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On Reconciliation

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus Christ loves us and wants to

forgive our sins through the Sacrament

of Confession.

At his Resurrection, which is proof

that he is God, Jesus appears to

his Apostles and shows them his

wounded hands and his side:

“The disciples rejoiced when they

saw the Lord. Jesus said to them

again, „Peace be with you. As the

Father has sent me, so I send you.‟

And when he had said this, he

breathed on them and said to

them, „Receive the Holy Spirit.

Whose sins you forgive are forgiven

them, and whose sins you

retain are retained. ‟Gospel of St.

John, chapter 20, verses:20-23 (Jn.


Talk about 20/20 vision of God‟s

love for us! On the night of his

Resurrection, Jesus Christ instituted

the Sacrament of Confession

that we might be assured of

the forgiveness of our sins and the

grace to be on the path to heaven!

In the early Church people had to

confess publicly! Although the

form of confession has changed,

the essentials of confession remain:

1) Examination of conscience:

Ask the Holy Spirit to help

you to know your sins in light of

the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes;

2) Be sincerely sorry

(detest them for harming you and

the Church); 3) Honestly confess

the number and kind of mortal

sins to a Catholic priest; 4) Receive

absolution and firmly resolve

to avoid/change (this may

take time and practice);5) Firmly

intend to do penance.

There are two kinds of personal

sin, venial and mortal. Venial sin

is not serious in nature, but it

harms our relationship with God:

a white lie. A mortal sin destroys

the sanctifying grace in a person‟s

soul because of its degree of gravity

- serious nature. Hopefully

they still have the virtues of faith

and hope to make a perfect act of

contrition and then go to Confession.

When a person subjectively commits

a mortal sin, they intentional

place a serious sin before

God who loves them, and gives

and sustains their every heart

beat and breath, and gives them

all that is truly good, especially

himself in the Sacraments.

Three simultaneous conditions

needed for a person to commit a

mortal sin: 1) the thought, or

word, or action, or sin of omission,

is of a serious nature; 2)

must have sufficient understanding

of gravity of what is being

done; 3) and sufficient freedom of

will, that is to say, no extreme


Temptations are unintended evil

thoughts or feelings. If a person

does not try to eliminate them

but dwells on them with

selfish pleasure and

succumbs, then they

should be confessed.

If a person uses God‟s

name in vain because they stub

their toe, that is a venial sin because

of physical duress. But if a

person uses God‟s name in vain

because of impatience in slow traffic,

that should be confessed before

receiving Holy Communion because

it‟s a mortal sin and they

are of age to know better.

At the age of reason, every person

is responsible for knowing the

most important truth, how to love

God first above all things. Plus,

God speaks to every human conscience

about good and evil. Some

people choose to darken their conscience,

but God constantly seeks

to bring his light of true love to

them and the community, especially

calling us to weekly Mass

and to confess our sins at least annually,

but monthly confession is


We need to help each other keep

that light of faith, hope and love

alive! To that end, please note

that there will be a Communal

Penance Service, Friday, August

27, 7:30 -8:30 p.m. at Holy

Trinity, with 4 priests so that

individual confession can take


Peace in Jesus Christ,

Fr. Thomas McCabe


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