How long has it been since you went to Confession?
According to Canon Law (yep, I went there!), you should go whenever you are in mortal sin and at least once a year, preferably during Lent. But the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not just about laws and rules, it is about growth and life. When I taught about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I gave five reasons why it is important. (There are probably more, but five is a good number.) First, sin is self-deception. No one does anything because it is evil, we do it because it is good, or at least SEEMS good to us. That is the problem with sin. We need another perspective to give us the distance we need to discover if something is healthy or not. Second, we need to make our contrition and God’s forgiveness real and concrete. That is the whole point of Sacraments, that this is real. You obviously could go directly to God in prayer, but the Sacrament leaves little doubt that something happened.
You actually tell a living, breathing human being what you have done. And you actually hear the words of forgiveness.
Third, we need to celebrate God’s forgiveness. We tend to look at the negative aspects of Confession, especial- ly the shame of our sin. But it is really about being set free. Rare are the times when someone leaves the Sacrament
with me that they feel worse. If you do, don’t go to that confessor again. Fourth, when we confess our sins, there is a release of a burden. Psychologists call it catharsis, the good feeling that we have been heard. When we keep things
inside, they tend to eat us alive, but when we get it out there is peace, there is freedom. Finally, our sin is not just between ourselves and God. Sin has a communal nature, it will have an effect on others. Thus we are not just seeking the forgiveness of God, but of the entire Body of Christ, the Church.
Presently, we are celebrating Reconciliation with our students in our Parish School of Religion and eventually our Day School children. There will be a joint celebration with Queen of Peace parish on Monday March 29 at MQP at 7 pm. Mark your calendars. We also celebrate Reconciliation every Saturday before the 5 pm Mass. It has been a bit awkward because of Covid, but it still works. And you can call anytime to set up an appointment with a priest.
Has it been awhile? If so, don’t worry about being judged or scolded. This is an opportunity for growth, for life, for peace.