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Celebrating the Mercy and Forgiveness of God

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Confession Anchor

Penance and Reconciliation (Confession) is the sacrament in which the Church celebrated the mercy and forgiveness of God, obtained through the sorrow, repentance and the desire of the sinner to return to right relationship with God and the Church.

In Baptism, people are freed from sin and welcomed into the fullness of God’s love as his children.  But in our human condition, we are prone to make selfish and unloving choices that separate us from his love and diminish our ability to reflect it to others.  Each time we sin, we distance ourselves from the love of God and harm ourselves, other people and the Church.

Through the Sacrament, the Church offers an ongoing way for people to return to God and his Church.  As we read in the Gospel of John, Jesus prepared his disciples for his return to the Father, and commissioned them to carry on his work of reconciling people to the Father by forgiving sins in God’s name, through the power of the Holy Spirit.


The Return of the Prodigal Son

by Rembrandt van Rijn


Confessional in St. Louis Church

found near the Statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.


Confessional in St. John Vianney Church

found near the Stations of the Cross.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.  The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  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 20:19-23


Confession makes the soul strong because a really good confession--the confession of a child in sin coming back to the Father--always begets humility, and humility is strength.  Confession is nothing but humility in action.  We call it penance, but really it is a sacrament of love, a sacrament of forgiveness.  It is a place to allow Jesus to take away from me everything that divides, that destroys.  When there is a gap between me and Christ, when my love is divided, anything can come to fill the gap.  We should be very simple and childlike in confession. 'Here I am as a child going to the Father.' We go to confession a sinner full of sin.  We come from confession a sinner without sin by the greatness of the mercy of God.  No need for us to despair.  No need for us to be discouraged--no need, if we have understood the tenderness of God’s love.  You are precious to him.  He loves you, and he loves you so tenderly that he has carved you on the palm of his hand.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta,
founded the Missionaries of Charity and
won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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