Tuesday, March 27, 2018

"Why Confession?"

"If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven..." (Jn 20:23a)
Why go to confession? A few moments of your time; a lifetime of burdens lifted! You may say, "But (excuse, excuse, excuse)..." Why hesitate or be afraid? What's the big risk? No one has ever told me that they "regret" being set free from sin and shame and living a new life of inner freedom, peace and joy. How often people share with us friars after missions how they "came back to church" after thirty or forty years away...! (Why wait so long?)
The evil one will do everything possible (1 Pt 5:8-9) to keep you from receiving our Father's mercy in confession. Even well-meaning people and real responsibilities may distract or deter you. Don't let them! In the fortitude and authority of the Holy Spirit, reject every excuse and run to Jesus who personally waits for you with open arms in the person of the priest.
If we only realized that GOD HIMSELF waits for us in the confessional and in the Eucharist in each Mass and tabernacle (Mt 26:26-28; Jn 6:53,54,66), every church would need those "slow-down" sign-holding figures you see by driveways to keep people from tripping or bumping into each other as they run to him!
Our Lord Jesus said: "For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" (Lk 9:25) Being in the state of grace is worth more than the whole world! And eternal life with God in heaven is infinitely more valuable than the small sacrifice of humbling yourself to go make a good confession.
Why wait? Life is short; eternity is quickly approaching. God created you free; no one can force you. He invites you to come receive the free gift of his forgiveness and healing (as often as you want), but only you can choose to come to him--the One who loves you with an everlasting love.
Make a fresh start, a new beginning. Come home to Christ in his Church! The door of his Heart is always open (Jn 19:34). The real question is: will you go through it today? (Dt 30:15)
+Br. Philip Maria Allen, CFR
St. Mary of the Assumption Friary
Newburgh, NY, USA

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