We continue the 52 week plan to grow in Catholic Manhood by becoming a better Catholic Son and Catholic Father. If you’d like to catch up on past weeks, page back through the blog. 

So far, we’ve been working through the 1st of the  7 Major Habits of Catholic Sons: Major Habit 1 – Make Union with God your Ultimate Purpose

The first Major Habit is the most important. It is to realize and reconfirm that God is Number 1 in your life. For the man who desires to become a saint and be happier here and happy forever in Heaven, seeking to draw closer to God must become man’s ultimate desire. 

Making union with God a man’s ultimate purpose leads a man to develop a strong aversion to evil thoughts and acts and to avoid Hell, but also fills a man with the desire to find the true and lasting happiness of spending eternity with God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, all the Apostles, and Saints and Angels forever. 

Seeking Union with God (Major Habit 1) can be broken down into 6 smaller habits; so far, we’ve covered Habit 1, Habit 2, and Habit 3.

During the 4th  week of the year, we will dig into Habit 4.

Habit 4Repent and Frequently Receive the Sacrament of Penance

Every man is in a life and death battle against sin – Every Catholic man has inherited a desire to commit sins which can separate him from God. A man’s sins vary in type and severity; all sins damage a man’s union with God but mortal sin causes a man to fall from God’s grace on earth and to lose Heaven and gain Hell if he dies guilty of mortal sin.

God offers great blessings in the Sacrament of Penance – In His Infinite Mercy, God has graciously granted Catholic men the great blessing to be completely forgiven of their sins in the Sacrament of Penance.

A man must understand and take the 5 Steps of the Sacrament of Penance – To receive the blessings of the Sacrament of Penance, a man must proceed through five basic steps which helps a man find the peace and joy of being forgiven by God.

This week’s questions – Each week there are a few questions to help you meditate upon the habit of the week. Here are this week’s questions: 

Do I have a good understanding of my own sins, have I repented, and am I committed to fight against my sins?

How can a regular practice of a Daily Examine each night and frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance be a blessing to me and those I love?

This week’s commitment Making a habit a reality requires commitment to concrete action. Here is this week’s challenge:

Commit to do a daily 5 minute Examination of Conscience each night before sleep and receive the Sacrament of Penance this week. 

Don’t forget to pray with the Daily Devotional each day.

Daily Prayer – During the week, pray this short prayer, or one like it, to come to love and rely on the Sacrament of Penance:

Almighty and most merciful Father, You sent Your Son to die so that I might be forgiven of my sins and saved. Help me to never take the shedding of Jesus’ blood for my sake for granted. Help me to a new vigorous commitment to Examine my conscience every day, to repent with great sorrow for my sins, and to rush to receive Your forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance frequently. Amen.