Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Lent?  For some it is "giving up" something, which can be a good thing if our self-sacrifice leads us to God.  Many people also think of the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent as we hear the call to repentance and reflect on the transforming power of Jesus that is always ready to heal us.  While it is probably safe to say that more people go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent than any other season of the Church year, the fact is that many people don't go to this sacrament during Lent or any other time.  Recently I tried moving the regular times that the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available here at Sacred Heart and have not witnessed any increase in the numbers of people going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  I have decided to return to the time I had been having (weekdays, 8:30-8:55 a.m., Saturday, 3:00-3:45 p.m. AND at 4:30 p.m. on the first and second Tuesdays of the month); and, will hope to be busier during those times in the future especially AFTER, I pray, many of you participate in our five-week Lenten program, FORGIVEN:  THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF CONFESSION.  While I encourage you to participate in this video program with your fellow parishioners either Monday, Wednesday or Thursday mornings at 9:45 a.m. or Tuesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. starting the week of February 19, you can do this program at home if you have access to the internet and can watch the weekly videos wherever you are.  The trailer for this series speaks a truth that some Catholics view the Sacrament of Reconciliation as "HUMILIATING" and therefore don't avail themselves to the sacrament much, if at all.  Actually it is sin, which makes us less than what God wants us to be, that is humiliating, while the Sacrament of Reconciliation is humbling.  If this doesn't initially sound good, remember what Jesus said on more than a few occasions:  "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself, shall be exalted." (Matthew 23:12f, Luke 14:11).  I pray that after you participate in this program you will be prepared and ready for The Lord to "lift you up" with the grace that flows from His mercy.