Many of us have drifted away from frequenting the Sacrament of God’s Mercy, which we call Confession. The reasons are many: some of us have never had our conscience well-formed, others harbour a nagging fear or doubt while still others wrestle with the “I have no sin” notion!
Here are five concrete practices you can adopt to return to God’s mercy:
1. Go for Confession: I can’t convince you, if you are putting up excuses to deny yourself God’s infinite mercy by avoiding Confession! So let us prepare ourselves and come in humility and faith to be redirected in our journey back to God, on 25 March (Wednesday) at our Parish @ 8.00 pm. Do not let the devil of procrastination conquer you!
2. Mercy: Remind our wandering souls, the lost sheep/prodigal son/daughter, that God’s mercy is infinite. Saint Paul reminds us: “Where sin abounds, the mercy of God abounds all the more.” Saint Faustina Kowalska asserts that the greatest sinners can be the greatest saints if they simply place their trust in the infinite mercy of Jesus.
3. The Prodigal Son and Confession (Lk. 15:11-32): Read and meditate on the Parable of the Prodigal Son before and after the Sacrament of Confession.
4. Examination of Conscience. The examination of conscience is like an attentive gaze fixed on Jesus, to imitate his virtues, to conform ourselves to him and to open our soul to His presence. It is the means for knowing ourselves and it grounds us in humility, disposes us in gratitude towards God, to sorrow for sin, and to affirm our resolution for the future. In the March 8 issue of ‘Herald’, Pope Francis offers handy tips for preparing for Confession (front page).
5. How? When? Where? Somebody who has been away from the Church for many years and has not confessed for a long time, may not even remember the basics on how to go to Confession. Just go through the basics with someone. Don’t worry! The priest will guide you. Do enter the confessional, make the sign of the cross, and tell the priest how long it has been since your last Confession. Then tell your sins to the priest who represents Jesus Christ.
Saint James encourages us, “… if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone brings him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his ways will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins,”(James 5:19-20)
May Our Lady, “Refuge of sinners” as well as “Mother of mercy” bring us sinners back to the loving and merciful Heart of our Lord Jesus!