As our Jubilee Year of Mercy ends, Father Murray is happy to share some of his thoughts about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, along with a prayer :
Jesus showed us through parables that his Father longs to receive the sinner with open arms, just like the Earthly father of the Prodigal son! Some call it the “story of the Prodigal Father,” since his love is so lavish, overflowing, and supremely generous. I guess Jesus wanted us to feel that God’s mercy is like a tremendous river! While here at Saint Raphael, I have observed how important and impressive confession is as a sacrament and encounter. To live our faith in a vital way, we need to admit that we are sinners. We have fallen. We will probably fall again. We need the help that God gives through this Sacrament.
Sometimes people who have been away from confession for many years have the notion that they are “not good enough” for it, or they would upset the priest too much if they asked for an appointment, or if they took a lot of time while in confession. These notions are not true. Priests, by and large, are glad to help with this sacrament at almost any time and realize that it is a wonderful means of helping people know the mercy of God and the human need we all have for forgiveness. I encourage all who are tentative, unsure, angry, or hurting to take the first step, and return to the Sacramental “encounter of a sinner with God as Shepherd and Reconciler.”
Lord Jesus, We thank you for your loving concern for us and for your desire to bring us back into the marvelous river of God’s mercy. Help us open our hearts to God today so that we can receive His graces beyond all counting and feel His immense love flow forth. Amen.
Confession times are available on Saturdays from 3:30 to 4:45pm. If you feel you need more time with the priest, you can make an appointment.
If you are unsure of the prayers or expected procedure, don’t worry – the priest will help you! If you are nervous, come early, bring a spiritual book or article to read while you wait and take a look at these helpful websites before you come:
Printable Short Guide : what-is-reconciliation pdf
Examination of Conscience: http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments-and-sacramentals/penance/examinations-of-conscience.cfm