.

 

1. Confession makes the soul strong because a really good confession—--the confession of a child in sin coming back to the Father—--always begets humility, and humility is strength. We may go to confession as often as we want and to whom we want, but we are not encouraged to seek spiritual direction from any and every source. The confessional is not a place for useless conversation or gossip. The topic should be my sins, my sorrow, my forgiveness: how to overcome my temptations, how to practice virtue, how to increase in the love of God. (Feb 1)

 

2 First, confession; after that ask for spiritual direction if necessary. The reality of my sins must come first. For most of us there is the danger of forgetting that we are sinners and must go to confession as sinners. We must want the precious blood to wash away our sins. We must go to God to tell him we are sorry for all we have done which may have hurt him. (Feb 2)

 

3. One thing is necessary for us—--confession. Confession is nothing but humility in action. We call it penance, but really it is a sacrament of love, a sacrament of forgiveness. That is why confession should not be a place in which to talk for long hours about our difficulties. It is a place where I allow Jesus to take away from me everything that divides, that destroys. When there is a gap between me and Christ, when my love is divided, anything can come to fill the gap. We should be very simple and childlike in confession. “Here I am as a child going to the Father.” If a child is not yet spoiled and has not learned to tell lies, he will tell everything. This is what I mean by being childlike. Confession is a beautiful act of great love. Only in confession can we go as sinners with sin and come out as sinners without sin. (Feb 3)

 

4. You need only ask at night before you go to bed, “What did I do to Jesus today? What did I do for Jesus today? What did I do with Jesus today?” You have only to look at your hands. This is the best examination of conscience. (Feb 4)

 

5 And how will you find Jesus? He has made, it so easy for us. “Love one another as I loved you.” If we have gone astray, we have the beautiful sacrament of confession. We go to confession a sinner full of sin. We come from confession a sinner without sin by the greatness of the mercy of God. No need for us to despair. No need for us to commit suicide. No need for us to be discouraged—--no need, if we have understood the tenderness of God’s love. You are precious to him. He loves you, and he loves you so tenderly that he has carved you on the palm of his hand. These are God’s words written in the Scripture. You know that. Remember that when your heart feels restless, when your heart feels hurt, when your heart feels like breaking—--then remember, “I am precious to him. He loves me. He has called me by my name. I am his. He loves me. God loves me.” And to prove that love he died on the cross. (Feb 5)

 

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