The confessional is neither a “laundromat” for sin removal
nor “a torture session” where sins are exchanged for beatings. Confession is
a meeting place with Jesus, a place of tenderness. We need to approach this
sacrament meekly, gladly, with simplicity, with trust and armed with
“blessed shame”, the “virtue of humility” by which we recognize ourselves as
sinners. Pope Francis dedicated his homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae
Marthae on Monday, 29 April, to the sacrament of reconciliation.
Among those concelebrating were Cardinal Domenico Calcagno,
President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (apsa),
with the Secretary, Mons. Luigi Mistò; Archbishop Francesco Gioia, President
of Peregrinatio ad Petri Sedem; Archbishop Anthony Obinna of Owerri,
Nigeria; and the Procurator General of the Verbites, Fr Gianfranco Girardi.
Bishop Eduardo Horacio García, Auxiliary and Pro-Vicar General of Buenos
Aires, also concelebrated. Among those present were the Sister Disciples of
the Divine Master who work in the Vatican and a group of employees of apsa.
The Pope opened his homily with a reflection on the first
letter of St John (1:5-2:2), when the Apostle “speaks of the first
Christians and he does so with simplicity: ‘God is light and in him is no
darkness at all’. But ‘if we say we have fellowship with him”, that we are
friends of the Lord, ‘while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live
according to the truth’. We must adore God in spirit and in truth”.
Finally the Pope called us to have faith in the words of the
Apostle John: “When we sin, we have a Paraclete in the Father”. “And this
allows us to breathe. And if we are ashamed? Blessed shame, it is a virtue.
The Lord gives us this grace, the courage to walk with him in truth, because
the truth is light... not darkness like half-truths or lies.