Dear Brothers and Sisters, I pray you are doing well! Please know of my daily prayers for you and my gratitude for your prayers for me, Papa J.J. & all of our staff. So lots of gifts were recently boxed and wrapped right? Maybe we watched with joy as others opened them, excited and hopeful that they would love the gift. We also know the joy of opening a gift given to us. Well, there truly is another box where the joy of Christmas explodes forth again and again…the confessional.
Friends, since we began offering confession an hour before mass on the first Sunday of every month I can say that joy has been over-flowing from the confessional at St. Moses (I happened to draw the first Sunday the last two months there). And while a priest can not reveal whose confession he’s heard or what they’ve said (and truly, I forget 99% of it all I’d say), I can say that the experience of being in the confessional over at St. Moses the Black has been awesome. I’d like to tell you why.
In the confessional, Jesus Christ is present in a very special way. He uses us meager priests to speak a healing word of love in the con-fessional. He puts it strongly on our hearts that HE LOVES the person sitting across from us (or behind a screen) and that they are PRE-CIOUS to Him. Each person may as well come through the door (or curtain, lol, SMB is rocking it old school! Nothing wrong with that eitherJ) with a sign that says “handle with care….God’s sacred property”. St. John of the Cross noted that “at the evening of this life we will be judged on love.” At the evening of my life, I hope Jesus looks at me and says something like, “Patrick, thank you for loving my people in the confessional, you were particularly tender and encouraging and it really made a difference.”
If you’re feeling hesitant about confession; please don’t worry, just come and Jesus won’t let you down. When you come in simply say “Bless me Father for I have sinned” and make the sign of the cross. Then tell the priest how long it’s been since your last confession. If it’s been years and years, that’s ok!! That just means the party in heaven is breaking out all the more I would say (Jesus said, “there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than 99 who have no need of repentance.) You can also simply say to the priest, “help me with this please”, and we happily will!
Jesus Christ came to take away our sins and fears. He came to fill us with God’s divine life of love. In confession, He takes away our sins and heals us of so many of our fears (all of them if we let Him!); He brings to our souls the joy He brought to this weary and wounded world on the day of Christmas. Please come, there’s still another gift waiting for you to unwrap…
God Bless You !!