OUR STORY …
Sooner or later, all Catholics come to that scary moment. It happens right after the priest says in the person of Christ, “I absolve you of your sins. For your penance say or do (penance goes here).”
“What’s it going to be this time?” the penitent sinner wonders.
“Whew!” is the inevitable next thought. “That wasn’t all that bad. I can do that!”
And soon, the confessed sinner leaves the confesssional, ready to face the world again as if he (or she) had never sinned. And yes, off to do that penance. Many never really think about what has taken place.
IT IS WRITTEN …
The Bible tells us, if we confess our sins, God will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He will make it all good for us again. So how does the penance fit into all this? And why do we even do penance?
There probably are a lot of different ways we might answer that question. The simplest is to connect penance with repentance. In that light, penance is not punishment. Rather, it is a step away from our sins and towards holiness.
Most of the penance that priests give to people during Reconciliation are related to prayer or some other activity that leads us to holiness. When we do our penance, it is a good idea to remember that we must turn away from sin and return to God. When we do, penance actually becomes a joyful and welcome activity.
LIFE GOES ON …
So, if there is a moral to this little story, it is … “Go to confession.” Go soon and go often. And have a blessed day today!
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it! It’s cool to be Catholic. COOL2B!