Pope's Prayer Intention for March: Sacrament of Reconciliation
Pope Francis' prayer intention for March highlights the joy that the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) brings, and reminds us that it’s a loving and merciful encounter between us and God, writes Vatican News.
His new video message is full of hope, and he invites us to rediscover the power of personal renewal that the Sacrament of Confession has in our life.
He says: “Let us pray that we may experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the forgiveness and infinite mercy of God." The video opens with the Pope himself going to confession, “in order to be healed, to heal my soul".
Contact your parish priest about the availability of Confession. Read the full article on the Vatican News website here.
Archbishop: prepare for Christmas with confession
Archbishop Cushley has encouraged Catholics to get to confession as part of preparing for Christmas.
In his homily at today’s Sunday Mass, he said: “(Today) we listen to Isaiah and John the Baptist telling us to wake up, to rekindle our hope and get ready for what’s coming next.
"Valley’s filled in and mountains laid low, cliffs become plains and ridges valleys! In other words, it seems that everything is going to be the opposite of what it is right now - a complete turnaround.
"And how does that happen? Because, Isaiah says (and later John the Baptist), “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it”.
"In other words, when the Lord appears, everything is going to be changed radically. And if he is about to appear soon at Christmas, we need to get radical ourselves as well.
"We need to turn our lives upside down, recognise our sins, change our lives and then we’ll be ready to look the Lord in the face, we’ll be ready to welcome the Lord with a full heart when he comes.
"So let’s take Isaiah and John’s advice to heart: repent, make a good confession and, with the Baptist, wait with renewed hope and humility to greet the Lord at Christmas."
If you are nervous about coming to confession either because of what you have on your conscience, or because it has been a long time since your last confession, have no fear; what awaits you in the confessional is the joy and peace of God’s loving mercy and the priest will gently help to discover that.
Shoppers encouraged to go to confession this Christmas
Shoppers in Edinburgh are being encouraged to take time out for confession this Christmas.
Record numbers of people have visited ‘Edinburgh’s Christmas’ so far, the centrepiece being the festive market in Prince Street Gardens.
Now the Archdiocese is asking visiting Catholics to receive the sacrament of reconciliation at St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral.
Archbishop Leo Cushley said: “We spend a lot of time preparing for Christmas.
“Many people across the Archdiocese visit the city to buy gifts and experience the market.
“As Catholics, one of the best things we can do is prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord.
“A trip to confession is a lovely way to do that, so we are able to welcome the Lord with a clear conscience and a pure heart when the time comes.”
Figures show that more than 500,000 visitors visited Edinburgh’s Christmas in the first nine days of the event. That number is up 13 per cent on the same period last year.
St Mary’s Cathedral is ideally placed for shoppers, being based on Broughton Street at the top of Leith Walk, next to John Lewis.
The cathedral's website states: "If you are nervous about coming to confession either because of what you have on your conscience, or because it has been a long time since your last confession, have no fear; what awaits you in the confessional is the joy and peace of God’s loving mercy and the priest will gently help to discover that."
A spokesman for the Archdiocese said: "If you haven’t been to confession for a while, don’t worry. Simply let the priest know and he will guide you. As Pope Francis says, in the confessional we don’t meet a severe judge, but the merciful Father.”
Confession at St Mary’s Cathedral is available weekdays after 12:45pm Mass and between 5:00-6:00pm. On Saturday it is available 10:30am-to midday and from 5:00pm to 5:45pm. Confessions are heard in Polish Monday to Friday from 5:00pm until 6:00pm and on Saturdays from 8:00am until 9:00am.