For this Advent season I would like to propose a “Take Someone to Confession With You Day”. For some that might be a family member who has been away from the Church for a while. For others it may mean a good friend or co-worker who has not gone to Confession in years.
As the season of Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year, you can propose this as somewhat of a New Year’s resolution. It is also an early Christmas gift that you can give to someone who is desperately seeking God’s mercy:
“Since God is coming to us, we have to get ready for Him, to prepare ourselves. When Christmas arrives, Our Lord should find us with everything in order and our soul fit to receive Him, just as He ought to find us in our final encounter with Him.”
(Fernandez, In Conversation with God, First Sunday of Advent).
So great a believer was St. Josemaria Escriva in the happiness which comes from this sacrament that he was known to call confession the “sacrament of joy”.
So pick a day sometime between now and Christmas. Maybe it is Saturday afternoon. It could be either Wednesday or Thursday night depending on parish schedules. Make it an event and include dinner as part of the package. “Take Someone to Confession With You Day” is your apostolic opportunity to bring someone to Jesus Christ through the grace of the sacrament and His minister of mercy.
During a recent general audience Pope Francis, who goes to Confession himself every two weeks, encouraged people to “remember always that God never tires of forgiving us. Let us truly value this sacrament and rejoice in the gift of pardon and healing that comes to us through the ministry of priests.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church further instructs that:
“Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” (CCC 1422).
What an amazing birthday gift to our Lord it could be if each of us brought just one friend or family member to confession with us this week.
Who are you bringing with you?