Reconciliation

Confession Times

Sundays 9:00-9:30am (immediately before the 9:30am liturgy in English and Syriac)

Confession available in Arabic, Spanish, English and by appointment.


What is Reconciliation?

There are four steps in the sacrament of reconciliation

1. We feel contrition for our sins and a conversion of heart to change our ways.

2. We confess our sins and human sinfulness to a priest (James 5:16).

3. We receive and accept forgiveness (absolution) and are absolved of our sins (John 20:23).

4. We celebrate God’s everlasting love for us and commit to live out a Christian life.


Sin hurts our relationship with God, ourselves and others. As the Catechism states:

"The sinner wounds God’s honor and love, his own human dignity…and the spiritual well-being of the Church, of which each Christian ought to be a living stone. To the eyes of faith no evil is graver than sin and nothing has worse consequences for the sinners themselves, for the Church, and for the whole world" (CCC 1487-1488).


A mature understanding of sin includes reflecting upon our thoughts, actions and omissions as well as examining the patterns of sin that may arise in our lives. With contrite hearts, we are also called to reflect upon the effects of our sins upon the wider community and how we might participate in sinful systems. Contrition and conversion lead us to seek a forgiveness for our sins so as to repair damaged relationships with God, self, and others. We believe that only ordained priests have the faculty of absolving sins from the authority of the Church in the name of Jesus Christ (CCC 1495). Our sins are forgiven by God, through the priest by virtue of their apostolic authority. Individual confession with a priest is the principal means of absolution and reconciliation of grave sins within the Church after one is baptized. The Sacrament of Reconciliation frees us from sinful patterns of behavior and calls us to complete conversion to Christ. Reconciliation heals our sins and repairs our relationships.


If we confess our sins, God is eager to forgive, for he is merciful. This is exemplified and ensured for us in the mercy of the Father on his prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). As the holy Apostles John tells us, "If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing" (First Epistle of St. John 1:9).


The spiritual effects of the mystery of reconciliation include:

1. reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace

2. reconciliation with the Church and ability to participate in communion

3. remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins

4. remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin

5. peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation

6. an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle (CCC 1496)


Reconciliation is typically first received during the 2nd grade year before First Eucharist, when a child begins to discern right from wrong and becomes aware of the social and spiritual repercussions of their actions. 


How often should I receive this sacrament?
Frequent confession - once a month or so - keeps us spiritually healthy.  The Church requires that we confess our sins at least once annually. The penitential seasons of Advent and Lent provide good opportunities to celebrate the sacrament with the whole parish community. 


Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.  But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to thy servant.  Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.


 


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