"Never fear that your past faults and infidelities will prevent
you reaching the degree of union that God intends for you;
in an instant He can repair all that." - Dom Marmion
“The saints applied to perfection the directive of the Holy Spirit, “Let everyone first examine himself and then eat of that bread and drink of that Chalice; because he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks unto his own condemnation” (I Cor 11:28-29).
To examine themselves, to repent, to accuse themselves in Confession and to ask pardon of God, and in this way even every day profit from the Sacrament of Confession, was something natural for the saints. How fortunate they were to be capable of so much! The fruits of sanctification were constant and abundant because the purity of soul with which each saint welcomed into himself Jesus, "the Wheat of the elect." (Zach 9:17) was like the good ground "... which brings forth fruit in patience" (Luke 8:15).
St Anthony Mary Claret illustrates this fact very well: "When we go to Holy Communion, all of us receive the same Lord Jesus, but not all receive the same grace nor are the same effects produced in all. This comes from our greater or lesser disposition. To explain this fact, I will take an example from nature. Consider the process of grafting. The more similar the one plant is to the other, the better the graft will succeed. Likewise, the more resemblance there is between the one that goes to Communion and Jesus, so much the better will the fruits of Holy Communion be." The Sacrament of Confession is in fact the excellent means whereby the similarity between the soul and Jesus is restored.
For this reason St Francis de Sales taught his spiritual children "Go to Confession with humility and devotion... "
Fr Stefano Manelli, O.F.M. Conv., S.T.D.