Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Open the churches and hear confessions!

The Pope's Regina Caeli message yesterday focused on the importance of grace and the sacraments.

Open the churches and the people will come

And it links nicely with a story that he met with a group of Roman priests after the Chrism Mass last Thursday and urged them to be more generous in making confession times available.

One of the priests present reported that:

“He said, ‘Open the doors of the Church, and then the people will come in…if you keep the light on in the confessional and are available, then you will see what kind of line there is for confession’…The Pope said he was confident of the need of the people of God for priests to open the doors and allow the people to meet God,” Msgr. Feroci told Vatican Radio.

Grace in action

Here is the full text of the Pope's Regina Caeli address:

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Happy Easter to you all! Thank you for coming today, in such large numbers, to share the joy of Easter, the central mystery of our faith. Let us pray that the power of the resurrection of Christ might reach everyone - especially those who suffer - and every place that is in need of trust and hope.

Christ has conquered evil fully and finally, but it is up to us, to people in every age, to embrace this victory in our lives and in the realities of history and society. For this reason it seems important to point out that today we ask God in the liturgy: “O God, who give constant increase to your Church by new offspring, grant that your servants may hold fast in their lives to the Sacrament they have received in faith.” (Collect for Monday in the Octave of Easter).

Indeed, the Baptism that makes us children of God, and the Eucharist that unites us to Christ, must become life. That is to say: they must be reflected in attitudes, behaviors, actions and choices. The grace contained in the Easter Sacraments is an enormous source of strength for renewal in personal and family life, as well as for social relations. Nevertheless, everything passes through the human heart: if I allow myself to be reached by the grace of the risen Christ, if I let that grace change for the better whatever is not good in me, [to change whatever] might do harm to me and to others, then I allow the victory of Christ to affirm itself in in my life, to broaden its beneficial action. This is the power of grace! Without grace we can do nothing – without grace we can do nothing! And with the grace of Baptism and Holy Communion, we can become an instrument of God's mercy – that beautiful mercy of God.

To Express in our lives the sacrament we have received: behold, dear brothers and sisters, our daily work – and, I would say, our daily joy! The joy of being instruments of the grace of Christ, as branches of the vine which is Christ himself, inspired by the sustaining presence of His Spirit! We pray together, in the name of the dead and risen Lord, and through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, that the Paschal mystery might work deeply in us and in our time, in order that hatred give way to love, lies to the truth, revenge to forgiveness, sadness to joy.


Joshua said...

Yes, dear priests and bishops too, rather than get all smug about dumping beauty and ceremonial, and mawkish about helping the poor (as opposed to actually doing something), why not - wow! - open the churches more, hear confessions, and in general do some work?

That's what Padre Pio told two priests from Melbourne who long ago visited him out of curiosity when they were over in Italy: they came one by one into his confessional, and he berated them, telling them to go back home and do some work.

hughosb said...

Hi Kate! I have Liebstered you for your efforts.


Kate Edwards said...

Thank you very much for your nomination Fr Hugh, a nice gesture indeed!

I have to say though that this looks like a pyramid scheme - for it each nominee indeed nominates in turn another 11 blogs, won't everyone eventually get one?

Now it may be that I just don't want to disclose 11 things about myself (I'm shy!), but I think I'm going to decline this one.

Thank you for the thought and recognition though.