For one reason or another many Catholics have become indifferent
to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. “Nothing is a sin
anymore!” has become the worried comment of many Catholics.
The Church seems to have become very lenient—or at
least many Catholics have decided to be rather lenient with
All through history this has been the sin, in all its forms:
exclusion of God, the rupturing of relationship with God.
It started in the Garden of Eden where two human beings set
themselves up as being somewhat self-sufficient, as powerful
as God. Evil today is rampant in the world: the trampling
of the rights of the human person, the attack on freedom,
racial discrimination, violence, torture, terrorism…so
many divisions in a shattered world – between individuals
and groups, nations etc. The root of all these things lies
in our innermost self…in the light of our faith we
call it sin.
As Catholic Christians, from time to time we need to review
spiritually the sense of sin in our own lives. Engaging in
the Sacrament of Reconciliation invites us to look at our
behaviors honestly and humbly. Looking at the spirit of our
behavior permits us to get away from the usual “grocery
lists” of sins. Rather in this “exam” we
let our guard down and look at our life patterns and examine
them with regards to our relationship with God. Where am
I in this relationship? Have I allowed certain sins to strain
my relationship? Have I made poor choices in life that have
hurt others? Am I able to see things from the viewpoint of
others that I may have hurt? What am I feeling about my behavior?
This exercise usually creates a space for a sense of sorrow
or regret for violating certain values and standards that
are crucial to living one’s life in conformity to the
life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an invitation to place
ourselves in God’s gentle presence and the overwhelming
truth about this sacrament is that God wants to heal us more
than we want to be healed. Our God is warm and loving. Nothing
gives Jesus greater joy than forgiving us our sins. Our proof
is in the Incarnation when Jesus became God/man….our
savior. When we encounter Jesus in this sacrament, his voice
becomes audible speaking to us individually about our sinfulness.
It is the sign which human beings desperately need. Confessing
involves saying the three most difficult words in the human
language: I was wrong. It is in this external action that
makes the interior act fully human. Once said these words
become lost in the mercy of God. True confession means an
end of guilt and guilty feelings.
The priest in his role as confessor in the Sacrament of
Reconciliation can help because he understands that we sometimes
need a voice other than our own to assure us that we are
forgiven, that all is well and that we do not need to be
haunted by past mistakes. Jesus desires to heal our broken
parts so that we can be made whole and confident. He offers
assurance of acceptance through the words and absolution
of the priest who, like us, is also aware of his need for
forgiveness. Jesus taught that “the truth will set
you free” (John 8:32). It is the freedom from self-centeredness
and selfishness that is given to us when examining our conscience,
expressing genuine regret and seeking forgiveness for whatever
that hinders our relationship with God. A firm purpose of
changing those patterns in our life that are not God centered
and completing the assigned penance concludes the reception
of the sacrament. Through this sacrament, God seeks to remove
our fears and guide us into future confidence that we are
loved by a God that desires so much for us.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation offers us a wonderful sense
of peace. This sense of peace unites us with God and touches
deeper yearnings in our hearts that no other kind of peace
can ever do. As we enter the season of Advent, why not come
home for Christmas by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Let’s pray that every member of our Church will strive
to be reconciled with God this Advent. Can you imagine the
impact that such a Church could have on all the problems,
divisions and sufferings in the world?
The individual celebration of the Sacrament
of Reconciliation is celebrated every Saturday from 3:45PM-4:15PM.
In the seasons of Advent and Lent, communal
penance services are scheduled. The opportunity for individual
confession is a part of these services. Dates and times will
be posted on the web site as well as the Parish bulletin.
Please check the Parish
Calendar for specific times.
Anyone wishing to celebrate this sacrament
at some other time can call the Rectory at 617-698-2439 and
speak with one of the priests to schedule an appointment to
celebrate this sacrament.