When I looked down the hall, all I could see was a long line of people. Most of them looked rather apprehensive; some shuffled nervously from one foot to the other. These people were waiting in line to go to reconciliation during one of our Divorced Catholic Conferences. We always offer reconciliation during the conference, and without fail, the line usually starts out very small but grows to the length of the hallway by the afternoon. Priests that we have scheduled until 5:00pm end up staying to almost midnight hearing confessions.

The transformation that occurs after people have received the sacrament of reconciliation is remarkable. Invariably, faces filled with anxiety and dread, turn into faces filled with joy and relief. It is palpable. Stories of people going to confession after thirty or more years are not uncommon. The priests experience the same joy as a father would after a wayward son or daughter returns home after a long absence. It is always a cause for celebration. Experience the endless love and mercy of Our Lord by going to reconciliation at least annually. If it has been a while (even thirty years), all the more reason to go. You will find that you are welcomed with open arms, your spirit is revived and renewed by being washed clean of sin, and your return is celebrated both here on earth and in heaven.

I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.  – Luke 15:7

Originally posted 2014-07-01 06:00:49.

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