Going to confession has lost its meaning for me. I wish I could get more out of this sacrament.
The Catholic Church has always treasured the sacrament of reconciliation. But as adults we need to center on the spiritual depth of this sacrament and gain a new appreciation of it.
Reconciliation is a healing sacrament, meant to mend the rift created between ourselves and God and ourselves and others by our sins. God does the healing: we seek to open ourselves to God’s power by asking forgiveness from God and from others. It can be a powerful experience to receive the words of forgiveness, spoken by the priest, as the very words of Jesus healing us and sending us forth to live more loving life.
This sacrament helps us confront weakness and malice in our life. We all do some shameful things. Sometimes we think, “If others only knew what I think or what I have done, they would not accept me!” When we come to confession with sorrow for our sins and desire to amend our lives, we are assured of God’s complete pardon and acceptance no matter what the sin. If God accepts and loves us, surely we can accept and love ourselves.
Reconciliation also is a beacon to help keep our life on a straight course. We all have faults centering on gossip, selfishness, impatience, and anger. At penance time we take stock of our direction in life and, with God’s help, recommit to a more loving path. I hope you can fully unite yourself with the forgiving Jesus and the forgiving Church and receive the grace of the sacrament this Lent.
– Paul J. Coury, CSsR