Penance & Reconciliation
Although we have several names for this great Sacrament of healing, the result is the same -- Reconciling one's self with God and the community. The misconception is that one just needs to speak to God directly in order to be forgiven. Although God's forgiveness is unlimited, it is necessary to also be reconciled with the greater community of faith.
Take, for example, the woman caught in adultery who was brought to Jesus to be stoned. Not only did Jesus not condemn her, but He also challenged those whom she had harmed through her actions: "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7)
Finally, after drawing in the sand, Jesus forgives the woman in a great act of mercy, and challenges her to change her ways (penance): "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore." (John 8:11)
This amazing act of His grace and mercy is just one of many examples found in Sacred Scripture that call us into the healing love and grace that is Sacramental Confession.
Confession is one of the 7 Sacraments, and should be celebrated as often as possible. The minimum should be at least twice a year, particularly during the seasons of Advent and Lent, since these are penitential season. However, many pastors and spiritual leaders recommend once a month. Come and celebrate the love and forgiveness of our Father, who wishes us to be reconciled to Himself and to one another.
Reconciliation is offered at St. Michael Church on Saturdays from 3:30 to 4:15, and 30 minutes before weekday Masses, or simply call the office and make an appointment.