Msgr. Charles Pope is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
#specialsectionconfessionMsgr. Charles Pope
“Receive the Holy Spirit,” said the risen Lord to his apostles. “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” The sacrament of Penance, instituted by Christ himself, is one of the greatest gifts of Divine Mercy, but it is widely neglected. To help rekindle a new appreciation for such a profound gift of Divine Mercy, the Register presents this special section.
Blow the trumpet in Zion! … Even now, says the LORD; return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God (Joel 2:1,12-13).
When the Lenten season opens each year on Ash Wednesday, there goes up an urgent cry in the readings and in the liturgy. The prophet Joel sets the theme, and St. Paul repeats it:
“We implore you on behalf of Christ: Be reconciled to God! For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin. We appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says: In an acceptable time, I heard you, and on the day of salvation, I helped you. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 5:20-25). …