Most of us think of the Sacrament of Reconciliation as an ‘Advent’ or ‘Lent’ thing (if we think of sacramental confession at all.) Examining our conscience, becoming mindful of our sins, humbling ourselves to confess those sins in the presence of the priest, receiving absolution and doing our penance to cooperate in God’s healing work within us – these are things that seem to us as the proper ‘housecleaning’ to help us get ready for the joyful, holy seasons of the year. And there is some truth to that.
But that understanding of the Sacrament of Reconciliation can leave us thinking that we only need to go to confession a couple of times each year. The Church is clear, however – we’re required to receive sacramental reconciliation any time we’ve committed mortal sin before we receive Holy Communion again. And while the Church teaches we must go to confession at least once each year, the witness of the saints through the ages has been that the healing, grace, and freedom that comes from the sacrament should be frequently received to help us grow in living the Christian life.
Our children preparing for First Communion in May celebrated their First Reconciliation this past Saturday afternoon within the Easter season. This was partly to help them build a connection between being reconciled with God and receiving Holy Communion; but it was also a chance to help them see that approaching God’s love, forgiveness, help, and healing is an act of hope, an exercise in trust, and practicing faith in the great work of the Resurrection. Each and every time we approach Jesus in the confessional, we’re celebrating His Easter triumph over sin and death!
Why not enter more deeply into the light, life, and re-birth of this Easter season by making time to visit the resurrected Lord in the confessional and receive His powerful healing and forgiveness in this beautiful sacrament?
There is no better way that you can pray for and support our children preparing for their First Communion than joining them in the joy and hope of the saving work of confession.