The past three weeks have suggested reflection on the diseases of our souls, and tended towards a realization of the depths of the wounds sin has inflicted on us; we should now be in some measure prepared for the penance the Church is offering us. For we know, better than we did, God’s justice and holiness, as well as the dangers to which an impenitent soul lies exposed; while to encourage in our own a sincere and lasting amendment, we lay aside the unprofitable joys and idle amusements of the world. The ashes have been scattered on our heads, and we have been humiliated by the sentence of death pronounced over us.
In the course of this trial of forty days, which our weakness only finds long, we shall not be deprived of our Savior’s presence. He has preceded and outpaced us on the royal road. He has tried it and accomplished its course before us, in order to answer, by His example, the excuses and arguments our self-indulgence or pride may urge. Let us accept the lesson fully, and so arrive at an understanding of the law of expiation. ‘‘Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is drawing near.” Let us open our heart to this appeal, that the Savior may not be compelled to awake us from our lethargy by the terrible threat He employed on another occasion : “If you do not repent you shall all perish.”
If you forget your sins God will remember them, but if you remember them He on His side will forget.