“[Christ’s faithful] should be instructed by God’s Word and be nourished at the table of the Lord’s Body; they should give thanks to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him, they should learn also to offer themselves; through Christ the Mediator, they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all”.
(Sacrosanctum Concilium 48: Document of Vatican II).
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should be for all Catholics, the centre of their week. For those who have freedom and time, it is good if you can attend some masses during the week, especially if you seek to sanctify your days and weeks throughout this period of self-training.
It is important, that when we do go to mass, we do not allow the words just to pass over us like the waves of the sea on the sandy shore. The words should move us, we need to listen to them, because the mass is not just of the priest, but of us all. Listen to the words the priest says carefully, they are a dialogue as well as a prayer. When you respond, respond with care and attention, those words of your mouth mean something. Remember, the mass is not just an external action that you observe, but a prayer you say to God with your brothers and sisters in Christ. To pray the mass in this way will help you become more holy, because your perspective will change. You will see the mass not just for your own good, but also as part of what you do in Christ, for the world. Your work in this GodCalls Adventure is to be transformed.
Reconciliation or “Confession” as many Catholics speak of it is one of the seven sacraments of the Church. It falls into the category of one of the two sacraments of healing, the other being the anointing of the sick. The purpose of both these sacraments is to bring about God’s healing and mercy in the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we receive God’s forgiveness for our sins, and so we are reconciled to the Church’s life and are able to live the life of charity that exudes from sacramental grace.
All of us fall short, so in confession we firstly examine our conscience and recognise where we have abandoned the Lord through our sins. Our sorrow for our sins leads us to confess them, and so in the sacrament of Reconciliation we enunciate what we have done wrong with sorrowful and contrite hearts. Through the action of the priest, God sees our sorrow and forgives us our sins. The words of absolution are an embrace from the Lord who forgives us and offers us the grace so that we may not sin again in the future. The prayer that we make and the penances that we undertake are an act of gratitude for all the Lord has done and echoes in our hearts the desire not to sin again. In our act of penance, we make amends for our sin and we are reconciled with the Church and are strengthened to serve the Lord more faithfully.
In confession we encounter the Lord, who is our physician, our healer who raises us up and reintegrates us into the Church’s life. We can encourage each other to find opportunities to go to the sacrament of confession and to try at the end of each day to prepare for that sacramental moment by bringing the events of the day to the Lord. We are grateful for the blessings and we ask forgiveness for the times that we have sinned. This moment of being present to the Lord makes sure that we are always ready to turn back to the Lord and receive gratefully his forgiveness and love.