Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pope sneaks off to Confession ahead of hearing them

Photo: Osservatore/ANSA

As part of a push by Pope Francis to keep churches in dioceses around the world open for Confession this weekend, and to create greater awareness, he surprised his own Master of Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, when he made  bee-line for a confessional himself before starting.

Here's the video…

From Vatican Radio:

Pope Francis delivered the homily at a penitential service over which he was presiding in St. Peter’s Basilica on Friday afternoon. The order of the celebration included Psalms, readings from Sacred Scripture, and hymns, all focused on the theme of repentance and God’s boundless mercy.  

The service was a part of the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative, being celebrated throughout the Rome diocese and in many local Churches throughout the world, in which the faithful receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and then become special ambassadors of Christ’s mercy, inviting people to avail themselves of the Lord’s forgiveness in churches that are to remain open through the night.

And, the same Vatican Radio link gives text for what the Holy Father had to say:

In the period of Lent, the Church, in the name of God, renews the call to conversion. It is the call to change one’s life. Conversion is not a matter of a moment or a year, is a commitment that lasts a lifetime. Who among us can be assumed not to be a sinner? No one. The Apostle John writes: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous so as to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).” This is what happens in our celebration and throughout this day of penance. The Word of God we have heard introduces us to two essential elements of the Christian life. 

The first [is]: put on the new man. The new man, “created according to God(Eph 4:24),” is born in Baptism, where one receives the very life of God, which makes us His sons and incorporates us into Christ and his Church. This new life allows one to look at reality with different eyes, without being distracted by things that do not matter and cannot last long.
For this we are called to abandon sinful behaviour and fix our gaze on that, which is essential. “Man is more precious for what he is than for what he has. (Gaudium et Spes, 35)” Behold the difference between the life deformed by sin and the life illumined by grace. From the heart of the man renewed according to God come good behaviors: always to speak with truth and avoid any lie; to steal not, but rather to share what you have with others; especially with those in need; not to give in to anger, resentment and revenge, but to be gentle, magnanimous and ready to forgive; not to fall into backbiting that ruins people’s good name, but to look more rather on each person’s positive side. 

The second factor [is]: Remain in my love. The love of Jesus Christ lasts forever, will never end because it is the very life of God. This love conquers sin and gives strength to get up and start anew, because with pardon the heart is renewed and rejuvenated. Our Father never tires of loving and His eyes did not grow heavy in looking at the way home, to see if his Son who left and was lost will return. And this Father does not tire of loving even His other son, who, though he remains ever in the house with Him, nevertheless does not take part in His mercy, His compassion. God is not only the source of love, but in Jesus Christ calls us to imitate his own way of loving: “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. (Jn 13:34)” To the extent that Christians live this love, they become credible disciples of Christ in the world. Love cannot stand to remain locked up in itself. By its very nature [Love] is open, it spreads and is fruitful, [it] always generates new love.

Dear brothers and sisters, after this celebration, many of you will make yourselves missionaries to the experience of reconciliation with God. “24 hours for the Lord” is an initiative in which many dioceses all over the world are participating. To everyone you meet, you will communicate the joy of receiving the Father’s forgiveness and regaining full friendship with Him. The one who experiences the mercy of God, is driven to be the creator of mercy among the poor and the least. In these “littlest brothers and sisters” Jesus waits for us (cf. Mt 25:40). Let us go to meet them! And we will celebrate Easter in the joy of God!


Yesterday, looking at Father Z's post on this, it was unfortunate that the first commenter took a pharisaical, rigorist viewpoint by complaining about the Pope going to Confession face-to-face (this stuff really gives the traditionalist movement a black-eye in general).  Fortunately, rather than delete it, Father Z let it stand, but not without the virtual equivalent of slapping him upside the head.  The only thing left to do with people afflicted with raising such things to the level of doctrines is to give them hemorrhoid creme so they can loosen up.

On that subject, a Facebook friend posted this collection of photos and art showing a number of instances where Confession is heard without secrecy including the one with St. John Bosco, and some with St. Padre Pio, among others.  Some of these images might actually be blessings, not Confessions, but most are and you get the idea.  You also don't get to carry a grate with you on the battlefield or in a hospital bed.

Here is Saint Leopold Mandic - known as the apostle of the confessional.  He died in 1942.

I found this piece of art and wondered about it's origin, but it obviously is not depicting a recent era.   I love the image.

If anyone knows the artist and name of the painting, please email me TeDeumBlog (at) gmail (dot) com, or in social media.  I have shut down comments for this blog indefinitely because I don't want to manage them and cannot leave them unmoderated due to spammers.

Hooray! One of my Facebook followers found information on the painting directly above.  Here is the explanation from All-Posters:

The Seven Sacraments Altarpiece, detail of the baptism, the confirmation and the confession, from the left wing, c.1445 (oil on panel) (see also 168159 & 168161-64), Weyden, Rogier van der (1399-1464) / Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Belg

Here is what is meant by "left wing" (we have only a cropped version above of the original painting). I love this style of art.

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