Our diocese has made a rule this Lent that every church will be open from 7-8pm on Wednesday nights for those who wish to come and spend time with the Lord, also often with adoration and confession available. I went to the sacrament this evening as part of my Lenten preparation for Easter and it is the first time in many months that I have gone without a rambunctious boy distracting me every minute. I arrived at the church and knelt down to begin my examination of conscience, thinking that I hadn’t committed any major sins and wondering whether I’d even have much to confess. Turns out I had a whoooole list of things I needed to give to the Lord and I started to feel nervous. When I went in to sit down with the priest my heart was filled with peace and I knew that this was where I was supposed to be. The priest said many encouraging words and I almost cried as I was walking out. I find it is the times I feel I don’t really need to go – those times when I’m just going because I know it has been long enough and I should – that I get the most out of it. I was particularly struck by the beautiful words of absolution this evening:

“God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church may God grant you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

How lucky are we to be able to hear these words from the mouth of Christ every time we go to confession!? As I was driving home I began to look forward to the next time I will be attending Mass and can receive the Eucharist and realised that it would be Easter Sunday. So far away and yet such a wonderful Mass to be the first for receiving our sweet Jesus after confession. I can’t wait.