Below, we present fragments of the conversations the Polish mystic Alicja Lenczewska had with Jesus. God, through the agency of Alicja, encourages each of us to submit themselves with childlike trust to his healing power in the sacrament of penance and reconciliation. The quoted dialogues tell us what makes a good confession.
Examination of conscience
† My child, look into your heart with me and in my eyes read the truth about yourself: about your heart and your deeds. And ask for my Mercy on you. […]
– What is sin, Father?
† Departing from me.
– Is man left alone?
† Man is never alone. If he is not with me, he is with Satan who ever stronger attracts and binds him. Usually imperceptibly, in order not to frighten him away […]
† The points of reference – the proper ones – are the gifts that I have given you and the possibilities I create for you. Give this a thought and examine how you use all this to serve others, to fashion your attitude to other people, to yourself, to me. […]
“It does not matter to whom you’ll go to confess but rather what you’ll bring in your heart”
Do not stop at external facts. Take a careful look at your desire. Was it like mine? Did it move your heart and did you breathe it all day? At what moments or situations did you forget? When was it hard for you? When was it the hardest? What destroyed your desire? Pay attention to what was the most dangerous. Surrender it all to me. Ask for the help of my Mother, the saints, the angels. Repent and ask me to restore, to complement, your sacrifice of the day, the hour, the moment.
– How should I prepare for confession?
† Cry over every twinge of the heart that was not of love.
† Examine, my Child, the intentions of your heart if their source is my Love or your egocentricity. Expose your heart to the rays of my Love so that I can continuously heal and enrich it.
† The sanctity of the soul and its domination over the flesh are obtained by attaining the state of contrition flowing from knowledge of the Cross. This contrition, provided it is sincere, makes one reject the whims of the flesh, mind and heart, and mortifies everything that does not sanctify the soul. There is no path to sanctity without continuing in deep contrition, without loving God with all your might, without loving all of his creation.
Steadfast resolution to mend one’s ways
– What is the most important [in penance]?
† Sincere remorse and a desire to mend one’s ways. Remorse for bad deeds without making an effort to improve is worthless, as it changes nothing. While everything in life should lead to a change for the better – for perfection. If you continue to live in contrition and love, your life will abound in childlike simplicity, childlike devotion, childlike trust and love of the beloved one. This will be the ultimate fulfillment of asceticism and penitential atonement.
– Will I always have a feeling of guilt towards your Love?
† Yes, because you will always be sinful. If the feeling of guilt engenders gratitude for my Mercy and admiration for my Love – then it is very well that it is there. Worse, if it discourages and depresses. Hence, try to develop in yourself a constructive feeling of guilt. One that brings you closer to me and strengthens your attachment and love.
Confession of sins
– What is a confession?
† Return with my help.
– What is most important then?
† A desire to return, the will to return and a cry for help to me.
– And the confessor?
† He, indeed, is a medium. And it does not matter at all what this medium is like. I can use any medium the way I like. The decision as to what the return is like depends on the man: how strong is his desire, is he sincere, is he trusting? I know all this while the confessor does my will. He transmits it in a way acceptable to man. That is why the confessor’s orders have force. This is my force. […] It does not matter to whom you’ll go to confess but rather what you’ll bring in your heart, what you’ll place before me in the presence of a man who will be given to you at that time. It is not the person that matters, but rather your love and contrition.
“The confessor’s orders have force. This is my force”
† Do not conceal your weaknesses, for a concealed weakness rules over you, whereas you rule over an exposed weakness. […] You must confess the lack of love in your heart, your thoughts, and the way you look at another.
† You must name particular sins: those deeds of your heart and mind with which you have directly hurt me or another. And those instances of negligence which have not contributed to the growth of God’s Kingdom in souls (yours and those of others). But you must also be aware of the inner cause of the evil you have perpetrated: which is – in a general sense – a greater love for yourself than for God and neighbors. The greater it is, the greater the sins it makes you commit, because they are products of selfishness, pride and other offences of misguided self-love.
“You have encountered my Grace and my Mercy because I wish to call you from the blind alleys to the path leading back to me”
Reach, therefore, to the source of evil and admit to not doing enough to surrender yourself and your soul to me, your precious soul, which has been harmed by the consequences of original sin. Admit to having too weak a desire to commune with me in everyday life, and entrust yourself to the Virgin Mary in everything, even in the slightest tendency to evil.
For each of your intentions, thoughts and deeds, consider whether you want to build the Kingdom of God through them or to satisfy your own selfishness.
Atonement to God and neighbors
† The desire for penance is the other component, apart from yearning, of the love of God. There is, however, one condition: any act of penance must be accepted with joy and love for those who have done you wrong. The value and effectiveness of your penance depends on this; it is the means to your purification and for whomever you want to earn it.
Ask for the light to know the truth and for Mercy over your misery. Do not be irritable, do not insist on your own way, do not find evil in others and injustice in God and people. Do not accuse others and do not complain that you have been harmed.
You have encountered my Grace and my Mercy because I wish to call you from the blind alleys to the path leading back to me. Thank your God for the grace of beckoning, the grace of contrition, and the grace of penitential atonement. Put your soul in order and ask me to cleanse it of everything that is not pure Love of God and your neighbor.