Margaret attributed the knots in her stomach to stress. With her oldest daughter's wedding only four months away, she had plenty to stress about -- dresses to make, floral arrangements to order, invitations to send, a hall to reserve.
Although the discomfort continued, she rejected her husband's suggestion to see a doctor. "I don't have time,” she said. “I can live with it until after the wedding."
But after Margaret lost fifteen pounds, her husband insisted she see their family physician. She made an appointment between the printer and the seamstress. She never made it to the seamstress.
After the CT scan, she was admitted directly to the hospital. The grapefruit-size mass in her stomach and suspicious spots on her liver demanded immediate exploratory surgery.
It was too late. The tumor had wrapped itself around vital blood vessels and couldn't be removed. Despite chemotherapy and radiation, she died two weeks before the wedding.
Cancer is an insidious killer. It slowly devours our health, often before we know we're sick.
And Sin kills the same way. It devours our spiritual health before we know we’re ill. That's why the Church encourages frequent confession and repentance -- not only during Reconciliation and Mass, but whenever the Holy Spirit brings a disobedient act, word or thought to our attention. What are called 'venial sins' can be just as deadly in the long haul as mortal sins if not dealt with in the short.
That's why I am so grateful God brings those 'venial' things so often to my attention. The more I learn how sick I am, the more I realize how desperately I need the Great Physician. The more I meditate on
And so I am glad for this prayer of contrition given us by the Church: My God, I am sorry for my sins, with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend with your help to sin no more, to do penance and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Amen