A Sinful Past
“As dogs return to their vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” Proverbs 26:11
Reflecting on past decisions in our lives, we will inevitably see mistakes — choices we made that we wish we didn’t.
On one hand, we can’t beat ourselves up over these bad choices. All of our decisions, the good and the bad, have led us to this moment, to who we are today.
On the other hand, it’s important that we use our past to influence our present (and future).
All of us have sinful pasts. As the quote goes, “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” Every saint has sinned. The difference is that the saints saw their sins for what they were, and used the knowledge of self to change their ways in the future.
In many ways, this is a big part of the spiritual progress from sinfulness toward sanctity — knowing ourselves, knowing what leads us to sin, and avoiding it. It almost seems too simple. But, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not difficult.
How many of us confess the same sins every time we go to Confession? A red flag should go up when this happens — there’s a lesson to learn here. Maybe we are especially susceptible to a certain temptation, or we are particularly weak when it comes to “X”, or the Devil is using sin “Y” to make us feel guilty and turn away from God. We must draw these lessons out through self examination and use this knowledge in the future.
Let us pray for the grace to see our sins for what they are, and the strength to stand firm when we are tempted again.
The Examination Journal was created to help Catholics grow in knowledge of self and knowledge of God by making a daily “examen”. This kind of prayer invites God’s light into our past, and His grace into our present and future. Summons readers get 20% off your first Examination Journal. Click here to get started.