Necessity and Benefits of Penance

This Thursday evening from 6:30 p.m. till 8 p.m. we will have our Lenten Penance Service. To hear individual confessions there will be about eight priests including: Frs. Gallagher, Ocana, Jaeger, Bradshaw, Perea, Cerezo, Peterson, and myself. The service begins with a brief introduction at 6:30 and then individual confessions until all are heard.

The Introduction to the Rite of Penance (#7) has this to say about the Necessity and Benefit of the Sacrament:

"Just as the wound of sin is varied and multiple in the life of individuals and of the community, so too the healing which penance provides is varied. Those who by grave sin have withdrawn from the communion of love with God are called back in the sacrament of penance to the life they have lost. And those who though daily weakness fall into venial sins draw strength from a repeated celebration of penance to gain the full freedom of the children of God.

"To obtain the saving remedy of the sacrament of penance, according to the plan of our merciful God, the faithful must confess to a priest each and every grave sin which they remember upon examination of their conscience.

" Moreover, frequent and careful celebration of this sacrament is also very useful as a remedy for venial sins. This is not a mere ritual repetition or psychological exercise, but a serious striving to perfect the grace of baptism so that, as we bear in our body the death of Jesus Christ, his life may be seen in us more clearly. In confession of this kind, penitents who accuse themselves of venial faults should try to conform more closely to Christ and to follow the voice of the Spirit more attentively.

"In order that this sacrament of healing may truly achieve its purpose among Christ's faithful, it must take root in their whole lives and move them to more fervent service of God and neighbor.

"The celebration of this sacrament is thus always an act in which the Church proclaims its faith, gives thanks to God for the freedom with which Christ has made us free, and offers its life as a spiritual sacrifice in praise of God's glory as it hastens to meet the Lord Jesus."

Please come this Thursday evening to our Communal Celebration of Reconciliation. It is a wonderful way to prepare for Holy Week and to receive Christ's healing power for yourself and your family.

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