August 15th

The two most important commands are to love God above all things, and to love others as we love ourselves out of love for God.  If we truly live those two commandments, we will become Saints.

We are all called to be Saints.  To become a Saint, we do not have to do extraordinary things; to become a Saint, we only have to faithfully live out the daily duties of our vocations in an extraordinary way: in love.  All sin is a failure to love the way that we are called to love.  In order to rid ourselves of sin, we first have to be aware of our sins.

A good way to begin rooting sin out of our hearts is by getting into the habit of regularly examining our consciences.  Saint Ignatius of Loyola taught his followers to examine their consciences everyday.  A daily examination can help us become more aware of our sins and then when we are more aware of our sins we can develop a plan to overcome them.

Saint Ignatius recommended setting aside time everyday to examine your conscience.  This doesn’t have to be a long process; it can be done in the matter of a few minutes.

Before you begin the examination, ask the Holy Spirit for assistance.  Then, review your day in your mind.  Try to recall what you did and with whom you interacted throughout that day.

Saint Ignatius also taught his followers to not only pay attention to the faults or sins committed, but also to thank God for all the blessings that were received that day.

Over time, most people begin to realize that they tend to fall into the same sin again and again.  The sin that one most often commits Saint Ignatius called the “predominant” sin or fault.

Once you have identified a predominant sin, it is good to focus in on overcoming that sin.  It can be helpful to focus on overcoming one sin or fault at a time instead of trying to overcome all of our faults at once (which could be an overwhelming task).

During the daily examination, think especially about the predominant fault that you are trying to overcome.  Thank God for the victories you have had that day; ask for His mercy on any times that you may have failed.  Ask God to give you the help you need in overcoming that fault.

Try to learn from the times that you have fallen.  Learn to know the circumstances that lead you to fall and then ask the Holy Spirit to show you a way to overcome those circumstances in the future.  Having a concrete plan works much better than a vague resolution.  Remember, too, that Reconciliation is a powerful channel of God’s grace.

God bless,

Father White

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