Reconciliation

candle-crossThe Sacrament of Reconciliation is available on Saturday afternoons from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. The Reconciliation Rooms are located in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. A communal celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is scheduled during Advent and Lent. It is also possible to schedule an appointment to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Contact: Fr. Ted Olson–949 589-7767 Ext. 2111
Email: FatherTed@sfsolano.org

A Reflection on the Sacrament of Reconciliation

All of us seek to live a happy and authentic life. And an authentic life is predicated upon our speaking the truth. In the sacrament of reconciliation we speak the truth and hear the truth in Christ’s presence—the truth that we are good and virtuous persons; the truth that while we are good and virtuous persons, we strive to be more grateful, more generous, more loving, more prayerful; the truth that Christ loves each of us like no other.

The sacrament of reconciliation is substantive conversation; it is not “small talk.” And if we listen carefully to the words we speak, Christ will speak to us.

Finally, the sacrament of reconciliation reminds us that the Christian life is not about perfection. It is about faithfulness. We will sin again. We will be impatient again with our spouse, our children, our colleagues at work, our parents, and our pastor—as likeable as he is! What matters is that throughout our lives, we pause and say, “I’m sorry; please forgive me; I want to do better; I will never give up striving to be a more grateful, generous, loving, prayerful, and authentic person.

And at the end of our earthly day, the fulfillment of our earthly life, Christ will see much of himself in us.

A Reflection on Forgiveness

One of the most honorable things we humans can do is to give and receive forgiveness. It is an honorable endeavor because it is about speaking the truth. How can one bear the name Christian, and not be committed to forgiveness?

When we forgive another, he or she is set free from the burdens, and we are set free from the burdens—often anger and hurt—which rob us of peace.

When we forgive and are forgiven, we reclaim the joy which the Lord desires for us, a joy which our sins compromise, if not destroy.

If we don’t forgive, if we don’t seek forgiveness, the darkness continues to have hold over us, power over us. Yet the cross of Jesus Christ tells us otherwise.

“To sin is human. To love is divine.” When we give and receive forgiveness, we witness the power of Christ. When we give and receive forgiveness, we transcend the limits of our humanity and touch the divine.

If we don’t forgive others or allow ourselves to be forgiven, we reduce ourselves and others to the failure, and we lose sight of all the good we have done, all the good others have done.

I am compelled to forgive others because I have been the recipient of God’s mercy and forgiveness innumerable times—and other’s forgiveness and loving kindness, innumerable times.

Lastly, the effects of forgiveness extend beyond us. Mysteriously, the larger community is affected by forgiveness. Everyone is somehow lifted up and renewed.

Why do I go to Confession?

  • I go to confession because it is a virtuous act.
  • I go to confession because I sin. Despite my goodness, I sin. I need to acknowledge that within my heart. I need to give words to my sin. Speaking is freeing and healing. It is important to give words to our sinfulness. My sin doesn’t remove me from God’s love. In the midst of human weakness, I seek Christ. I need to speak the truth. Speaking the truth is essential for the cultivation of an authentic life. In the speaking of truth, Christ speaks. Christ speaks to us.
  • Being forgiven is being loved. To say, “I forgive you,” is to say, “I love you.” The Risen Christ speaks these words to us. I need to be reminded that I am loved unconditionally—as I am. I am loved, despite my sinfulness.
  • Loved, forgiven, treated compassionately, I am more inclined to be loving, forgiving, and kindly in return. I am more inclined toward generosity, forgiveness, and compassion.
  • Sometimes, I am discouraged, embarrassed by my sin. I want to be perfect. I need to be reminded that it is okay to be a human being.
  • I know that I will sin again, but today in a special way, I want to say I am sorry. I want to be a better, more authentic, more loving human being. I want to be a better person, a better priest, Christian, son, brother, friend. And I need to say this throughout my life in this special way.
  • I need to be reminded that our hearts are made for joy. Sin compromises joy. Forgiveness restores joy. A beautiful and happy life is predicated upon our striving to live wisely and virtuously—doing the right thing.
  • I am good. Only good persons go to confession—desiring to be better, desiring to live more responsibly, authentically, unselfishly, and freely. Confessing my sins is an act of virtue.