Grace: A growing intense sorrow and, if God so wishes, even tears for my sins.
Text For Prayer: Matt 25: 31-46
Reflection: How do we treat our best friend? For most people, a best friend is somebody that they trust and with whom they share their joys and sorrows. The relationship, like all human relationships, requires work, though. We understand that we must listen to our friend’s joys and sorrows. We must call them from time to time and always on their birthday, We don’t backstab our friend or gossip about them behind their back. If we don’t abide by these tenets of friendship we will realize that we will soon have no friends at all.
Of the two categories of sin, mortal sin is given greater respect and for good reason. We realize the importance of committing a mortal sin and recognize that it constitutes a real break in our relationship with God and the Church. Venial sins, on the other hand, can seem unimportant in comparison. How many of us would rush to confession for a venial sin?
When thinking of venial sin, it may be helpful to think of our best friend. Venial sins are the little things that corrupt a friendship. If we begin to ignore our friend, stop listening to them, stop asking how they are doing, or in general neglecting them, then it we are abusing the friendship. Not calling on their birthday might not ruin the friendship, but it erodes it. If we continue to commit these little infractions, we may find that even though we have done nothing particularly bad, we have seriously harmed the relationship.
The Baltimore Catechism states that the effects of venial sin lessen the love of God in our heart, make us less worthy of His help, and lessen our resistance to mortal sin. These venial sins may seem innocuous, but they have serious impact.
If we mistreated our friends, could we really blame them if they terminated the relationship? Luckily, our merciful God will always welcome us back.
Prayer and Questions: In the passage for today, we read about the judgment of nations. When did we see you hungry and naked and not minister to your needs? For prayer let us think of our sins, not just the big ones, but all of the little sins that build up in our lives creating that extra separation from God. When did we turn our backs on God or our neighbor? When did we ignore them? Let us think of God as our best friend and realize all of the ways that we have neglected Him as such. Let us ask for sorrow for our sins that we may avoid them in the future.