Sunday, March 16, 2008

Benedict on Confession

This is a joyful opportunity to here what the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, said recently to the confessors at the Major Basilicas. The Basilicas are staffed with confessors from religious orders, for example, Dominicans at St. Mary Major and Franciscans at St. Peter’s [Via the inestimable Fr. John Zuhlsdorf]:
Dear Confessors in the Roman Basilicas,

I am pleased to meet you at the end of the Course on the Internal Forum, which for some years now the Apostolic Penitentiary has organized during Lent. With its carefully planned programme, this annual meeting renders a precious service to the Church and helps to keep alive the sense of holiness of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

[ ... ]

Lent is an especially favourable season to meditate on the reality of sin in the light of God’s infinite mercy, which the Sacrament of Penance expresses in its loftiest form. I therefore willingly take this opportunity to bring to your attention certain thoughts on the administration of this Sacrament in our time, in which the loss of the sense of sin is unfortunately becoming increasingly more widespread ... It is necessary today to assist those who confess to experience that divine tenderness to repentant sinners which many Gospel episodes portray with tones of deep feeling.
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1 comment:

David Nybakke said...

Thank you Ath for this post. I really found the following especially interesting and moving:

"Might it not be true that today we are witnessing a certain alienation from this Sacrament? When one insists solely on the accusation of sins – which must nevertheless exist and it is necessary to help the faithful understand its importance – one risks relegating to the background what is central, that is, the personal encounter with God, the Father of goodness and mercy. It is not sin which is at the heart of the sacramental celebration but rather God’s mercy, which is infinitely greater than any guilt of ours."

And when you gaze upon this statement with a heart and mind in tune to mimetic theory you can see just how we are alienated to this Sacrament by way of our current mood for the accusation of sins.