We all share a common malady, "For there is no distinction since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:22-23) And what happens to one who dies in sin? "The wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) Hence, we must turn from sin. But that verse continues: "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." To receive this gift of eternal life in Heaven, we must turn from that sin. And if we truly love our brothers or sisters who are in sin, if we truly want them to get to heaven, we will invite them to turn from sin as well—we will admonish the sinner. Just as we come to know and share in His mercy as we turn from sin, so too we should share that mercy with others, and invite them to discover it themselves. These are our brothers and sisters—and Jesus Christ invites us to share with them from the mercies that we have received.
This Spiritual Work of Mercy is one we must be careful with, because in carrying it out we must be careful not to fall into sin ourselves. “You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5 We should begin by admonishing ourselves who are sinners. A good way to do this is with an Examination of Conscience. There are two forms: the more thorough naming of sins, especially in preparation for Confession, as well as the nightly examen of St. Ignatius where we look back at the day to see the presence of God, and those times we stayed with Him, and those times we didn't.
PATRON SAINT OF THE MONTH: ST. DOMINIC SAVIO, MARCH 9TH
Born in 1842, and dying just 14 years later from illness, Dominic holds the honor of being the youngest canonized saint without being a martyr because of the heroic virtue each and every day. He had a devout prayer life from a young age, praying each day and before every meal. If he arrived at church for daily Mass before it was opened, he would kneel outside and pray—even in the mud. He always applied himself well to his studies. He received his first communion five years early at that time—at the age of 7– because of how faith filled he was, and at that time one of the resolutions that he made was ‘Death before sin.’ It was something he took to heart for himself, but also for others. When other children he was playing with became vulgar in word or deed, he would admonish them to abandon it, and if they persisted, he would leave.