(Vatican Radio) Below, please find the English language synthesis of Pope Francis’ Catechesis
for the General Audience on Wednesday 19th February 2014:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Through the Sacraments of Initiation, we receive new life in Christ. This life we carry in earthen vessels, however, and we still experience temptations, suffering, and death. Because of sin, we can even lose this new life.
Jesus therefore willed that the Church continue his works of salvation for her members, in particular through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which flows from the Paschal Mystery.
The forgiveness we receive is not the result of our own efforts, but is the gift of the Holy Spirit reconciling us to God and to each other. While the celebration of the Sacrament is personal, it is rooted in the community of the Church, in which the Holy Spirit is present, uniting us all in Jesus Christ. When confessing our sins then, we confess to the priest who represents not only God but also the community of the Church that accompanies us on the path of conversion.
Though this Sacrament is a great treasure, we may be tempted to dismiss it, perhaps due to laziness or embarrassment, or because of a diminishing sense of sin and its effects. Too often, we see ourselves as the centre and measure of all things, and our lives can go adrift.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation calls us back to God, and embraces us with his infinite mercy and joy. May we allow his love to renew us as his children and to reconcile us with him, with ourselves, and with one another.
The Sacrament of the Reconciliation The Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession is one of the least understood, and least utilized, sacraments in the Catholic Church. In reconciling us to God, it is a great source of grace, and we are encouraged to take advantage of it often so as to draw us near to The Lord.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available at any time on request and usually on Saturday morning from 10.00am to 11.00am