Posts Tagged ‘confession’

(Jesus) said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

John 20-21-23

This week at mass the first two signs of a healthy parish were in evidence.

As people went up for communion there were some who approached with crossed arms receiving a blessing instead showing respect for the presence of Christ by publicly admitting that they were not properly disposed to receive as per the 1st sign of a healthy parish.

Furthermore not only large families were in evidence but during the responsorial psalm (which this week for Gaudete Sunday was the Mary’s prayer of praise the Magnificat ) the young child who had so loudly prayed the Our Father two weeks ago was praying this. Clearly his parents had taught him his prayers well. All of this is in line with the 2nd sign of a healthy parish.

But the 3rd sign of a healthy parish was also present as we left as the father of that boy held back to ask our priest if he had time to hear his confession.

I and others have often done the same both after a Sunday mass and in the gap between the two daily masses (offered at 7 AM & 8 AM Mon-Thurs). Invariably (although once in a while when there is a family waiting for a baptism the confession has been quick) our pastor has agreed which can be a handy thing because the only thing more reliable than his agreement is that if you turn up for confession at the usual time (3:15 or so on Saturday before the 4:15 mass) you will find a line.

This is very much in line with the sermon that was preached today where Father noted that all people need to be saved from their sins by God and the sacrifice of Christ. As he put it:

Go to a convent and the oldest and most devout nun you there will be in need of the saving power of God.

This is a basic tenant of Christianity. Remember John the Baptist who Christ himself said was greater than any man born of woman declared in Today’s Gospel that his sandal strap I am not worthy to untie. and in Matthew’s Gospel declared to Jesus: “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?”

If such as John needed the Baptism of Christ for the forgiveness of his sins how much more you and me?

Furthermore a good priest who regularly hears your confession is in a good position to be a life coach steering you away from thing that are a danger to your soul.

I have known parishes where the priest will go the entire hour confessions are offered without a person coming or with maybe one or two regular penitents. This is always a sign of danger. Pride is the 1st of the deadly sins for a reason.

Find a parish with a line for confession and a priest always ready to hear one and you will find a parish that will be around for many years to come.

One of the side effects of the move of my show to Saturday Mornings has been a disruption in my faith life.

My parish has confession at noon on Saturdays. Since the show moved to 10 to noon I haven’t had the chance to go to confession there or at my normal backup confession spot.

During the time I missed confession I was in a car accident, I lost almost two weeks of door to door and ad sales for the show slumped despite the station’s acquisition of the Boston Red Sox and the fact that my show will be leading into it.

This week due to BC Basketball the show was preempted for one hour. Because of this I got home just before noon and decided to go to confession while I had the chance.

Since that day my car turned up ready 4 days early, my wife picked up a full-time job and I’m had more sales today than I had the entire month of March.

Make of that what you will.

I took confession with a different priest than I usually do this week. Although normally one doesn’t talk about said sacrament, he said something to about coping with adversity that is important to remember.

“You are going through your Good Friday”, he said to me, “But remember, every Good Friday has its Easter.”

These words really hit me, It reminded me that at any time Christ could have decided to take up the challenge to come down from the cross but did not because he knew the suffering of Good Friday would lead to the triumph of Easter.

It is a lesson I will endeavor to keep in my heart.

Welcome Anchoress readers: Check out my latest Examiner column on tea parties here . See why the Anglican church is dying here. See parallels to Egypt vs Coptics and Obama vs Catholics. And check back this afternoon for my take on the final episode of Saving Grace.

My son and I got to the men’s conference a bit before 7:30 a.m. There was already a small group of men who where there waiting at the doors which where shortly opened and a flow of men of all ages were quickly up the escalators and into the main exhibitor area. Where a plethora of Catholic books of all types and subjects awaited us. From the Saints, the popes, apologists of every type and historical books were available almost everywhere.

For people from my parish St. Anthony Di Padua you couldn’t help but notice the number of people you knew. St. Anthony parishioners were everywhere.

You bumped into them everywhere you went.

For myself I also recognized many fellow members of the Knights of Columbus. Three different tables where setup. One concerning Membership, one on our insurance program and a third on a new programs on Christian Fatherhood called Fathers for good.

We got ourselves into the main hall pretty quick but for some reason Danny grabbed seats toward the center of the room in the third batch of seats. I had figured on being a lot closer but as long as we could see and hear the speakers we were good. Last years crop was pretty good, we hoped to do as good this year, we weren’t disappointed.

The Opening Speaker was Michael Matthew Kelly who was absolutely fantastic. Kelly’s thesis was twofold, first that Catholics have forgotten our history reminding us that things such as education for the non noble and medical care such as hospitals came from the Church. He then gave a list of what he called the seven Pillars of the Church and he put them in order:

1. Confession. He argued that like any athlete we will do better with a coach who knows us (a confessor) and he reminded of the necessity of confession because of our capacity to create God in our image.

2. Daily Prayer He stressed the need for good habits to set the direction of our day saying that our actions will follow our thoughts and reminded us that the Saints are the most diverse group in history.

3. The Mass He suggested the goal to look for one thing from each mass by which we could become better (suggesting a journal) And reminded us that the first person in history to leave right after communion was Judas.

4. The Bible He reminded us to start with the Gospels to find out who Jesus was, stressing that Jesus proclaimed himself God not giving other choices. He stated we avoid scripture because we don’t want to change.

5. Fasting He suggested that it was spiritual discipline. And fasting can be as easy as wanting Steak and taking chicken, wanting coke and having juice.

6. Spiritual Reading He reminded us that he we become what we read. People who question us deserve answers and how can we provide them if we don’t study or faith?

7. The Rosary He made one of the best Marian arguments I’ve heard reminding us that we would not hesitate to pray for someone else if asked so why not ask Mary and the Saints to pray for us. Nobody see the life of the child like the mother.

He seemed a tough act to follow but Jessie Romero followed him and told of his time on the LA police force and his time as a “culturally Catholic Latino.

He told of what happened when he read the Gospels and realized who and what Jesus was. By his 35 miracles he demonstrated who and what he was. He broke Christians down into three groups.

Wishbones: One day I’ll be better
Jawbones: Those who talk the Talk and don’t walk the walk
Backbones: “I’ve got Jesus bring it on!”

He told spectacular tales of evangelicalism on the streets in LA to gang members and criminals of all types, packing his weapon, and his holy water.

He impressed me and I spoke to him afterward outside where I was given a box lunch along with the exibitors so I missed a good chunk of Msgr. Swetland’s talk on Confession. When I came back in he stressed the need for the sacrament and it’s biblical origins. At the conclusion of his talk came the time for confession and lunch. 50 priests were there including Bishop McManus. As an older priest who seemed very familiar sat next to me I decided I didn’t need to go to the Bishop who was free and stood where I am. At the end of confession the priest commented on my fedora approvingly. Thanking him I introduced myself asking who he was. He lifted the red cap on the chair next to him and that how I met Auxiliary Bishop George Rueger.