Hello again to all, I write to you this week about the Sacrament of Penance, Reconciliation, or Confession. The names are many but the purpose is the same as all of the Sacraments: to enable us to receive the great gift that God gives us so freely and lovingly, his forgiveness and our salvation. This Sacrament is probably one of the most misunderstood of all of the seven. It is frequently avoided by us in our day and age because we fear the judgement of God and humans. The reality is that the Sacrament is meant to convey not God's judgement, but rather God's mercy. I think of this Sacrament as a maintenance Sacrament. While Baptism and Confirmation welcome us into the mystery of Salvation this one is one which we can celebrate more than once or twice. We celebrate it throughout our life whenever we are feeling as though we are somehow separated from the love and mercy of God. As in all of the Sacraments sins are forgiven, but with this one we receive forgiveness for the sins we commit during our lives and, of course, for original sin. It is for this reason that I like to call it a maintenance Sacrament. It helps us to continue or maintain the state of grace we received in the Initiating Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. If we are afraid of this Sacrament or embarrassed by the possibility of admitting something not so good about us to a priest ( a man) we might know, I would still like to encourage all of us to go to confession on a regular basis.
God Bless, Fr. Rob