Confession during lockdown
I know that many of you go to confession before Easter … and many of you are now anxious at this time. Many of you have said to me: ‘But Father ….. I cannot leave the house and I want to make my peace with the Lord. I want Him to embrace me ….. How can I do that unless I find a priest?’ This exact question was posed to Pope Francis recently, and I would like to share with you what he said.
He said: “Do what the catechism says. It is very clear. If you don’t find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He is your Father. Tell Him the truth. Simply say: ‘Lord, I did this and this and this. Please pardon me.’ Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition, and promise Him, that after this lockdown and when things return to normal – and they will – ‘I shall go to confession.’ You will return immediately to God’s grace. You yourself can draw near, as the catechism teaches us, to God’s forgiveness, without having a priest at hand.”
During this time of Lockdown in South Africa, let us continue to pray for each other, and be sure that God answers our prayer. Be with us, Lord, on our journey.
God Bless, & stay well.
Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ
Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ entered the Society of Jesus in 2005 and underwent the usual course of studies in his formation, which took him to such varied places as Canada, France, Ireland, Kenya, Spain, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Whilst working at the Institute, Matthew managed the background technical aspects of much of the Institute's work and was involved in the Spirituality work, completing the Advanced Spiritual Directors Training Course and the Spiritual Exercises Training run by the Institute. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International and was also a part-time lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St Augustine College of South Africa. He is currently the Director of Communications for the Jesuits in Southern Africa, based in Lusaka, Zambia.
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