"The other man, however, kept his distance, not even daring to raise his eyes to heaven. All he did was beat his breast and say, 'Oh God, be merciful to me, a sinner.' " —Luke 18:13
On Judgment Day each of us will stand before our just and merciful Judge as either a Pharisee or a tax collector.
I am a recovering Pharisee. For years I attended Mass merely as part of my Sunday routine. I arrogantly assumed that I knew more than the Church did on many issues, especially regarding artificial birth control. I had not used the Sacrament of Reconciliation in fifteen years because I was blind to my own sins.
By God's grace, a friend put this booklet you are now reading into my hands. I had a life-changing encounter with the living God which caused me to exclaim with Isaiah the prophet, "Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a" person "of unclean lips" (Is 6:5).
Once I allowed the Holy Spirit to convict me of my sins, He became my Counselor and gave my "heart grace for repentance and conversion" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1433).
I invite you to join me as I leave the Pharisee's pew to sit with the tax collector. Humble yourself "in the sight of the Lord" (Jas 4:10). Beat your breast and cry out: "Oh God, be merciful to me, a sinner" (Lk 18:13). Receive new life in Jesus (Jn 10:10).
Prayer: Father, give my heart grace for repentance and conversion.
Promise: "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled while he who humbles himself shall be exalted." —Lk 18:14
Praise: St. Patrick forgave and evangelized the people who previously enslaved him.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 2006 & September 18, 2006
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