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At least one priest is available for reconciliation Sunday during the Divine Liturgy or by appointment anytime during the week. Please call the parish office at 773-625-5805 for arrangements.

Mystery of Reconciliation

The prodigal son comes home: an image of mutual reconciliation.

The prodigal son comes home: an image of mutual reconciliation.

Written by +Fr. Tom Glynn

Christ has given a way by which He can touch us with His saving hand. It is through the Holy Mystery of Repentance, also known as the Sacrament of Confession.

I regret to say that the reception of this sacrament not used as often as it should. Perhaps it is because of great misunderstanding of what it is. It may also be due to poor catechizing in the past and present. It is an area, which requires within our Churches a great deal of teaching and re-newal.

We call it a mystery of forgiveness and healing maybe the word “confession” has given this Sacrament a negative note. Perhaps we need to call it by its proper name: “The Mystery of Repentance”.

The whole meaning of the Sacrament is seen in the parable of the Prodigal Son-the open outstretched hand of a welcoming father. It welcomes, forgives and heals. It is not so much as what we do, as it is what Christ does for us. St. John Chrysostom wrote: “let us apply ourselves to the saving remedy of repentance: let us accept from God the repentance that HEALS us. For it is not we who offer it to Him, but He who bestows it upon us.” Note the emphasis on the word “heals”.

Yes, in this Sacrament, Christ lifts us up from the depths into which we may have fallen. Just as important, Christ the Divine Physician re-stores what is broken, wounded within us. This Sacrament is medicine for our souls. The Divine Physician restores what is broken within us. He takes our heavy burdens. It is here where He refreshes us.

So this Sacrament is much more then just an absolution. It is the place where we can open our soul’s wounds. We come to Christ, the Hope of the hopeless.

Unfortunately, our Church needs to do some serious teaching of the necessity of the Sacrament. It is not just a “duty” to be done once a year. How can it be a “duty” to come to the Divine Physician only once a year? This is totally inadequate. It must become much more then a minimized three to five minute recitation of sin with a line of penitents waiting to fulfill their “Easter Duty”. I see this as a very serious area, which needs to be rediscovered in the spiritual life of our Church. This Sacrament with the Mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ must be the focal point of our lives as Christians.

Prayer of the Holy Spirit:

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth! You are
everywhere present and fill all things. Treasury of
Blessings and Giver of Life, come and dwell within us,
cleanse us of all stain, and save our souls, O gracious
Lord.