Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pope Benedict teaches about the Sacrament of Penance—conclusion...

Might it not be true that today we are witnessing a certain alienation from this Sacrament? When one insists solely on the accusation of sins—which must nevertheless exist and it is necessary to help the faithful understand its importance—one risks relegating to the background what is central, that is, the personal encounter with God, the Father of goodness and mercy. It is not sin which is at the heart of the sacramental celebration but rather God's mercy, which is infinitely greater than any guilt of ours.

It must be a commitment of pastors and especially of confessors to highlight the close connection that exists between the Sacrament of Reconciliation and a life oriented decisively to conversion.
It is necessary that between the practice of the Sacrament of Confession and a life in which a person strives to follow Christ sincerely, a sort of continuous "virtuous circle" be established in which the grace of the Sacrament may sustain and nourish the commitment to be a faithful disciple of the Lord.

... in our Christian life we must always aspire to conversion and that when we receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation frequently the desire for Gospel perfection is kept alive in believers.
If this constant desire is absent, the celebration of the Sacrament unfortunately risks becoming something formal that has no effect on the fabric of daily life.

If, moreover, even when one is motivated by the desire to follow Jesus, one does not go regularly to confession, one risks gradually slowing his or her spiritual pace to the point of increasingly weakening and ultimately perhaps even exhausting it.

... the regular celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and a Christian life that aspires to holiness are inseparable elements of the same spiritual process for every baptized person.

May each of us understand more fully the magnificent value of Confession and make frequent use of it throughout the whole year.

Fr. Stanley