08 October, 2011

Confession? Yes, it is still a sacrament of the Church... even if sadly rarely used today

Confession... the Sacrament of Reconciliation and healing. While it may be out of fashion for many to admit to the existence of such a thing as 'sin', it is still an obligation and a privilege for Catholics. Obligation because none of us are capable of perfectly loving God and neighbor.  A privilege because it grants us the opportunity to move past our failings and to grow strong in love with both.

The Church teaches that everyone should go to confession whenever they are aware that they are in a state of serious sin. Given that people have such a hard time recognizing 'sin', it has become an almost forgotten sacrament. For this reason I always suggest that people should come to confession at the changing of the seasons so that they can receive the grace of the sacrament, even if people don't admit to the presence of any 'serious' sin in their lives.

In this season of Autumn, the falling leaves remind us of the fact that each of us will one day die and receive a judgment before Christ for our sins and graces. In the winter we think of the desolation that our souls experience when sin cuts us off from God's ever present grace, bringing life back to desolate, frozen souls. Spring reminds us of the new life that the sacrament brings to believers (it is a sacrament of healing after all) and summer's bounty reminds us of the inestimable benefits and bounty we receive from God in this life, and points us to the even great cornucopia of blessings that awaits us in heaven.

Take advantage of this Thanksgiving weekend (at least it's Thanksgiving up here in Canada... the Americans are a little slower to celebrate this feast - grin) to return to God and enjoy the bounty of his grace of forgiveness!

Fr. Tim

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