Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

March 25 | Confession (Pt. 1)

Saint Dismas


They say every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

If today's saint could lean in close to you and say one thing, it might be this: "If there are pieces of your past that are weighing you down, it's time to leave them behind. You are not what has happened to you. You are someone unimaginably greater than you have ever considered, and maybe it's time to consider all the possibilities that are within you."

This is the lesson of the man who was perhaps the first saint to go to Heaven—Saint Dismas. He is the Good Thief who was crucified alongside Jesus. With his dying breath, he confessed the guilt weighing him down and asked Jesus to take him to his kingdom.

Luke tells his story this way:

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

That act of confession was enough to send Saint Dismas straight to Heaven upon his death. This is remarkable mercy, beautiful mercy, and it is available for each and every one of us in the Sacrament of Confession. No matter what we’ve done, no matter how long it’s been since we tried talking to Jesus, and no matter how unforgivable or unworthy we feel—Jesus is waiting to forgive us.

Just like the Good Thief, we’re all carrying regret, shame and self-loathing around with us. We carry all that “stuff” around with us everywhere we go and to everyone we interact with. It affects us physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. It stops us from becoming who we are truly meant to be, and it negatively affects the people around us. Confession is how we unburden ourselves of all this “stuff.” We bring it to the loving compassion of Jesus who says, “Truly, I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Confession is a beautiful thing. It opens the doors of mercy. Isn’t it time we make use of this amazing gift?


I will bring my burdens to Jesus in confession.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: The Condemned, Prisoners, Dying People, Funeral Directors, Penitent Criminals, Prison Chaplains, prisons, reformed thieves

Also Known As: The Good Thief

Feast Day: March 25

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Lucy Filippini and Saint Quirinus

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