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Priest: Fr. John Halton, Parochial House, Tempo.
Telephone : 895 41344.

Preparation for Confession or the

Sacrament of Reconciliation

3rd Advent 09

(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.

(2) 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.

(3) 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?

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

(6) 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.

(7) 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.

(8) 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.




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