You’ve fallen once more on your journey. You were quite pleased and thankful for the progress, by the grace of God, you were making before that moment came. Always be wary that your thankfulness does not turn into pride, for it is at that moment when you forget your dependence on God and you open yourself up for attack by the enemy of your soul.
And so you fell, and your spirit wept bitterly. You fell, not from the secure embrace of your Father, but from the high-backed horse upon which you allowed yourself to climb. Even now, you hang your head in shame, but I say to you, get up! Do not let your gaze linger any longer on the dirt beneath you. Get up! Do not give the devil a chance to work on you. You do not belong down there, in that place of oppression and groaning, but the devil so enjoys having you there.
My child, don’t you realize how quickly a father reacts when his son falls and gets injured? He rushes immediately to his aid, embracing him and lifting him up, covering all his wounds. No earthly father leaves his precious child there alone to soak in his misery before coming to save him. Not for any time at all! It is even more so with your Heavenly Father. How quickly He is there, all around you and within you, the second after you’ve suffered your fall! He really never left you; it was you who allowed your sight to be clouded.
So rise, now, the instant after you realize where you are! Never delay, letting yourself be consumed by your anguish and sorrow. Do not forget that your freedom was purchased at a very great price. Claim it, my son! Claim your freedom in Christ Jesus, even after you have momentarily strayed from Him. Do not hesitate. Let your dust fall to the wind as you take the merciful hand outstretched to you.
When you allow Him to lift you up into His merciful love, you give Him the joy of being your Savior. Oh how he cherishes that role He has in your life! Come to Him in the Confessional to be healed and released from your transgression, like a patient comes to his doctor for restoration, but do not wait until that visit to rejoice and give thanks! Turn your heart from sadness to joy and thanksgiving even now, the instant after you have fallen; not because of what you have done—you will always be frail and prone to falling on your own—but because of the great mercy and love you know the Father has for you in all of your wanderings.
I think that you will find that the greatest source of your sorrow and shame comes not from despairing of God’s mercy—you know and trust in that already—but rather it comes from the damage your fall causes to your spiritual reputation, to your pride. Why are you surprised that you fell again and so soon after the last? My son, you yourself are capable of nothing else. It is God alone who does good things in and through you, even in your innermost spiritual life, by His grace. Rather than despairing over this reality in the midst of your guilt after your fall, keep your dependence on God always before your eyes. Never credit your own ability, strength, or ingenuity for any success or goodness you have in your life. Always remind yourself that the credit belongs to the Giver alone.
In this way, you will come to see your sin as nothing more than it really is: a distractedness, a split second of taking your eyes off of His loving gaze. Don’t give it any higher standing in your life than this. Do not give Satan the honor of keeping you disconnected from the peace of your Divine Lover for any length of time. Simply smile at your littleness, and lift your arms for your Father to pick you up—back into His care, His peace, and His joy.
He delights in you, little one. Always.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”