Reconciliation: Breath of Life

I went to Cconfession today. And once again, I was overcome by the gracious goodness of our God. It caused me to wonder why it is that we do not use this sacrament more frequently.

I do know numbers of dear souls who have made a pledge of sorts to go to the Sacrament of Penance at least once a month. And this is commendable — laudable, even. And I know other souls who frequent the Sacrament bi-weekly or even weekly. This is saintly.

It is said that Pope John Paul II went to confession every day. Imagine. Every day!  He, like so many others who have been raised to the altar of Christ, discovered the treasury of grace that awaits us in the Sacrament even when grave sin is not present. Simply put, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is restorative. It is, after all, a sacrament of healing.

For myself this morning, I found it to be exactly that: restorative. And renewing, revitalizing. redeeming. The graces received in the quiet and solitude of confronting Our Lord with our weakness and frailties, our struggles and concerns, our discouragements and frustrations are boundless — like God’s own mercy of which they are replete.

Something about exposing the dark parts of our being to the rays of light that emanate from the Heart of  Christ sets us free in new ways. It affects every part of us — our psyche, our emotions, our spiritual life to be sure, even our physiology — all are inundated with the healing love of God and, in that holy exchange of Heart-to-heart, new life comes.

I remember one of my teachers in grade school tell us that she often prayed that God would let her die right after receiving the Sacrament of Penance because she would go straight to Heaven. My little girl’s mind strove to plumb the depths of what this good and holy religious woman was imparting. She pointed to the sun shining on the snow outside of our classroom window so bright it was near blinding. “That”, she said, “is what a soul looks like when it has made a good confession.” I got it then. I understood.  At least to some extent. Today, I understand more.

What is your burden this day? Is it a deep sin for which you need to receive forgiveness? Is it a weakness or tendency from which you wish to be set free? How about discouragement, hopelessness, or despair? There is a solution. Run — don’t walk — to the Sacrament! Be set free!

5 Response to “Reconciliation: Breath of Life

  1. Thank you Johnette, this is a beautiful encouraging post, our parish confessions are Saturday at 5:30 and it always seems there is some reason to miss. I know in my heart I should go more often, to tap into Gods grace, to make more room in my soul for Christs pressence. thanks for the nudge.

  2. I SO believe in the wonder and beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation! Unfortunately many people in my family and hometown do not. They consider themselves good Catholic people but have not been to Confession for years. If you would ask them why they would tell you that Vatican 2 did away with private confession with a priest. NOT SO! I think that the problem is not knowing the Faith well enough. We all need to make the effort to learn and understand the teachings of the Church according to the Catechism. Thank you Johnnette and all who created WOG! The program helps us all to better understand and know our beautiful Catholic faith!

  3. Jonette, thankyou so much for your inspiring story. I just wish confession were now I would go! I am going to go very soon. You do feel wonderful after going, like newbirth.

  4. Johnette, this was a wonderful article that you posted. You are spot on. I believe that a reason why Catholics don’t go to Confession more often is that back in the 80’s and 90’s priest and parishes were pushing general confession. We even had priest telling us that it was not necessary to go to private confession unless you had committed a mortal sin. My wife still believes this. Can you and Father Silvia commet on this in hopes to clear up this misunderstanding. We have been misinformed and I believe that the priest who have done this have lost a lot of souls because of their misguided teaching and bad advice.
    God Bless you all and keep myself and my family in your prayers.
    Ken Wisniewski

  5. God bless you Johnette for your comments I feel so much at home when I read them because I am surrounded by people who look at me like I am crazy when I try to make a confession often.