The Sacrament of Reconciliation is ALWAYS a beautiful thing. I had a friend recently who hadn’t been to confession in about 40 years. I’m sure you know someone like that…maybe yourself? He decided in his heart that it was time to go, but he feared being judged or chastised. I assured him that God would be thrilled to see him return to grace.
So, he corralled his fears and trepidation and showed up at the confessional one Saturday. Rather than scolding him for his absence, the priest asked “Why now? What brought you back to the Sacrament?” We all have our reasons why we stay away and we all have our reasons why we return. If it’s been awhile, why not now? Why not this Lent? God is patiently waiting for you to kneel before Him and say “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”
Our parish is hosting a Communal Lenten Penance Service on Tuesday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. As a community, we will share a short prayer service, an examination of conscience, and then each penitent will have the opportunity to meet privately with a confessor. (About 10 priests will be on hand for the evening.)
If you would rather go to confession in the traditional manner, we will continue to offer confessions every Saturday in Lent at 8:00 a.m.
Your other option is to attend a Communal Penance Service at a neighboring parish. (See list at far right.)
EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE:
I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD: YOU SHALL NOT HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME. Have I treated people, events or things as more important than God?
YOU SHALL NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD YOUR GOD IN VAIN. Have my words, actively or passively, put down God, the Church, or people?
REMEMBER TO KEEP HOLY THE LORD’S DAY. Do I go to Mass every Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligation? Do I avoid, when possible, work that impedes worship to God, joy for the Lord’s Day, and proper relaxation of mind and body? Do I look for ways to spend time with family or in service on Sunday?
HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER. Do I show my parents due respect? Do I seek to maintain good communication with my parents where possible? Do I criticize them for lacking skills I think they should have?
YOU SHALL NOT KILL. Have I harmed another through physical, verbal or emotional means, including gossip or manipulation of any kind?
YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY. Have I respected the physical and sexual dignity of others and of myself?
YOU SHALL NOT STEAL. Have I taken or wasted time or resources that belonged to another?
YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR. Have I gossiped, told lies, or embellished stories at the expense of others?
YOU SHALL NOT COVET YOUR NEIGHBOR’S SPOUSE. Have I honored my spouse with my full affection and exclusive love?
YOU SHALL NOT COVET YOUR NEIGHBOR’S GOODS. Am I content with my own means and needs, or do I compare myself to others unnecessarily?