Cleansing

What is the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation?

This sacrament forgives our sins, reconciles us to God and his people, and gives us the grace to not sin again. In John 20: 22b-23 Jesus is with the apostles, “he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Where do we start?

First we need to examine our conscience. There are many ways to do this: use the 10 Commandments as a guide, review the past few weeks and months , sit quietly and think of the times you have less than your best.

If you haven’t been in a while, tell the priest. He will talk you through the steps.

It’s important that we have contrition, that is, are sorry for our sins. We also need the desire to amend our ways so we don’t sin again. We say our sins aloud to the priest and then he offers us absolution and gives us a penance.

What do we receive in the sacrament?

Unbelievable grace. Forgiveness. The strength to not sin again.

Those are just a few gifts we receive and that why going to confession is so important and helpful.

If you are Catholic, consider going to receive the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. If you are not Catholic, ask forgiveness of anyone you  have hurt and pray to receive grace to not to it again.

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God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.  He is made known to us from the beginning of the Old Testament, in Genesis 1:2, “and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters” that wind is the Holy Spirit. Then we see again, in Exodus, God is with the Israelites as they flee from Egypt, “The LORD preceded them, in the daytime by means of a column of cloud to show them the way, and at night by means of a column of fire to give them light. Thus they could travel both day and night. Neither the column of cloud by day nor the column of fire by night ever left its place in front of the people (Ex: 13:21-22). God was with them and he is with us as well.

In the New Testament, we see the action of the Holy Spirit when Mary conceives Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35) and again, when Jesus is baptized, the Spirit, in the form of a dove rests above Jesus as he comes up out of the water (Luke 3:22).

The Holy Spirit completes the Father’s plan; he sent Jesus to save us and Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit will come and be with us always. The Holy Spirit was poured out onto the apostles at Pentecost and enabled them to go out and preach the Good News. The Spirit guides,  protects and sanctifies (makes holy) the Church.

He calls all people to Christ and completes his saving mission. The Holy Spirit is with us always, drawing us closer to Christ, both consoling and convicting us of our sin. He is the source of our hope.

In Baptism we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord (Is 11:1-2). They are sealed in us at Confirmation. As we live and grow as Christians, we grow in the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Gal 5: 22-23).

The Holy Spirit as many titles, which give an idea of how he acts in our lives: consoler, creator spirit, giver of life, paraclete, source of goodness, and spirit of truth.

The Holy Spirit is the fullness of love between the Father and the Son, reminding us that something always comes from love.

the not lukewarm challenge

 

This week, pray St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit and see what happens when you invite him into your life.

You can right-click on the image of the prayer to “save image as” and then print it if you’d like.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit