A Heart Above Reproach!

Job 27:6

I hold fast my righteousness, and will not let it go;
my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.

Old Job was made of remarkable stuff.  Most of us can’t say we “hold fast our righteousness”.  Or, if we do say it, we are rather likely to be saying it with a depth of pride that rivals the worst Pharisaism.  But Job seems to have been able to say it with a clean and (mostly) humble heart.  Something the way a guileless child might say it when she looks you straight in the eye and says she is telling the honest truth.  Every now and then, we’ve met a person who really is pure in heart and who is able to even see that fact for themselves.  It is a beautiful and rare thing.  For the rest of us, however, there is still hope.  For God gives us the sacraments (especially confession) to give us by grace what Job seems to have enjoyed in fuller (though not perfect) measure.  Step into the confessional with the load of all the sins in the world on your shoulders (it matters not how much).  Step out and you are as clean as after a bath and as full of grace as any saint in heaven with not a soul in the world to reproach you for your sins.  Go take advantage of that incredible grace as soon as you can.  You don’t have to lug around your sins a moment longer!  By the grace of God in the sacraments, you can have a heart free of reproach too!

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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  • aquinas74

    Dear Mr. Shea:

    Recently, I emailed our St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Boise, ID. I asked if it be possible to avail the sinners of Confession 30-45 minutes before and after each and every Mass. The 45 min. time zone on Sat. afternoon is too constrictive for many people; they’re buzzing busy.

    Finally, I asked that more real “quiet time” be allowed us to contemplate Our Lord from our hearts – cor ad cor loquitor. There’s too much noisy clatter in our lives already; why insult Jesus and us by adding to it during THE Centrality of our lives.

    Yours in Christ and St. Dominic,

    Phil Fertguson, O.P.L.