Dear Friends in Christ,
From the time that we were very young, perhaps too young to fully understand the words, we have known that Lent is a penitential season. Throughout these forty days of preparation for Easter, the Church calls us to a sober re-examination of our lives and our relationship with Christ. It is a time to ask: Is Christ really at the center of my life?
For many of us, this process of reflection brings us naturally to the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote recently in the pastoral exhortation “God’s Gift of Forgiveness,” “In the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, also called confession, we meet the Lord, who wants to grant forgiveness and the grace to live a renewed life in him. In this sacrament, he prepares us to receive him free from serious sin, with a lively faith, earnest hope, and sacrificial love in the Eucharist.”