A lot has happened for me this month. The same will be true for you. We are not the same people as we were just four weeks ago. Today has the added significance of being the half-way point of the year.
A lot has happened for each of us in this first half of 2010.
When I began this year my Dad was on the road to recovery after two months in hospital. Just six weeks into the year we buried him. As we all know that everything that happens has its effects. Every circumstance brings us joy or takes its toll. We can easily fall into the trap of hanging out till Friday for a break, or just surviving until the burden passes or the task is complete. Perhaps it is Christmas that we long for with a couple of weeks when we can take things a little more easily. For me at the moment I just want to be free of the two exams I have in the next two days.
Every time we meet the first day of a new month I am aware of the new beginning. Kind of a little opportunity for a ‘new-month’s-resolution.’ Life is full of such new beginnings if I am prepared to see and embrace them. The struggles and perceptions of last month do not have to carry over into the new month. The difficulties of last week do not have to stay with me past the Sunday Mass. The worries of yesterday are ready to leave me as I go to bed, if I am willing to let them go. Tomorrow is a new day.
But the reality is that worry, struggle, anxiety and sin often do cling to us into the next day or month, or even into new years. There is a reason for this. Humans do not have the capacity to let go, or to be free of struggle and sin in response to a simple human decision or a change of date. Something more is needed.
This is where the Sacrament of Reconciliation is needed. The Church encourages us to make regular use of this Sacrament. Not simply because it is a ‘condition of membership’, but because every healthy human person needs this encounter with God coming into their place of greatest weakness, sin and shame.
You may not have celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation for many weeks or years. This is not a problem for God. Just make contact with a priest anytime. Every priest is happy to be approached, even when he seems most busy. Making the Sacraments available is the heart of the life of the priest. The Sacraments (and especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation) give us a new start any day of any month.
At OLV there are several opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation every week:
Saturday morning 9.30 – 10.00am
Saturday evening 5.15 – 5.30
Sunday morning 9.15-9.30
Sunday evening 4.15 – 4.30
Wednesday evening 6.30 – 6.45
and anytime by appointment.
Father Kevin or Father Steve Lowe (in residence for a couple of weeks at OLV and whenever he is at a break from Holy Cross Seminary in Auckland), are happy to hear from you anytime. Just phone or email for a priest at firstname.lastname@example.org