of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
First Week of Lent – Continuous Spirit of Repentance

First Week of Lent – Continuous Spirit of Repentance

Continual Repentance and Reconciliation is a theme spread throughout the Diary. As we focus our Lenten reflections on all we do, we do for love, let us re-examine why we repent and seek reconciliation. Love always moves toward other and so it is with a repentance built on love. Ideally, our repentance is not about seeking forgiveness for ourselves and saving our souls from hell but rather is about others because sin is about others. Sin is sin because it wounds others. Of course, it is possible to sin against ourselves but most of our sins wound others.

I remember as a parent praying one day, “Lord cast me into hell rather than let my children suffer for my sins.” God immediately seemed to shoot back, “That’s why it’s sin! It’s not that you broke a rule and now I’m spitefully punishing them. I gave you that rule to keep them from being hurt. Now that you have broken it, they are hurt. That’s what sin does; that’s why it is sin.”

So this Lent, let us renew our commitment to continual repentance as part of the Flame of Love but based upon love – repenting in order to stop hurting others. Our heart is broken not because WE have failed (in our pride) but for what we have done to others especially our Lord – perfect contrition. Our love for our Beloved drives us to remove any blemish that would dismay Him; our love for our brethren drives us to remove our sins that wound them and any impediment to our being Jesus to them by grace. Our continuous sense of repentance and desire to be always in a state of reconciliation with our Lord clears the way for Him to work for the salvation of souls through us by means of the effect of grace of the Flame of Love. This is why we repent and seek reconciliation – all we do we do for love.

As we recommit ourselves to this life of grace, let’s commit to a regular examination of conscience and frequent participation in the sacrament of Reconciliation.

p279: Mary: “My Flame of Love and your repentance work together. Through this, many souls return to my Divine Son.”

p219: Jesus: “What unites Me with you? Your inexhaustible repentance! Yes, this is what inebriates Me. Poor little soul, listen to My words giving recognition to what you’re capable of. You inebriate the most high and all powerful God. Understand this great marvel: you can make Me happy by your repentance for your sins.”

p221: Jesus: “ . . . You, beloved! You! Your sorrow for sins makes your soul – and that of all who come close to Me with true sorrow for sins – beautiful and pleasing.”

p36: Jesus: “Let there be repentance in every beat of your heart. With every breath, take in My love, and when you exhale, pass it to your neighbor.”

p126: His words led my soul to a great repentance. The Lord Jesus said: “Repent on behalf of others also.”

p49: Jesus: “I instituted the Sacrament of Penance, yet you make no use of it. For this, I have sweated blood. For this, I was crowned with thorns. I let myself be nailed to the Cross. I endured unspeakable suffering.”

Flame of Love Basics Series: Continual Repentance