Tag: "confession"

Ireland, a Land of Atrophied Consciences
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Ireland, a Land of Atrophied Consciences

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It boils down to confession. Because when the confession lines grow short, sin prevails; first forgotten and then celebrated. Confession keeps us grounded in the truth, as we confront sin and root it out. Without it, we become blind to sin and begin to think and do stupid things. We knew that about Ireland, and […]

Latest Pope Francis Controversy and Why Non-Catholics Should Care
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Latest Pope Francis Controversy and Why Non-Catholics Should Care

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Non-Catholics may be wondering why Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia or The Joy of Love, has Catholics in an uproar. Has the Pope changed Catholic doctrine? Has he left the doctrine officially intact, but changed pastoral practice so much that the doctrine is annulled? Now that I have taken the weekend to read it, […]

Examining Our Consciences and Lent
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Examining Our Consciences and Lent

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Lent is our time to be with Jesus in the desert, where He, in His humanity, experienced weakness, hunger and temptation. Jesus entered fully into our humanity and was like us in all things except sin. This is the unique mystery of the Incarnation, where our God suffers as one of us. Jesus can identify […]

A Matter Of Penance or Radical Permission
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A Matter Of Penance or Radical Permission

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This past Advent as I attended Sacrament of Reconciliation, the priest mercifully imposed a seemingly unchallenging penance: say one “Our Father.” The 10-year-old Mike would have loved that penance a whole lot more than what the priest typically prescribed at the time. I’ll never forget the day he prescribed young Mike an entire Rosary as […]

Mercy Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry?
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Mercy Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?

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“Why do they only have 45 minutes for confession?” asked my Protestant dad when I was home over the holidays. “Well,” I tried to explain, “Most church-goers don’t go to confession that often. They don’t really think they’re doing anything wrong.” A senior deacon from one of the first classes of people trained in the […]

Do You <em>See</em> Your Neighbor?
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Do You See Your Neighbor?

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Let’s reflect upon Luke 7:36–50: “A Pharisee invited him to dine with them, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.” Are we not all sinners in vital need of God’s mercy? […]

On Confession: The Way to Peace
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On Confession: The Way to Peace

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My brother and I could be rambunctious children. There were times our rowdiness more than made up for the fact there was only two of us. One moment leaps to mind. We were roughly 12 and 9. Our dad had gone out on an errand and we were told to stay quiet while our mom, […]

What I Told My Bishop About the Synod
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What I Told My Bishop About the Synod

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Last week was the final deadline to submit comments to our local bishop about the agenda for the upcoming Synod on the Family, to be reconvened this October at the Vatican. The Synod’s working document, or lineamenta, asked 46 questions about the pastoral care of the family, which the laypeople of our diocese were encouraged […]

How to Make Heaven Rejoice
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How to Make Heaven Rejoice

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The silence truly had been golden. I hadn’t heard or spoken many words for a couple of days — save for at the Liturgy of the Hours in the chapel. The immersion in the silence had been one of the most special, holiest gifts I could receive. That had been one of the overriding reasons […]

Shudder -- It's Good for You
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Shudder — It’s Good for You

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Be sober. Accept reality. This is serious.

Book Review: <i>The Light is On for You</i>
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Book Review: The Light is On for You

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Confession, also known as The Sacrament of Reconciliation, can be a hard sell, even among Catholics who actively practice their faith. In the Introduction to The Light is On for You: The Life-Changing Power of Confession (The Word Among Us Press), Cardinal Donald Wuerl acknowledges that only “slightly more than 60 percent of practicing Catholics […]

How Does the Church Respond to Suicide?
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How Does the Church Respond to Suicide?

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The news of Robin Williams’ death is heartbreaking, as is any news of the death of one of our heroes. Just as was the news of mega-church pastor Rick Warren’s son’s suicide. I can understand Williams and I feel pity and sorrow for those souls. I really can and do. Between the time I was 14-17 I tried on […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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24 Hours for the Lord Begins Today

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At the request of Pope Francis, the Diocese of Rome and other dioceses throughout the world will begin the weekend with a sustained period of heightened Lenten reflections and devotional practices termed “24 hours for the Lord.” The Pope announced the initiative from the window of the Papal Apartments after praying the “Angelus” last Sunday.  […]

How to Stop Being the Prodigal Son
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How to Stop Being the Prodigal Son

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Today’s Gospel from Luke is one many know and love; the parable of the prodigal son. This is a great reading to meditate and reflect on during Lent. I’m not going to ask you if you’ve ever been the prodigal son or daughter. I’m going to ask you this: How many times have you been […]

Six Ways to Pray Your Way Through Lent
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Six Ways to Pray Your Way Through Lent

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Lent is coming soon, and many of us are already pondering what resolutions we’ll choose this year. No resolution can succeed without prayer, however, so here’s six ways to improve your prayer life this Lent. 1.  Make a daily prayer date with God. Best friends talk every day, so use the days of Lent to renew […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: February 19, 2014

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“Be courageous, and go to confession,” was the message Pope Francis delivered at his Weekly General Audience on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.  This was the seventh General Audience of the year, part of a cycle of weekly talks dedicated to the Church’s Sacraments. In his straightforward way, Francis called on those present to silently ask […]

My Son’s Discernment and His Call for Confession
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My Son’s Discernment and His Call for Confession

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The art of daily discernment is a practice and a virtue that many of us tend to forget and at times ignore. By definition the act of discernment from the Latin meaning discernere means one’s ability to distinguish what is happening around them whether positive or negative and to move toward a sound resolution of […]

Did You Run Out of Sins?
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Did You Run Out of Sins?

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Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman once said: “Faith is illuminative, not operative; it does not force obedience, though it increases responsibility; it heightens guilt, but it does not prevent sin. The will is the source of action.” If the will is the source of action and faith is illuminative because it comes from God, then […]

7 Secrets of Confession
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7 Secrets of Confession

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Fear not. The title, 7 Secrets of Confession, is designed to grab attention not break the seal. In fact, Vinny Flynn has penned his own “books of numbers” as author of 7 Secrets of the Eucharist and 21 Ways to Worship. This latest book serves as a helpful guide to Confession for those who have […]

What Should We Confess?
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What Should We Confess?

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Wrapping up our series on the sacrament of confession, I’d like to deal with what I feel to be are the two most important parts.  Frequently two questions are asked with this sacrament:  What should we confess, and how often should we confess it? Due to poor catechesis (or worse) there are some who advocate that you should […]

Why Go To Confession?
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Why Go To Confession?

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If we want to solve the crisis of the confessional, we need to begin actually teaching these principles, and begin applying them in our own confessions. In many cases, this will require a fundamentally new outlook in the way we approach this sacrament. Yet it is only fitting, as the sacrament provides us a new way to live our life.

I Come to Heal, Not Accuse
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I Come to Heal, Not Accuse

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One of the greatest obstacles to presenting the Sacrament of Confession is exposing perfectly good Catholics to a worldview they are completely unfamiliar with.

Why Confess Sins to a Priest?
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Why Confess Sins to a Priest?

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I would like to look at the matter from a different angle. I don’t really want to focus on a biblical rationale for every aspect of the sacrament of confession, not yet at least. Instead, I’d like for us to ponder why it is fitting that God chooses to use priests in the forgiveness of sins through the confessional.

Why is There a Crisis in the Confessional?
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Why is There a Crisis in the Confessional?

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In my last column, we began covering the sacrament of confession by stating that modern Catholicism suffers from a crisis of the confessional.  Here on this site, on social media and in emails, readers have shared their thoughts with me on why this is so.  According to the wisdom of the crowds, the biggest problem […]

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