LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Recognizing One's Fragility

I went to confession this morning. Perhaps not entirely surprisingly, I didn’t exactly have a great deal on my conscience in one way; simply because there’s been rather restricted scope in the last week for the commission of many major sins . . . but equally, the events of last weekend have left me very conscious of my own general sinfulness; not only recently, but over many years – a fact which I endeavoured to convey to my confessor.

His response was a very valuable one : he directed my attention to the Gospel comment about John the Baptist diminishing himself in order to magnify God, and suggested that the way that my sudden and unexpected illness had forced my own frailty to my attention was a good way of reminding myself that I should seek only to magnify God, because I had no real significance . . . I could have slipped away so very easily last Saturday night; and that I should recognize in this fact the truth that my only purpose should really be God’s greater glory, because nothing of mine would ever be more than entirely transitory.

I pondered on his words; and thought also about the post I prepared last Saturday for Sunday – Arise O Ark of Christ the Lord – in which I made the point that most of us cannot fully conform ourselves to God’s will during our lives; and that we need His grace to assist us to die in a state which will allow us eventually to join Him in heaven . . . and when I took that truth in conjunction with the point my confessor made this morning, I began to realize that considering one’s mortality was actually a valuable step in one’s spiritual growth.

It is something I shall certainly try and do more regularly now than I used; and it is a consideration which I offer you all.


  1. Speaking from a totally selfish perspective, may I just say that I'm glad you're still with us!

    Yes, pondering one's own mortality is a very salutary experience. Occasionally, we have it brought to our attention in a most immediate way, but not for nothing did the great saints regularly preach on the four Last Things.

  2. because I had no real significance . . .

    You have eternal significance.

  3. I have seen rosaries where the Pater beads are carved skulls. Talk about "remember thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return."