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With blessed shame

Monday, 29 April 2013


(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 19, 8 May 2013)


The confessional is neither a “laundromat” for sin removal nor “a torture session” where sins are exchanged for beatings. Confession is a meeting place with Jesus, a place of tenderness. We need to approach this sacrament meekly, gladly, with simplicity, with trust and armed with “blessed shame”, the “virtue of humility” by which we recognize ourselves as sinners. Pope Francis dedicated his homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae on Monday, 29 April, to the sacrament of reconciliation.

Among those concelebrating were Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (apsa), with the Secretary, Mons. Luigi Mistò; Archbishop Francesco Gioia, President of Peregrinatio ad Petri Sedem; Archbishop Anthony Obinna of Owerri, Nigeria; and the Procurator General of the Verbites, Fr Gianfranco Girardi. Bishop Eduardo Horacio García, Auxiliary and Pro-Vicar General of Buenos Aires, also concelebrated. Among those present were the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master who work in the Vatican and a group of employees of apsa.

The Pope opened his homily with a reflection on the first letter of St John (1:5-2:2), when the Apostle “speaks of the first Christians and he does so with simplicity: ‘God is light and in him is no darkness at all’. But ‘if we say we have fellowship with him”, that we are friends of the Lord, ‘while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth’. We must adore God in spirit and in truth”.

Finally the Pope called us to have faith in the words of the Apostle John: “When we sin, we have a Paraclete in the Father”. “And this allows us to breathe. And if we are ashamed? Blessed shame, it is a virtue. The Lord gives us this grace, the courage to walk with him in truth, because the truth is light... not darkness like half-truths or lies.


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