"Today, I entered into the bitterness of the Passion of the Lord Jesus. I suffered in a purely spiritual way. I learned how horrible sin was. God gave me to know the whole hideousness of sin. I learned in the depths of my soul how horrible sin was, even the smallest sin, and how much it tormented the soul of Jesus. I would rather suffer a thousand hells than commit even the smallest venial sin." (Diary, Notebook 3)

How bothered are we by sin?  Do we ever worry about offending God?  We may think that, in general, we are pretty good people.  We don't rob or murder anyone; we don't purposefully try to hurt others.  But if we consider Christ's passion, we may feel differently.  When He suffered for us, taking on our sin and receiving our punishment, He did so completely out of love.  His was a tortuous death; but more importantly it was a life freely given.

What can we offer in return?  Perhaps the least we can do is to be conscious of our sin, to struggle as St. Maria Faustina did in order to combat it.  And in this struggle we have an ally:  the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  When we approach Christ in this Sacrament we have the chance to show our love and appreciation for His sacrifice.  We can tell Him that we are trying our best to be true to living the Gospel, and that we want to love as He does.  We may enter the confessional feeling true sorrow for our failures, but we will leave redeemed.  And somehow, confessing our own sins and being forgiven helps us to understand and forgive others.

Today, make an examination of your conscience.  Thoughtfully re-live your day and ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of where you may have sinned, even unknowingly.  Then go and ask forgiveness from the merciful Christ, and hear Him speak to you:  "Your sins are forgiven; go in peace..."

Bl. Maria Faustina, pray for us!