04-23-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Charlie Goraieb

Dear Friends,

Today we celebrate the great Feast of the Divine Mercy, a title that summarizes the Nature and Mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. The specific devotion is derived from the private revelations of Jesus to St Faustina Kowalska. Born in Poland, she joined the religious order of Our Lady of Mercy and received the revelations in the 1930’s.

The message our Lord wanted to emphasize was the infiite fountain of His Mercy that is available to any and all who will humbly seek Him and repent of their sins. There is no one—no matter what sins they may have committed, who is beyond the reach of the Divine Mercy. This message, which can seem so basic, is in fact quite a foreign concept to our world today. Many who consider themselves hardened culture warriors have embraced the chilling motto of “Don’t ask forgiveness and don’t grant it.” Could anything be more contradictory to what our Lord is offering us?

The practical application of the Lord’s invitation to us is found in Sacrament of Confession. Known also as the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, it is the infallible means by which we can have our sins completely absolved. Not only does this sacrament bring us peace of mind, but we are also reassured by Jesus Himself that on our judgment day, there will be no mention of any sins which have been absolved in the sacrament. If we stop and think about the significance of this, we can see how stunningly generous God is with us, who are constantly disobeying Him and putting other things before Him.

Many Catholics have taken to the practice of going to confession twice a year, in preparation for Christmas and Easter. That is certainly a good thing to do. But infrequent confession can easily lead to a diminished ability to examine our conscience and reveal the state of our souls. Humanly speaking, it is very difficult to recall the sins we commit over the course of many months (or, in some cases, years). I am certainly advocating for a greater frequency than just 2X a year. But I also want to underscore the “art” of making a good confession. It is an unmistakable sign of spiritual maturity to understand ourselves and to evaluate our actions, our motivations and our omissions in the light of the standard of holiness to which we are all called.

The key to a good confession is making a good examination of conscience. There are various types of examinations of conscience, but regardless of which one you use to prepare yourself for the Sacrament, it should be rooted in Scripture; particularly, the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes. Below are a few examples of Examinations of Conscience that can help you prepare for the Sacrament.

Based on the Ten Commandments:

And examinations for specific states of life:

Examination of Conscience for Young Adults
Examination of Conscience for Single People
Examination of Conscience for Married Persons

All of us, no matter how long we’ve been Catholic and how well we’ve tried to live our lives as the Disciples of Jesus, can always improve - especially in this very important area. Here is the link to one more article that describes how to make a good confession: www.simplycatholic.com/how-can-you-make-a-good-confession/  

God bless you with His Peace on this Feast of the Divine Mercy.