Are you ready?

We priests, often meet people in tragic circumstances.  In hospitals, homes and even on the street may be asked to give the Sacrament of the Sick.  People are often faced with diseases like cancer and aids that completely destroys the person’s body and they go through long suffering.  Yet there are those who face a sudden end through a massive heart attack, stroke, a tragic accidentand even some unexpected form of violence.  Whatever the circumstances, these people are all facing the ultimate, the end of their lives on earth.

Facing these kinds of circumstances on a regular basis can do one of two things, we can either become severely depressed, or we can meditate on the last things.  Ultimately  we all have to face the same reality, life on this earth will come to an end and there is no escaping it!  Everyone in our lives at this moment will all be gone within the next hundred years or so, maybe some will live a little longer than others, but we will all die!

Some are probably saying: “Do you have to ruing our Sunday with these morbid thoughts Father?”  The intention of this post is not to spoil your day, but to make it better.  Knowing that each one of us has a limited number of days and we don’t know when our number will be called should make us live a different kind of life.

We should never take for granted the gift of the present moment.  Each one of us should enjoy life, because life is a gift from God.  We should never let our responsibilities and anxieties take the joy out of our life.    Secondly, we need to be right with God!  Actually, the second one should be first, but I didn’t want to scare anyone off!  Did you go to Mass today and do you go every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation?  When was the last time you went to Confession?  Do you hold any grudges?  Are you living as God expects you to live?  This is starting to sound like an examination of conscience.  The truth is, if we are living as faithful disciples of Christ and living in the present moment, there is nothing to be worried about.  Are you ready?

I confess directly to God!

“I don’t need to confess my sins to a man, I confess directly to God!”  How often have we heard that from our Protestant friends and, even from some Catholics.  Why have Catholic lost their love and understanding for this great gift from Our Lord?  As a kid, I remember my parents standing in long lines on a Saturday to go to Confession.  Much has changed in those years.  In your average parish, the priest is lucky to have a couple of visitors during one hour on a Saturday afternoon.

Forgiveness is the central message of our Lord’s ministry.  Throughout the Gospels, we have examples of Jesus forgiving sins.  Jesus healed the paralytic, and forgave his sins. (Mk 2:5)  He forgave the sinful woman at Simon’s home. (Lk 7:48)  Because the people doubted Jesus’ authority to forgive sins, He healed the paralytic as a sign to demonstrate His power.  (Lk 5:24)

The Church’s authority to forgive sins is not it’s own, it is that power received by Christ with a commission to us it.  Jesus did not call the Apostles to do their own work or to exorcise their own authority.  The Apostles were called to continue the carry on the mission of Jesus Christ.  Part of the Lord’s mission is to sanctify.  Each one of us is called to personal sanctification.  We strive for holiness, yet we are hindered by our sinfulness.

The work of sanctification is to free those in bondage.  Sin is bondage and Jesus came to set the captive free.  There is no greater freedom in life, than knowing you are forgiven.  So, being a major part of His ministry, Our Lord wanted this work to continue through His ministers.  Our Lord breathed the Holy Spirit upon the the Apostles and gave them power.  “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (Jn 20:23)

The Holy Spirit speaking through St. James tells us: “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.” (James 5:16)  Who would be foolish enough to confess their sins to a man who doesn’t have the authority to forgive the?  There are those who will not tell their sins to a priest, yet they will bear their souls to a counselor or a friend who can do nothing but encourage them.  Who in their right mind would tell their deepest secrets to someone, unless that someone could heal them!  Jesus invested the Apostles and their successors (bishops) and their collaborators (priests) with His divine power to forgive sins in His name.

How can anyone say that they don’t believe in confessing to a priest, when Sacred Scripture directly tells us that is what we need to do!  It is never easy to confess our sins to a priest, but saying your sorry never is!

iPadre #185 – The Hail Mary

Today, we cover some great feedback and talk about the Priest’s reception of Holy Communion, why is Jesus called “Son of David”, the Hail Mary and whether can a priest deny absolution in confession.

– Music: “Praise To The Lord” by Jilleen

cast (at) iPadre (dot) net
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iPadre #179 – Refresher, Confession

Since we are entering into the Holy Season of Lent this week, I though it timely to have a refresher in Confession, how to prepare and how to do it.  What can you give to your priest to show your appreciation.  Finally, I share the sad news of the death of Gerard Faucheux, a listener of the iPadre, other SQPN podcasts and Facebook friend to many of us.

– Music: “When He Calls” by Gerard Faucheux
– Gerard Faucheux’s obituary
How to go to Confession
Examination of Conscience
– iPadre show on indulgences
– SQPN Podcast Marathon

cast (at) iPadre (dot) net
Feedback line: 206-202-1231

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