Fr. John Halton, Parochial House, Tempo.
Telephone : 895 41344.
for Confession or the
(1) In my preparation for Confession
there are some things that I should ask myself
if my confession is to be authentic, personal,
joyful, and liberating. The first thing I should
ask is what do I know of Jesus. Do I know him
as a person? Does he attract me? Do I like him?
Does he mean anything to me? If I say I know him
from a far off, or I know him from the Church,
or from what I was taught, but I don’t know
him as a person then I have a problem with Confession.
The second thing I should do is to find
out. I should read some Gospel passages and to
find out what Jesus was like. I can know what
Jesus was like from the Gospels. I can know what
Jesus is like from the Word of God. I can read
the story of the Prodigal Son if I want to know
him as a merciful, loving, and welcoming person
who reveals the Father to me. I could read the
story of the woman caught in adultery to see how
different his thoughts are from our thoughts.
I could read the stories of the various meals
Jesus had with sinners to know his inner mentality
to sinners, and those who have strayed from him.
Of course I could recall these incidents in my
mind and meditate on them in my mind in prayer.
Now I should ask myself: Do I like Jesus?
Would I wish to be his disciple? If the answer
is “No” then I must think about my
whole Situation, and my Faith. If Jesus means
nothing to me, if I dislike him, if he is not
the kind of person I would like to be, then I
must go back a long way away. But if I can say:
“Yes I like him, I can respect him, and
I can admire him. Yes I would like to be his personal
friend if he were here” then I ask myself,
if I know what friendship is?
Friendship consists most of all in choosing someone
from among all the people to be to me the one
I treasure above all, the one I admire above all,
the one on whose side I am prepared to stand in
case of danger or unpleasantness, the one to whom
I wish to give joy, and not pain.
I ask myself therefore in what way I have tried
to give joy to t Jesus or in what way have I been
for him a cause of pain.
When I go to Confession, or the Sacrament
of Reconciliation that is what I must bring –
the ways I have tried to bring joy to Jesus since
my last confession, or the ways I have been for
him a cause of pain.
I examine my status as a Christian. I
ask myself every day before my next Confession;
what have I done, said, thought, felt, been, which
can cause Jesus joy or pain? Between the last
Confession and this Confession this is what I
have been: an unfaithful friend, an indifferent
friend, a cowardly friend.
When I begin to think in these terms of friendship
then my Confession will be personal, authentic,
the rock bottom of my heart, and the truth about
my relationship with Jesus. We I open my heart
to him, I tell him all that separates me from
him—not lists of formal sins but what I
feel in my heart is my unfaithfulness, what I
feel in my heart separates me from him because
in spite of my words of love, and of veneration
which I sometimes pronounce I act in a way that
nails him to the cross again. I must always think
in terms of Relationship.