(c)Mary TV 2012
November 27, 2012
Dear Family of Mary!
"Dear children! In this time of grace, I call all of you to renew prayer. Open yourselves to Holy Confession so that each of you may accept my call with the whole heart. I am with you and I protect you from the ruin of sin, but you must open yourselves to the way of conversion and holiness, that your heart may burn out of love for God. Give Him time and He will give Himself to you and thus, in the will of God you will discover the love and the joy of living. Thank you for having responded to my call." (November 25, 2012)
I must admit that Confession has been on my mind of late. I am aware of its central importance in the renewal and strengthening of the Church and for the evangelization of our societies today. And I don't mean that the un-evangelized need Confession. No it is we in the Church who need Confession. Confession will bring us back into the fullness of our faith, so that we will be good witnesses!
But Confession has been so neglected in the modern Church! It is the hidden, unmentioned Sacrament. What a pity it is that Confession has been diminished and set aside by so much of our Church. What a pity.
Caryll Houselander once recommended a book to a friend in a correspondence, a book on Confession, "Pardon and Peace" by Father Alfred Wilson C.P. She said it would help this person to go to Confession. So I hunted down the book and ordered it. It is out of print so I had to hunt! But what a book! I will begin quoting it today, as I feel it will help us all. It was published in 1947. But every word he writes applies to today! He argues that Confession is an incredible treasure that we Catholics should safeguard with great care, and he wonders why people shy away from Confession. He writes:
Jesus obliged us to confess our sins for our own sake rather than for His. He took the institution of Confession, which is a natural necessity, and safeguarded, facilitated and elevated it, raising it to the dignity of a Sacrament. He made the inevitably difficult task of confession as easy as it possibly could be made. We confess in secret, to any priest we choose; if we like, to one who does not know us and will probably never see us again. We confess in secret to a man who is bound to secrecy. We confess, moreover, to a man who is trained, not merely to listen with tenderness and sympathy, but to instruct, advise and heal.
In the Sacrament of Penance, Christ Himself is the real priest. There, in His capacity of Divine Physician, He forgives sin, pours grace into our souls, removes the traces of past sins, and gives us a title to actual graces in future difficulties.
Confession is simply a Hospital of Souls, where the Good Samaritan, through the instrumentality of priests, goes about binding up wounds and pouring in oil and wine: a hospital where the Divine Physician displays His healing art. Object to such a Sacrament as too fantastically good to be true, but please don't object to it as a bugbear.
I don't think the majority of Catholics realize how much they owe to the Sacrament of Penance. One of the greatest of Viennese psychologists, a man bitterly anti-Catholic, had the honesty to admit that, among his cases of serious psychological disorder, he had never had a genuinely practicing Catholic. (Father Alfred Wilson, C.P. "Pardon and Peace". Sheed and Ward, 1947. P. 20-21)
Our Lady tells us to go to Confession "so that each of you may accept my call with the whole heart." Her entire plan in Medjugorje requires whole hearts. We can't have divided, haunted, unresolved hearts and serve Our Lady at the same time. Divided hearts are open to the enemy. Haunted hearts have memories that have not been put to rest and distract us from doing the good in the present. Unresolved hearts need to walk to road of forgiveness and healing that Confession provides, so that they can be fully alive again. This is all the work of Confession. We need whole hearts, and Jesus wants to give them to us. He wants to heal our hearts.
What a joy it is to walk out of the Confessional, healed and whole! Who would not desire it?
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2012