Reconcile Yourself to Resurrection!

When a Catholic comes from Confession, he does truly, by definition, step out again into that dawn of his own beginning. . .The accumulations of time can no longer terrify. He may be grey and gouty; but he is only five minutes old. - G.K. Chesterton

And be renewed!I'll be there, tomorrow, please join me! It has been two months since my last confession, and more than past-time for me to again avail myself of the soul-settling power and grace of this sacrament.And this confession will include -- among my copious other sins large and small -- "I yelled at a guy on the radio and was full of anger and uncharity, when I really did know better, but nobody steps on a nun in my town..." and "I went to Mass unwillingly because sometimes, … [Read more...]

Back from Vacation and Ripe for Confession! – UPDATED

Basilica Santa Sabina, Roma

It's been quiet around here for the past few days, I know; I forgot to post that my husband and I were taking a time away to celebrate anniversaries. We're not quite back -- we're going to try to take the rest of the weekend off -- but we're at home, now and I am very much looking forward to going to confession in a few hours, in anticipation of the end of the liturgical year, the end of the Year of Faith and the coming of Advent, which is my favorite season.And I wanted to encourage … [Read more...]

"Are you a woman of God?" UPDATED

That's the question Sr. Lisa Doty got from a kid in trouble:“Yes, I am,” I responded, “is there something I can do for you?”Looking down at his feet, he stammered, hardly audible, “I’m not sure what you can do, but I really could use your prayers.” He went on to explain how he had gotten into a lot of trouble at school, and as a result of it, he was expelled. Naturally, his folks are angry, and they worry he won’t be able to go on to college. “I’ve ruined everything! I have no future now!” Te … [Read more...]

The Heavy Grace of Confession

Confessional, Basilica of Santa Sabina, RomeThe confessional above is, as indicated, from Santa Sabina; for some reason, my husband--who I do believe tried to photograph every inch of Rome--did not manage to get a picture of the confessionals at St. John Lateran, the "Cathedral of Rome."Possibly his own sense of discretion prevented a snapshot, because while we were there the confessionals were constantly in use, just on the other side of the magnificent nave full of huge representations of … [Read more...]

"I forgive the man who raped me…"

Recently, writing about the terrible scandals of the church and the need for the hierarchy (and others) to do penance, I added:The fullness of healing, of course, can only come when the victims finally feel capable of saying “I forgive you…” That moment -which cannot be compelled and does not mean forgetting- is the moment when a victim takes his life back. When a victim says, “I forgive you,” she confers her own power over the entire situation, and controls it. It is transformative; it brings … [Read more...]

Praying for the Pope & for All

Archbishop Timothy Dolan got a stand ovation in the middle of mass, this weekend, for his passionate defense of Pope Benedict XVI against what seems to be a concerted effort to undo his papacy, via distortion and a media rushing-to-judge.I have linked to John Allen's last several pieces on the "Benedict story" and urge that those who have not already made up your minds to read them and also take a gander at Fr. Raymond de Souza's spirited defense and timeline.The timeline is important. As … [Read more...]

I Am a Sinful Woman

All who have embarked on true contrition and penance for the sins they have committed, and are firmly resolved not to [repeat those sins] in the future, but to persevere constantly in that pursuit of virtues which they have now begun, all these become sharers in this holy and eternal sacrifice. - from a commentary on the psalms by St. John Fisher, Bishop and MartyrJesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, the sinner.Lent was going so well -or at least I thought it was. I had been … [Read more...]

The Value of a Good "Mea Culpa"

Reposted, by request, from 2007:It's struck me for a while, now, that we Catholics, who begin each Mass with a Penitential Rite meant to free us from the lesser - not grievous or mortal - sins, have been short-changing ourselves by our choice in how we do it.In most parishes today, the Penitential Rite will be a series of affirmations tied in to the Kyrie, so you might hear something like this:"Lord Jesus, You are the Light of the World and our Salvation, Lord Have Mercy" (to which the … [Read more...]

March 1st: To Confession!

The Archdiocese of New York , in a move that will be replicated in many Diocese throughout the country, will be offering 'round the clock confession on March 5-6.A well-publicized 24-hour period of confessions has proved to be an effective invitation to the sacrament, and there are always big "turn-outs," which some might find surprising. As I am swamped today (in a good way) I wanted to direct you to Deacon Greg's very personal, thoughtful and inspiring story of his own transformative … [Read more...]

Office of Readings; Bliss

I've focused a lot about Morning Prayer and Vespers in my writing, as evidenced by the podcasts, and I have certainly loved praying the Hours out of my Christian Prayer Breviary for the past ten years.I used the breviary to pray all of the hours, of course, but Vigils (or, what is now called the Office of Readings - OOR) was limited therein. Some years ago I had bought the full 4 volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours (used, for a great price) but I'd never used the set because I thought I … [Read more...]


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