I shared this on my Facebook wall a couple of weeks ago, and thought that I would share it here as well. The Light is on for You is a great opportunity that our Diocese has been participating in during the penitential season of Lent. It is an open invitation and opportunity, to go to confession, and receive God’s mercy and grace. We are bound by the church law to confess our sins only once per year, during the Lenten season. Why not go more, though? The graces that we receive from the Sacrament of Confession and reconciliation are immense.They bestow grace upon us and help us to live our lives more faithfully to the Gospel.
When we sin, our sin does not just affect our relationship with god, rather it also affects our relationship with the community and the church. Sin, is selfish by nature. It does not focus on the good of ourselves and others, rather it focus on temporal moments of pleasure for ourselves, most of the time the results then hurt others, directly or indirectly. We, as Catholics confess our sins to the priest, for multiple reasons. One, it is private, very few people would ever want to go in front of their whole church and tell them their list of sins, it’s embarrassing. Telling our sins to a priest helps make it easier, yet, because we are sharing, we are vulnerable and it takes some humility to bear our sins to another. Secondly, the priest represents the power of the church, to whom Christ gave the power to forgive sins. (Remember when he gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom? He said: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”) Thirdly, the priest represents the community. He stands as the leader of the local church, and is able to represent them. So when we confess our sins to a priest, we receive forgiveness through the power of the church, confess in secret, making it something that we feel comfortable doing, and we bear witness to the community, through the priest standing in their place.
At the end of time, we are judged twice. Once at the moment of death, when we receive Heaven or Hell, and lastly at the end of time where we bear witness to our sins before the whole body of people in the world.
Try to go to confession at least once a month. Reconcile your soul to God, his church, and the community. Make this Lent a good one. Come home!