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If I believe that God communicates his grace to us through the seven sacraments, why then is the Sacrament of Reconciliation not something I look forward to? ..... Is it because I get stuck on the confession part - the dumping of my sins on the poor priest? Where I wish that I didn’t have to verbalise them to someone I both know and with whom I’ll have a lot of contact with? Where I have to face the horror and disappointment of realising that the darkest part of myself hasn’t been eradicated since the last confession? Where I have to own and name my shame? It’s a bit like the reading, the other Wednesday, of Adam and Eve naked before God. I bet they were hoping for a cloak of invisibility too. However, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a sacrament of healing. Reconciliation is what God does; and receiving it and celebrating it is what we do. I have to ‘rethink’, to remember that it is not to the Priest I am confessing my sins, it is to God. It is not the Priest who is giving me absolution, but God. I read something beautiful on the Creighton University On-line Ministry site: God forgives us the very moment that we come to the experience that we need forgiveness. At that moment, I feel sorrow and a desire for forgiveness and healing. In that moment, I am reconciled with God. The reunion, the bond, the connection, the joy are all there. Three more things remain: to receive it deep within my heart, to celebrate it, and to participate in the healing process. ....... In the Sacrament, my personal journey is joined with the mystery of God's saving love, as seen in the scriptures, and in God's desire to save us all. There, in ritual form (even if it is just me and the priest) I "step forward" and admit that I am a sinner, express my sorrow, and I name the places in my life where God is shining a Light into what I have done and what I have failed to do. Then, God's forgiveness is proclaimed "out loud" - for me to hear and rejoice in: "May God grant you pardon and fill you with God's peace." If you haven’t taken advantage of the three Reconciliation times available each week, maybe I’ll see you Monday night! And a happy and joyful reconciliation for us all!


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