Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Resurrection, Confession and a very busy day

This morning the sky was overcast with a bit of cool breeze-- a perfect day for a Rosary Workout power walk.  I drove to my favorite walking path, a paved trail that follows a wooded river.  I prayed the Glorious Mysteries, reveling in the glory of God's Creation in its spring majesty.  The grass was a brilliant green, the tiny leaves bursting from the trees were a paler shade, and the music of the flowing river cleared my mind for meditation and reflection.

It is so right that the First Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection, is celebrated in the spring when new life bursts forth all around us.  As I walked, I considered that we also receive a sort of new life in grace when we go to Confession.  In fact, the Sacrament of Reconciliation was instituted by Christ on the evening of the Resurrection.

Our Lord was very busy on that long-ago Easter Sunday.  Raising Himself from the dead was the first order of business, then He descended into hell (Eph 4:9-10), appeared to Mary Magdalene under the guise of gardener (John 20:11-18), explained all the prophecies regarding Himself to two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:15-27), ate dinner with them, where they finally recognized Him "in the breaking of the bread," (Luke 24:29-31).  Then He vanished and appeared to the Apostles back in Jerusalem, ate another meal of baked fish (Luke 24:42) and commissioned the Eleven (obviously, Judas is not there) to go out and baptize and proclaim the gospel (Matthew 16:15-18).  Finally, he institutes the Sacrament of Confession when He tells the Apostles, "... Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." (John 20:22-23).

I make it a goal to go to Confession at least once each month.  The grace and peace I receive from that sacrament are priceless.  I also take my children to Confession with me.  As Jesus Himself implores, "... Let the children come to Me; do not prevent them...." (Mark 10:14) Although my children may occasionally go two months between Confessions, I know that it is critical to establish this habit in the hope that it will last a lifetime.  They are not afraid of the confessional.  In fact, just this weekend my son emerged from the chapel and declared, "I feel lighter."  I know exactly what he means!

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