During Lent, the Church urges us to participate in the Sacrament of Penance more frequently. While it is only required that Catholics receive this Sacrament one a year (CCC 1457), there are so many benefits to going more regularly. Recently, I began using the book Divine Intimacy for daily meditations. This book is really great. There is a brief meditation for every day of the Liturgical year, so it follows the ebb and flow of Catholic seasons. One of the recent mediations was on Confession. While reading it, I discovered something that I had never realized before:
"At that moment it is Jesus who is acting in the soul, either by remitting sin or by producing or increasing grace. It is well to remember that the efficacy of the absolution is not limited merely to sins that have already been committed, but that it even extends into the future." - Divine Intimacy, pg 306
I guess I've always known that Confession gives you the grace to avoid temptation and sin, but it never occurred to me that I should call on the graces of past confessions when I am in the midst of temptation. I always just thought of it as grace working in my soul up to the current point in my life and not necessarily grace that lingers for awhile. This is really comforting to know that the grace lasts longer than the moment of absolution!
"The Blood of Christ is, in this sense, not only a remedy for the past, but also a preservative and a strengthening help for the future. The soul which plunges into it, as into a healthful bath, draws from it new vigor and sees the strength of its passions extinguished little by little. We see then the importance of frequent confession for a soul desirous of union with God, a soul which must necessarily aspire to total purification." - Divine Intimacy, pg 307
Beautiful! Probably one of the best investments we can make for our eternal future.