Tired of all the bad news

While we can't deny the difficulites for so many people at home and overseas, it's important to take account of the positives, and to spread the Good News. I don't know who said this but; "No-one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side." Blessings..

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Not something I talk about everyday

I was over in the Carmelite Church in Clarendon St yesterday to go to confession. The sacrament of reconciliation or confession is not something you hear about everyday but I like to try and go regularly. When we confess our sins, we confess to Jesus Christ. The priest is there 'In persona Christi' and Christ told the disciples to forgive sins (Matthew 18:22 and John 20:21-23)

In popular culture today, it seems that people are more inclined to confess on primetime tv or radio. And some of these are car crash television or radio. I've heard people say to me; "Sure no one goes to confession any more." and "Nothing is a sin any longer."

As a priest hearing confessions from time to time, I know there are those who are fearful of confession. Perhaps it was because of a bad experience in confession in the past. Sadly, there were priests who got angry and acted as judge and jury and they were wrong to do so. This should not be the case today. Confession today should be life giving and an opportunity for real renewal.  And while I know people may still feel worried about what to say, the priest will always be there to help.

Well, the good news is that people do go. I joined a large queue of people of all ages for confession yesterday.  I must have waited for half an hour as people went in and came out of the Reconciliation Room there. And people were joining the queue after I left. The Carmelites (Both OCD Carmelites and OCarm) in Dublin City centre offer this service each day in their churches and the people come along.

Most parishes have reconciliation services coming up to Holy Week. Again, a great opportunity to make a fresh start.  One of the best parables in the gospels is the story of the Prodigal (merciful and generous) father, and the lost son. (Luke 15:11-32);

11 Then he said, 'There was a man who had two sons.
12 The younger one said to his father, "Father, let me have the share of the estate that will come to me." So the father divided the property between them.
13 A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.
14 'When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch;
15 so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs.
16 And he would willingly have filled himself with the husks the pigs were eating but no one would let him have them.
17 Then he came to his senses and said, "How many of my father's hired men have all the food they want and more, and here am I dying of hunger!
18 I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
19 I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired men."
20 So he left the place and went back to his father. 'While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him.
21 Then his son said, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son."
22 But the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we will celebrate by having a feast,
24 because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found." And they began to celebrate.
25 'Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing.
26 Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about.
27 The servant told him, "Your brother has come, and your father has killed the calf we had been fattening because he has got him back safe and sound."
28 He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out and began to urge him to come in;
29 but he retorted to his father, "All these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed any orders of yours, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends.
30 But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property -- he and his loose women -- you kill the calf we had been fattening."
31 'The father said, "My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours.
32 But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found." '

1 comment:

  1. You may not talk of it often, but I'm glad you did because if all those people are there it can't be as hard to talk to the priest as I think it is. I had a bad experience 30 years ago and I wouldn't go back. But I have since met a great priest who was a great help to me when I was a patient in hospital. So if you meet one that's unhelpful, try again. There are some great ones out there!