Perhaps one of the most fleeting gifts within the Roman Catholic Church today is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Each year the bishops send out an invitation of “The Light is on for You”. A unique way to invite parishioners back to Church, many of whom have slipped away in their approach to the life of the Church.
What has happened with this most arduous approach to find God’s Mercy as we move ahead in the 21st Century, saddling ourselves with so much busyness that this love of God’s Generosity to forgive has taken a backseat to Himself?
As the journey this year (2017) enters the third week of Lent this Sacrament appears to be focused towards everyone even if they feel there is no urgency or need to seek its benefits. Maybe the general attitude regarding sin has become passe’ or the idea of sinfulness no longer holds our attention.
If you are in my age bracket (80+) you remember the Saturday nights when making the trip to church for Confession involved sitting or standing in long lines to see a priest. It doesn’t appear that people are breaking down the doors to get to Confession as in days of old. Has sin become old fashioned or are we beginning to exist in a Humanist atmosphere where a new way of confessing our sins are bring replaced by a “may not need this attitude”?
I do not feel that because of my age and 40+ years as a deacon have caused my thoughts to wander back to the past where things were different. If anything, the years of experience and growth in a philosophical consistency leads me to reach out more positively and put into prose the current crisis which may be facing the very souls of many who have slipped away with uncertainty towards God’s Mercy.
My thoughts on this subject have been revealed within several reflections, some that may be printed here. They are; The Sacrament of Penance and Sanctifying Grace, Attraction to Deadly Sin, Sin, God’s Everlasting Mercy, and The Blood of Christ. They all do not mention Reconciliation but allude to God’s Mercy and His Forgiving Heart. The point is too many are ignoring the Sanctifying Grace that is found in this Sacrament and the need for a personal contact with a priest for this genuine touch of the Holy Spirit within the confines of one-on-one with Christ in His Priesthood.