The offer of Lent Here is the wonderful and hopeful path!

Let us allow ourselves to be embraced by Christ! Let us open our hearts to the wonder of confession!

The Second Vatican Council affirmed that the Church was born from the heart of Christ. Also, it is a universal sacrament of salvation. The seven sacraments, instituted by Christ God, infinitely great, flow from the Church. This is our mother, who gave birth to us through baptism, and she nourishes us with the sacraments. These are a great treasure. They are the best that the Church can give us. Furthermore, a great treasure, composed of gold, rubies, emeralds, diamonds, etc., amazes us all. But, it is much more of a spiritual treasure than a material treasure. Now, the most important spiritual treasures of the Church, the most interesting, are the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of confession. Being, evidently, the Most Holy Sacrament, the most excellent, since it contains most excellently the one who is Man – God and Savior of the world. Thus, the binomial “Church–sacrament” is essential to the Church.

Currently, in the West, the secularist wave is making great progress. This is becoming more and more fashionable. At its antipodes are sacramental pastoral care and the sacraments. Hence, the secularized man does not even want to hear about these.

Furthermore, a great moral error is very widespread, the loss of awareness of sin. Poor opinions in this regard are: there is no sin, nothing or almost nothing is sin, almost nothing is a mortal sin, I have not committed sins, how great I am, and not like others!

Thus, it is not surprising that in current times, the sacrament of confession is not very fashionable. Even many Catholics turn a deaf ear to confessing their sins.

This is the situation. What future awaits us? In these exciting times, there is always room for hope, for confidence and for being optimistic. The power of God is much greater than all adverse powers, which are only faint cobwebs, without any weight. The Church has the immense power to be an instrument of Christ’s action, to be infinitely powerful.

This whole situation raises the following big question: faced with this exciting panorama, what to do?

It is true that confessing can be a bit difficult. It is not a wide, comfortable path, consistent with selfishness. But there are still brave people who, wounded, want to be healed; who, fallen, want to stop living crawling, want to get up; that God matters more to them than human prejudices; who, buried up to their eyes in mud, want to be clean; who, full of spiritual misery, want to exchange the rags of their soul for the precious garment of mercy. In short, there are still brave people who dare to make the decision to confess.

It is true that men tend to be selfish. But Christ did not allow himself to be defeated by this tendency. Instead of dragging the cross, he rose majestically until he embraced it and surpassed it triumphantly; and, furthermore, he preached much heroism: the heroism of the cross, the need for holiness, the heroism of believing the mysteries that are above our reason, the heroism of overcoming evil with good; the heroism of being willing to give your life for love of Him and, in fact, giving it up; etc. To selfishness, heroism!

The Church follows in the footsteps of Christ. Also, she, who is her mother, has the greatness of not bowing to fashion and selfishness. She does not even give up on her message when it is not applauded and is only accepted by a few. Her standard is fidelity, fidelity to Christ and her message. Fidelity, which is always very fruitful! She knows how to swim against the current. She, like Christ, can only propose truth and goodness, the deposit of faith, which Christ God has entrusted to her. And, God, infinitely good, knows much more than men. Thus, Christ, in the Church, continues his saving action. For this reason, and in this precise sense, it has been possible to say that the Church is Christ present who continues to illuminate and save.

Thus, the holy Catholic Church, every year, mainly during Holy Lent, continues to preach, as a requirement of this fidelity to Christ, the need for the confession of sins. She does it against all odds, knowing that Peter’s little ship has triumphed over the roughseas of history. Also, every year, in the period from Lent to Easter, photographs of the Holy Father Francis appear, confessing and confessing. As Cardinal Stella has pointed out, this image is worth a thousand words, how much good it has done, spread throughout the globe!

However, one could object: but the land, the people, are as they are! Now, when the land is bad, that is when it can least be abandoned. The drier the land is, the more it needs water to be able to flourish. Also, the more ignorance there is, or the less practice there is, about confession, the more important it is that the voice of the Church resonates louder, and in a more merciful way, with a mother’s love – as Pope Francis has said so many times -, inviting go to the sacrament of confession Cry out, don’t stop!

It is wonderful what the Church does through the sacrament of confession. From this, a beautiful torrent of light and life is born, which gives joy and embraces; that heals what it touches, and that gives birth to charming flowers wherever it passes. They are the clean waters of a new life. It is a wonder come into existence. How many good things come to our souls through the saving action of Christ in the sacrament of forgiveness! From the penitential pastoral, then, carried out by good instruments of Christ, God will know how to draw wonderful fruits.

Furthermore, if a Catholic does not confess, he runs the risk of believing himself to be perfect, of closing in on himself, of remaining merely human, of tying his hands to God, of leading a mediocre life, of despising others and of not ask the Lord for forgiveness.

Who only has venial sins, and confesses to them, is another world, it is a very diverse reality. Well, it is no longer that inflated balloon ready to burst; ask God for forgiveness; he sees himself as he is; He knows that he is a sinner, that he has spots, that he is not perfect; he acknowledges his sins; He is repentant and beats his chest; He humbly confesses his sins.

Whoever confesses mortal sins goes from having to go to hell to recovering grace, divine filiation, salvation, and being heir of heaven. How terrible it would be to be in mortal sin and not turn to God’s forgiveness! How terrible to prefer hell to confession! What a beauty to be a child of God again, to have a new impulse, new help; the flower of hope opens again in the heart; have a new and beautiful horizon!

How many hopes it raises that there are souls who come to be cleansed and perfected in the sacrament of confession! When there are confessions, there is a future, there is hope! What a shame when souls stop coming to the confessional! How many thanks you stop receiving!

In short, as the Holy Father Francis has told us so many times, that we priests confess, that all the faithful of the Church confess. Let us allow ourselves to be embraced by Christ! Let us open our hearts to the wonder of confession! Here is the wonderful and hopeful path!