Reconciliation and Our Journey to God

This is the fourth week of a Lenten series. Today, Art Bennett focuses on confession. 

By: Art Bennett, President and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington

This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one. If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions. (Mt 6: 9-15)

All journeys have their setbacks, and Lent is no different.

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While journeying toward God, there are times that we refuse intimacy with Him. Instead, we choose selfishness, greed, pride; name any sin – they all disrupt our journey to God.

Thankfully, our good and merciful Father gives us an endless supply of second chances. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, our relationship with Christ is reinstated. Our intimacy with the Father is renewed. Our journey is restored.

Looking to the Our Father, the prayer Christ taught us, we see that we boldly ask for our daily bread before asking for forgiveness. For us Catholics, this daily bread reminds us of God’s role in giving and sustaining life and of our Eucharistic encounter with the body, soul and divinity of Christ.

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Soon after, the prayer indicates that our hearts must be willing to forgive others in order to receive the forgiveness of God.

Last week, I mentioned that Pope Francis would facilitate self-examination while hearing confessions. He says he would ask the penitent if he had given alms and if he had looked the poor recipient in the eye or touched his hand when giving . . . View the full text here.

This post first appeared on the Catholic Charities of the Arlington Diocese blog on March 3, 2016.

Art Bennett is President and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. He and his wife Laraine are co-authors of four books on temperament and emotions. The Bennetts are members of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, in Gainesville.

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