Our worst faults are often completely hidden from us. While the people who know us best can usually see our faults, most of the time we fail to see our own faults because our pride has completely blinded us to them. And, of course, the people who know and love us have given up on trying to tell us what our faults are, because they know we’ll react with anger and outrage if they are pointed out.
What steps can we take to identify and correct our faults?
1. The Eucharist: It is only through the help of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we can ever hope to completely strip away the layers of pride that have been accumulating since the day we were born. All of our faults began with pride and continue to be nourished by pride.
We were designed by God to be renewed and perfected. Jesus has made Himself available to us as food for our souls (Holy Communion) and as a Divine Counselor who is always physically present – body, blood, soul, and divinity – in our perpetual adoration chapel.
He patiently waits for us in the adoration chapel to come and visit with Him. The more time we are in His presence, the more He can enlighten us, help us to conquer our faults, and raise us up to perfection.
2. The Sacrament of Reconciliation: Another step we can take is to go to confession on a regular basis. When we make a good confession, we are forced to probe, acknowledge, and humbly admit that we have faults that need to be corrected. In a sense, when we confess our sins we become naked before God, completely exposing ourselves for what we truly are – sinners who are dependent upon Him for salvation.
Within the confessional we are given a unique opportunity to experience nine distinct realities that everyone who came into direct contact with Jesus during His lifetime experienced.
The first three realities we experience in the confessional were present in the stable when Christ was born: (1) simplicity; (2) humility; and (3) purity. The second three realities we experience in the confessional were present on Calvary when Christ was crucified: (4) courage; (5) mercy; and (6) forgiveness. The last three realities we experience in the confessional were present when the glorified Christ rose from the dead and later ascended into Heaven: (7) pure love; (8) great hope; and (9) a renewed sense of faith and determination.
It is these nine realities – simplicity, humility, purity, courage, mercy, forgiveness, pure love, great hope, and a renewed sense of faith and determination – that help to lead us to a greater understanding of ourselves and the purpose for which we were created.
It was Christ Himself who told us that we are called to imitate Him in everything we do. It is critically important that we frequently return to the confessional to experience the nine realities and the healing grace that awaits us. If we consistently utilize this great sacrament, we will eventually find that we are much more aware of our faults and what needs to be done to correct them.
3. The Perfect Spiritual Mother: If you grew up in a traditional home environment, there was one woman in your life who knew you better than anyone else. A woman who loved you with all her heart, knew your strengths and weaknesses, and gave you loving and honest guidance about what you needed to do to improve yourself. That woman was your mother. Although she wasn’t perfect, she always did her best to provide you with the love and guidance you needed to grow into a responsible adult.
There is another woman who has known you since you were conceived; a woman who was appointed by God to act as your spiritual mother. This woman also loves you with all her heart, knows your strengths and weaknesses, and has the ability and the desire to give you loving and honest guidance about what you should be doing to improve yourself. She is and always has been a perfect mother to all of God’s children.
Because of His great love for us, the risen Savior left us with a perfect mother who is always available and eager to help us identify and overcome our faults. But there is one condition that must be met before she can give us the full assistance we need. We must diligently work at developing the same love and devotion for her that her Son had for her while he was on earth.
The best place to start in developing and nurturing that relationship is by getting to know her better by reading about her life with our Lord, and through the daily recitation of the rosary.
There are some people who actually believe that they don’t have any faults. They are the ones who should be the most terrified because, in reality, they are so consumed with pride, they are completely blind to their faults.
If you’re not actively working on correcting and overcoming your faults, you should be afraid. You should be very afraid.