#1: Holy Candles through Confession with Blessed Carlo Acutis

One practical way Blessed Carlo became a “holy candle” for Christ was through his weekly practice of going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 

His parish priest, Fr. Mario Perego, who was one of his privileged confessors, said of Carlo: “His was a soul of exceptional transparency – so very lucid. He wanted to improve in every aspect of his life – his love towards his parents from whom and with whom he learned the love of the Lord by actively participating in community meetings, and in the Eucharist; in perfecting his friendships with his peers and classmates; in giving more serious attention to his studies – academic, religious, cultural and technical. Because he was taken ill, which led to a rather unexpected death, Carlo would meticulously frequent the confession hall every weekend. My memory of him remains so vivid that I always feel him close to me.” 

Carlo’s spiritual director, Fr. Carlos Carbonell, whom Carlo visited once a month for counsel, said of him: “It was a regular habit of Carlo to visit me every month in Bologna. Almost always, at the end of such visits, the young boy would also receive the sacrament of reconciliation. His severity of judgment towards himself and his desire to be totally free of all stains, made him confess even the slightest oversight.” 

When asked why he was so determined to be free from all sin, Blessed Carlo said, “What does it matter if you can win a thousand battles if you cannot win against your own corrupt passions? It doesn’t matter. The real battle is with ourselves.” 

Carlo, who often used metaphors and analogies to explain the truths of the faith, used the image of a hot air balloon when he taught Catechism to explain the importance of frequent Confession:

“In order for a hot air balloon to float high, its weight must be unloaded; likewise the soul, in order to rise to Heaven, needs to be rid of venial sins. If by chance, there is a mortal sin the soul would fall back to the earth and confession is the sacrament that helps it to rise again to Heaven like the balloon rid of the hot air. We need to confess often because our souls are so vulnerable.” 

When asked why he went to Confession so frequently, Blessed Carlo explained that “asking for forgiveness and being reconciled with God is like rekindling the fire of your hot-air balloon and discarding the stones that are weighing your basket down.” Carlo thought that even the smallest sins were like cords that reattached to the ground and prevented him from taking off. What a powerful image for us to keep in mind, especially since we desire to set ablaze with God’s fiery love in this dark world and become “voices of hope” for others. 

May the frequent practice of Confession rekindle the fire of our love for Jesus on a regular basis!

To conclude: What is 1 thing you want to remember from this reflection?

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