The Sacrament of Reconciliation (or Confession) must be seen within the context of conversion from sin and a turn to God. Peter wept bitterly over his triple denial of Christ but received the grace of conversion and expressed it with a threefold confession of love for Jesus. Paul was converted from persecuting Christians to becoming one of the greatest disciples of Christ who ever lived. These moments of conversion were only the beginning of their lifelong commitment to living in fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sin harms our relationship with God and damages our communion with the Church. Conversion of heart is the beginning of our journey back to God. Liturgically this happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (or Confession). In the history of the Church, this Sacrament has been celebrated in different ways. Beneath the changes, there have always been two essentials: the acts of the penitent and the acts of Christ through the ministry of the Church. Both go hand in hand. Conversion must involve a change of heart as well as a change of actions. Neither is possible without God’s grace.
It’s never too late to return to God’s grace, especially when we’ve been living the life of the Prodigal Son before his conversion. He was hoping for his father’s mercy and forgiveness and simply to be treated as one of the servants, but his father recognized that his son who was once dead was now alive again; he who was lost was now found. (Lk. 15:32) He was not treated as a servant but welcomed back into the loving arms of his father as his son. Likewise, our Heavenly Father, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation forgives our sins and no longer treats us as servants but as friends. (Jn. 15:15) So if it’s been a long time since your last confession, wait no longer and come receive the saving graces of Jesus who frees us from our slavery to sin and offers us new life.
Saturdays 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
(and by appointment)
To help you get started, we offer a reminder of the Five Precepts of the Catholic Church. “The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2041)
- You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.
- You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
- You shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the Easter season.
- You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation.
- You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.
- Sacrament of Reconciliation
- How to Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Ten Tips for Better Confessions
- Preparing for Confession
- Reconciliation: An Experience of Forgiveness
- Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest?
- Is Confession based on the Bible?
- I don’t feel comfortable going to Confession; what should I do?
- If I have no mortal or venial sins, should I still go?
- Is Confession by e-mail or phone allowed?
- What’s the difference between Confession and Reconciliation?
Fr. Don Calloway speaks about his life changing experience in Confession as a penitent prior to priesthood.