“A trusting humility brings us back into the light of communion between the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.”
–Catechism of the Catholic Church #2631
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2631) tells us that true sorrow for our sins is a prerequisite for pure prayer. It is helpful to consider what St. Ignatius of Loyola says about two “standards”. In his Spiritual Exercises, he presents those standards as ways of evaluating the world and ourselves in it.
The first standard is the way of sin. It is corrupted by the Fall and the lusts of man. This standard is governed by the Prince of Darkness. Following this standard merits death.
The second standard is the way of Christ the King. This standard is characterized by the grace and love of God. To follow it, we strive to bring everything within us under the Lordship of Jesus Christ by following the Commandments, living the Beatitudes, and practicing virtue. The reward for this standard is eternal life.
How have you been following the way of sin rather than the way of Christ? What changes in your life do you need to make in order to pursue Christ instead of sin, and how can sorrow for your sins lead you to pure prayer?