Friday, December 17, 2010

Prepare the Way

Peter, Joseph, Zachary 
December 2004

One of the most important ways we prepare for Christmas, and in fact for each and every Mass at which we receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, is by cleaning our souls through confessing our sins.
Near the beginning of Mass we participate in a Penitential Rite, during which each person examines his/her conscience before praying as an assembly for forgiveness from our sins.
Then the priest, In Persona Christi, forgives us our (venial) sins.  Mortal sins are not forgiven in this way, but require sacramental confession.

If you would like help cleaning your internal house before Christmas, here's a great resource from Father Corapi:  Examination of Conscience

Have you ever wondered what the early Christians believed and taught about confession and penance?

“It is necessary to confess our sins to those to whom the dispensation of God’s mysteries is entrusted. Those doing penance of old are found to have done it before the saints. It is written in the Gospel that they confessed their sins to John the Baptist [Matt. 3:6], but in Acts [19:18] they confessed to the apostles” ~ Basil the Great (Rules Briefly Treated 288 [A.D. 374]).

“Confess your sins in church, and do not go up to your prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life. . . . On the Lord’s Day gather together, break bread, and give thanks, after confessing your transgressions so that your sacrifice may be pure” ~The Didache (Didache 4:14, 14:1 [A.D. 70]).

Happy cleaning!

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