February 15, 2008

Letters to the Editor

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Regular confession is good for us and a gift of God’s mercy

It is difficult to squeeze into limited space all that needs to be said concerning Father John Dietzen’s “Question Corner” column in the Jan. 18 issue of The Criterion concerning the need for the sacrament of reconciliation.

I am so glad that, with Lent upon us and with so many parish reconciliation services scheduled, we might clarify a time-proven precept of Holy Mother Church.

In order to be a Catholic in good standing, receiving the sacrament of penance once a year is a non-negotiable tenet of our faith.

The sacrament of penance is a tremendous source of grace and, just like Holy Communion, penance may be received daily. Our biblical faith teaches us that even should we sin seven times a day we should understand forgiveness as the absolution that penance provides.

Holy Mother Church remains the provider of the Eucharist and its guardian. She and her clerics also safeguard the proper disposition for the reception of holy Communion.

Our faith exacts of us an examination of conscience and, even should we be found keeping the Commandments, there is still one more item to do: to take up one’s cross each day and follow Jesus.

In this season of Lent, may we as a people of God bend our hearts to the Lord God and discover his will for our lives: to be pure and holy and like our heavenly Father.

Please note that it is wrong to receive Communion without first confessing mortal or serious sins. This is the minimum requirement, and our faith teaches that regular confession of everyday faults is good for us and is a gift of God’s mercy.

- Stephen Kappes, Indianapolis

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