" Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved. "
For a very long time, despite reading and hearing wisdom to the contrary, in the depth of my being, i equated holiness with the lack of discomfort. You know that state with the absence of those disconcerting moments when you know deep down you have done wrong/are doing wrong yet continue to banish the thought. When you don't want to deal with, nay even acknowledge, your own weakness. When you think having being a renewed Christian means having only pure and holy thoughts.
From experience i tell you, thats a load of bladderdash. No one can ever hope to become saint overnight. It truly is a long winding journey acknowledging and being fully aware of the grossness of one's sinful soul. All through the Christian journey, one has to wear the crown of thorns, the thorns of the flesh.
When we merely seek emotional consolation and intellectual justification to our thoughts and actions, we easier succumb to the sin of self-righteousness.
Its so much more freeing and thus the right way to authentic goodness when we accept our littlleness. When we accept just how evil our thoughts towards others our. When we realize just how harsh our judgements of (both spoken and unspoken) and words towards them are. When we awaken to our own limitless folly. Because only when this happens can we seek God's help to fix our own problems, as only He can.
The more we take responsibility for our own goodness, the more we fail. How much more easier and fool-proof a solution it is to just surrender to our Lord. So much more simpler to accept the gentle correction of the Holy Spirit without drowning in a sea of hopelessness and despair.
So every time you sit for a personal moment with the Lord, acknowledge all that you thought and did evil -about your neighbor, about yourself and about your God. And repent. And then accept his mercy. Go for a confession. This is such a wonderful healing experience. Yes its icky initially but once your accustomed to being honest with God, believe me no other way will any longer suffice. Dishonesty will no longer offer consolation but only torment the soul. And one will be able to progress in the path of sanctity the sooner.