On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the found of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.—Jesus, from The Diary of St. Faustina
One of the most surprising joys of becoming a Catholic has been the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I say “surprising”, because the notion of having to tell one’s sins to another human being grates against the pride and the shame that makes us want to hide the darker parts of our souls. That such a humiliating experience could be described as “joyful” is counter-intuitive, at best.
Yet, as St. James tells us, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). It is in the very act of humbly confessing our sins that we are forgiven them. As the Psalmist wrote, “Because I was silent my bones grew old; whilst I cried out all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: I am turned in my anguish, whilst the thorn is fastened. I have acknowledged my sin to thee, and my injustice I have not concealed. I said I will confess against myself my injustice to the Lord: and thou hast forgiven the wickedness of my sin” (Psalm 31:3-5).
We believe that God has given the authority to forgive sins in His name to His priests (John 20:21-23; James 5:14-16). In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, they stand in persona Christi—in the very person of Christ. When we confess our sins, it is not the priest who is there, listening to us—but it is actually Christ Himself. In His apparitions to St. Faustina, Jesus Himself says,
When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. When you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul.
Make your confession before Me. The person of the priest is, for Me, only a screen. Never analyze what sort of a priest it is that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to Me, and I will fill it with My light.
As long as we are willing to come in repentance to Jesus, He will welcome us and lavish us with His mercy! Do not miss your opportunity to be washed clean in the fountain of mercy during the Divine Mercy celebrations this weekend. Embrace the mercy of Jesus with trust in your hearts.
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