The Sacrament of Reconciliation
St Teresa’s is well known throughout Ireland as a place to visit throughout the weekday to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).
We hope that the following reflection will help to enrich your preparation for the Sacrament and help you to find true peace and reconciliation with God and your neighbour.
There can be many wrong and sinful choices which we make that can destroy our inner peace and joy. Guilt can destroy our lives, depriving us of the deep inner joy and peace, which the Lord has offered to us. It can leave us restless and troubled.
Jesus has come into this world to set us free from these unnecessary burdens and painful guilt. He came as our saviour. He eat and drank with sinners and welcomed them into his Kingdom. He goes on to tell us of the joy there is in heaven when we repent, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety nine righteous ones who have no need of repentance” (Luke 15:7).
When we approach the sacrament of Penance we obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offence committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which we have wounded by our sins and which by charity, by example and by prayer labours for our conversion.
To make a good confession we must:
- Examine our conscience and recall the sins committed since our last good confession.
- Be sorry for our sins. By contrition, or sorrow for sins, we express to God our grief that we have disobeyed Him, that we have been His unfaithful children.
- Have the firm purpose of not sinning again. By this purpose of amendment we sincerely promise God not to fall again into the sins we confess.
Confess our sins to the priest. The act of telling our sins to the priest is called Confession
Be willing to perform the penance the priest gives us. The performance of the penance after confession is called satisfaction, for by that act we try to repair the damage our sins have done.
Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Grace and peace be with you from God the Father and Jesus Christ who loved us and washed away our sins in his blood.
God calls us to conversion; let us therefore ask him for the grace of sincere repentance:
Almighty and merciful God, you have brought me here in the name of your Son to receive your mercy and grace in my time of need. Open my eyes to see the evil I have done. Touch my heart and convert me to yourself. Where sin has divided and scattered, may your love make me one again; where sin has brought weakness may your power heal and strengthen; where sin has brought death, may your Spirit raise new life. Give me a new heart to love you, so that my life may reflect the image of you Son. May the world see the glory of Christ revealed in your Church, and come to know that he is the one whom you have sent, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen
The Lord says,
'You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart.'
Is my heart set on God, so that I really love him above all things, and am faithful to his commandments, as a son or daughter loves a father?
God has spoken to us through his Son. Is my faith in God and in the Church's teaching firm and secure? Have I love and reverence for God's name? Do I keep Sundays and feast days holy?
The Lord says, 'Love one another as I have loved you.'
Have I a genuine love for my neighbours --for my family, my parents, neighbours -for my wife, my children, for the less fortunate?
Does my life reflect the mission I received in confirmation, to spread the gospel, to promote the good and prosperity of the community in which I live, and to give of my best in my work or profession?
Have I right attitudes to authority, to responsibility, to truth, to justice, to property, to the reputation of others?
Christ our Lord says, 'Be perfect as your Father is perfect.'
Where is my life really leading me? Is it characterised by growth in the life of the Spirit, by prayer, by receiving the sacraments, by listening to God's word, by self-denial?
How have I used my time, my health, my strength, my talents?
Have I been patient in accepting life’s sorrows and disappointments?
Have I kept my senses and body pure and chaste as a temple of God’s Spirit?
Is my conscience formed by the word of God and the teaching of the Church?
Do I enjoy true freedom through following the law and the promptings of the God’s Spirit?
After Confession of Sins
- Recite Penance
Concluding Prayer:- Father, in your love you have brought me from evil to good and from misery to happiness. Through your blessings give the courage of perseverance to those you have called and justified by faith. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen