Our lives should be viewed through the lens of God’s mercy. Almost any situation we encounter either reflects or needs the goodness and forgiveness that only God can offer. From crimes to weather disasters to small frictions in family life, mercy is usually the cure for the ill at hand. In fact, more than anything, we need the forgiveness of God for our sins. The Church offers us the super-abundant gift of mercy through the sacraments, and in a particularly fascinating sacrament called “Confession”. Just like keeping healthy through the frequent reception of food through nutrition, Catholics receive the ordinary graces of forgiveness by having regular recourse to Confession. As the Catechism Compendium states, “Since the new life in grace received in Baptism does not abolish the weakness of human nature…Christ instituted this sacrament for the conversion of the baptized who have been separated from him by sin” (n. 296).
The Sacrament of Confession must be well prepared. It takes some time (not much). In the West, I think that, on average, from door-to-confessional door-to back home might take two hours. Sometimes there is traffic or a confessional line causing some delay, but this waiting time can really be a good opportunity to prepare ourselves. With the Internet it is now so easy to find Confession schedules, and most priests are happily willing to hear confessions outside of the “official hours”. With Pope Francis’ emphasis on welcoming and seeking out the sheep in order to help them return to God, we simply don’t have excuses to keep away from Confession. Every “return of a Lost One” is a miracle, like the “miraculous return” of a flyaway drone to his owner. Come back!