mary magdalene, el greco
Mary Magdalene, El Greco

Excerpted from My Daily Bread, a book recommended by Fr. Geckle.  CHRIST: My Child, how can any man abandon himself to the pleasures of this earthly life? Such people do not appreciate the miserable condition of their souls, nor the rapid passing away of this brief experience. They do not stop to think and to look beneath the surface of their daily activities. They laugh when they have many reasons to weep. Happy is he who can overcome the distractions which hinder him from straight thinking.

2. As for you, strive to develop within yourself a genuine compunction of heart. Compunction is a deep and lasting sorrow for your sins. It is not a gloomy nor depressing sorrow, but an intelligent admission of your sins and a sincere determination to do something about them. Since compunction comes from a realization of how you have failed so good a God, it brings with it a readiness to accept anything from My Hand.

3. Compunction opens the way to many blessings and precious graces. When compunction fills your soul, the world will lose its magic attraction and will become more distasteful to you. Compunction will help you realize how quickly earthly joys pass away, while eternity goes on forever. You will see clearly that your sins have offended Me. One who has genuine compunction, is honest enough to admit his sins, and is truly sorry for them. His sorrow is proved by his sincere efforts to be rid of his faults.

THINK: Compunction is a great grace by which God helps me to face the truth about my sins. It also helps me to prove my sorrow for my faults. By compunction a man begins to attack his faults and to practice the opposite virtues. I can be sure of my sincere sorrow only when I have begun to do something about my faults. Compunction is a lasting sorrow because it is not an emotion, but rather an intelligent admission of facts. It shows me my faults, God’s goodness, and my own need to change for the better. Then it helps me undertake the daily task of abandoning my faults and acquiring the opposite virtues.

PRAY: Lord, I want to live a cheerful life, but I do not want that kind of cheerfulness which refuses to admit the truth. I can admit my sins and still be cheerful, as long as I am doing my best to overcome and make up for these sins. I do not want any gift or talent which might make me proud, or worse in any way. Not everything that is high is holy; nor is every pleasant thing good. Good desires are not always unselfish. You, my Lord, are not always pleased with the things that we prize. It is far better to have compunction than to be able to talk about it. Grant me genuine compunction, so that I may hate my sins and daily fight against them. Amen.