Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Bless Me Father, For I Have Sinned...

People want to confess their darkest secretest - the secrets about who they are and about what dark things we've done. We are made to share ourselves, and we want to share precisely those parts of us that we most fear are unlovable.

How else do you explain the huge amount of counseling and psychotheraphy going on in the world today? I am not here questioning its value. I am only pointing it out and asking what it means.

How else do you explain websites like PostsSecrets or MySecret? PostSecret is a collection of postcards sent in to the owner, a Germantown, MD resident who collects and publishes the anonymous postcard-sized confessions - in books, and on websites! MySecret is a site started by an Evangelical minister because he realized so many people have so much yuck inside that they just need to get out.

We Catholics have known this need for a very long time. That's why we have the confessional. Confessions can be made anonymously to the priest for the truly ashamed, and face-to-face for someone looking for a gentle gaze. What's more, there's no fear that the secret will be leaked. And the best part is that the power granted by Jesus Christ, True God and True Man, to his apostles so that they could forgive sins, has been handed down generation after generation, right into the hands of the dopey, overweight chatterbox of a priest sitting on the other side of the screen. He can really DO something about your deepest, darkest secrets. He can, by the power of Christ, forgive them and set you on a new track in life.

If you're Catholic and you haven't been to confession in a while, go. If you live in the D.C. area, here's a schedule for downtown confessionals. For those of out in Montgomery County at my parish, St. Martin of Tours, the priests hear confessions after every weekday Mass (M-F, 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m.), after the Saturday Mass (9 a.m.) and Saturday afternoon (4 pm-ish) before the Sunday vigil Masses begin. I know that in addition to the traditional Saturday afternoon confession time, the priests at Mother Seton parish in Germantown hear confessions on Wednesday evenings starting at 6 p.m. Go. Get it off your chest. You'll feel better. And you will KNOW that God forgives and loves you. No need to post anything on the blogosphere, either.

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