St. Michael Prayer
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Glory to God in the Highest!
Glory to God in the Highest!
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Prepare the Way of the Lord - The Sacrament of Reconcilliation
Examination of Conscience
Sacrament of Confession
Yes, I am of the old school. I still call the Sacrament of Reconciliation the Sacrament of Confession. Like a rose, by any other name, this Sacrament is a Sacrament of great graces and peace no matter the name.
Many times, in our modern world, the lines of sin are blurred. What would have been considered a great scandal 20 years ago, is now considered a way of life. The influence of our culture makes it difficult for us to know when sin is actually committed. Violence in words and actions is increasing. Our society condones many sinful actions. We are told that if we do not feel an action is wrong, then that action is neither wrong nor sinful. Violence against our unborn is now a right, and not a sin. In spite of this, we have to realize that violence does require a reconciliation with God.
During the season of Advent, as we prepare the way of the Lord, we are offered many chances to reconcile with God and grow in peace. When we find peace, others are affected by our peace. When we find that God is near us in through Sacrament of Reconciliation, others feel the peace and closeness of God through us.
Many people argue that we don’t have to tell a priest our sins, that we can just tell them to God and He will forgive us. I assume that, to a point, that statement might be true, however, we, as members of the Catholic Church, know that through the priest in the confessional, God speaks to us. Through the gift of the priest, God will grant us pardon and peace when we confess and truly repent of our sins.
Although there is much more to making a good confession, we must begin with an examination of conscience. The problem becomes that, often, we do not know which of our thoughts, words, or deeds are sinful. Learning what is sin is critical to making a good confession and changing our way of life so that we can grow closer to God in this world. The world is fleeting, but eternity is not. We are only short timers on earth. As human beings the only way out of this life is to die. Death comes to all. Peace does not.
Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are given a chance to grow in peace and holiness. If we do not know what we are doing is sinful, then we cannot remove this obstacle to God. Sin is a barrier to the love of God flowing in and through us. When we repent, God forgives and forgives. His mercy is endless. His Love is unending. The Sacrament of Reconciliation helps us to prepare to grow in holiness.
Step one of making a good confession is an examination of conscience. Below are some online sites that help us prepare for the gift of confession by guiding us through the commandments with information on what violates each of the ten commandments. These violations are our sins. Make a list. Take this list with you to confession. When it is time to confess, do not be afraid or embarrassed. The priest has heard it all. I doubt that there are many surprises in the confessional. Take your sins into the priest, and you will leave with peace and forgiveness that only God can give.
Check out each of these sites. One might be more fitting for you than another. Use these sites and prepare for your encounter with God. Advent is your chance to reconcile with God. He waits for you!
Online sites for a Catholic Examination of Conscience
(I don't know if these sites will click for you, but if they don't, copy and paste into your browser.)