Confession: The Pathway to Mercy

 A man had two sons.  And the younger said to his father, “Give me my half of the estate, quick.” So the father divided the estate, and gave half to his son, who took the proceeds and went to live in a far country, where he spent half upon drink and whores, but invested the rest in a business importing fish, so that when a famine struck the land, he became wealthy.

After he had lain with a score of women, he married and divorced, and took a curly-haired Greek lad into his home, lying with him as with a woman.

One day he recalled the holy feasts he had enjoyed at his father’s house, and he shed a tear, which he wiped soon, and said to his bedfellow, “Pedophilus, let us arise and go now unto my father’s house, for there they enjoy holy feasts, which this land is empty of.” So they set forth.

When they were yet a distance away, his father saw him and came running, and threw his arms about his neck and kissed him.  And the son said, “Father, I have grown rich in a far country. Here is my friend, with whom I lie as with a woman, and to whom I have given rings and shoes and fine robes. Now go slay the fatted calf, for I am famished for celebration, and long to see the holy things again.” But the father hesitated. Go here to read the full article.

The fact is, the confessional, like the wardrobe in Narnia, is larger on the inside than it is on the outside.

We know mercy through the door of the confessional, and I wonder with all the talk of discernment, accompaniment and dialogue why the message is not much simpler and clearer.

As a priest I am here to help you discern what separates you from God the Loving Father. We’re Catholics so to help you discern I give you this information card that helps you to examine your conscience. I accompany you by telling you when times of confession are. I dialogue with you after you come to confession to help you with advice, counsel and spiritual guidance.

For Catholics the pathway to mercy has always been simple even if it has not been easy.

Could it be that some priests, bishops and theologians are making it just the opposite: complicated and too easy?