As we journey through the season of Advent, we anticipate the wondrous Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. The very essence of the Incarnation is the realization that the Son of God became one like us so that he might redeem us through his suffering, death and resurrection. During this season, let us properly prepare ourselves to receive our King as we contemplate our own sinfulness and work towards creating a clean heart by our good works, through a more ardent prayer life and by receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation. There are limitless opportunities for us to realize the true meaning of this Christmas season through service to others and prayer – we need only look around.
It is good to be reminded that the sacrament of Penance is not just a sacrament of forgiveness but also of conversion. It is a conversion of the heart, an interior conversion. This interior conversion demands true contrition and entails the desire and resolution to change one’s life, with hope in God’s mercy and trust in the help of his grace. When we confess our sins to the priest, we must also be truly sorry for them; the grace of the sacrament compels us to turn from our sinful life and to be truly reconciled. Though frequent reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation is encouraged, if one continually comes to confession every few days, true contrition is not taking place.
The sacrament of Reconciliation is offered Monday through Friday before the daily Masses as well as on Saturdays. You are encouraged to receive the sacrament in a timely manner so that the priests may accommodate everyone. As Christmas approaches, the number of penitents tends to increase due to visitors or those who may not attend Mass regularly. By making your Christmas confession early, it is most helpful in alleviating large numbers on the last days before Christmas. Beginning December 11th, there will be two priests hearing confessions at 11:45 a.m.
Let this Advent season be one of waiting in joyful hope through a true conversion of heart.