Prepare you hearts for the infant King this Christmas by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). Why Confession?
Confession is the most under-utilised Sacrament of the Church; this can usually be put down to two reasons.
- Embarrassment (Shame)
Embarrassment is common for most people who go to Confession. For some it can overwhelming to the point that they fear judgement. Try to remember in these moments that Confession is a Sacrament of Healing. God desires to pour out His healing upon all who approach the Sacrament. We all feel a sense of shame when we have done wrong. There is no sin too great that is beyond the Mercy of God and you will encounter a Merciful Father both in God and the priest confessor, who knows exactly what it is like to go to Confession himself.
- A lack of understanding regarding the nature and consequences of sin
Some people will say that they haven’t hurt anybody or that their sin is personal to them and therefore ‘I confess only to God.’ Although we feel this way we need to be aware that there is no such thing as a private sin, the consequences are far wider than we think. Jesus in speaking of the Pharisees living life one way and appearing in public in another the Lord says:“Everything now covered up will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. For this reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in hidden places will be proclaimed from the housetops.”(Luke 12:2-3).
We are all connected in a spiritual way through Baptism as the Body of Christ. St. Paul reminds us that “If one part is hurt, all the parts share its pain. And if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy.”(1Cor 12:26). If one part of the body sins even in a personal way that no one else knows about, we are all effected in a spiritual way. This is why it is necessary to ask forgiveness from our brothers and sisters and from the Church in the person of the priest. When the healing grace of the Sacrament is given to the individual, it strengthens the entire body.
A good Confession makes a difference for you, for the entire body of the Church and the entire world! A key to a good Confession is an examination of conscience. The one provided opposite is compiled in the light of God’s Commandments.
Do not be afraid, trust in God’s Mercy and make a good Confession this Advent. As Jesus reminded St. Faustina:
“I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest …
I Myself act in your soul”. (Diary 1602)