Episode 5 -Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion – “Leaving the Desert”.
“Celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation is, for many Catholics, a most daunting prospect. This sacrament has been the source of many jokes, composed perhaps by persons seeking to reduce the level of stress they feel regarding one of its main components: naming personal sin.
The naming of one’s own sin to oneself and to a priest is self-revelatory to the point of evoking anxiety. Initially, it can be true that some level of apprehension may accompany this sacrament, but over time with regular celebration of this form of worship, anxiety diminishes. Most positively the sacrament of reconciliation promotes truthful self-knowledge regarding sin in the context of Christ’s saving presence. Once someone experiences both the naming of sin and the reception of God’s mercy in this sacrament, he or she actually begins to celebrate this sacrament and see it as a great gift from Christ and his Church.”
Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO.