Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well, by Guercino

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well, by Guercino

The Sacramental Dimension

The last part of the book is dedicated to discussing the Sacraments and how they relate to living the Be’s. There is a reminder that the “plan” for deep conversion and deep prayer is

a combination of divine grace and our cooperation with it.

On the Sacrament of Reconciliation: it is a sacrament for GUILT, not for mere feelings or mistakes,

there is no free will in a mere feeling.

What we do need to confess to the priest are things we can control but do not.

One of the reasons we should not confess non-guilt items is that they distract us from what we can and should correct: real guilt, real sins.

An admonition follows on how to properly approach the Sacrament of Confession. Where there doesn’t seem to be real, permanent change,

the “firm purpose of amendment” part of genuine sorrow, sincere contrition, seems to be absent.

There cannot be a sacrament of Reconciliation unless real guilt is confessed.

This might be a good time to review with the kids. They should know this, but it never hurts to reiterate.

Fr. Dubay re the dwindling numbers at confession: 3 explanations: 1) a loss of the sense of sin; 2) doctrinal and moral dissent among some theologians and priests; 3) the widespread and unmet need for conversion, deep conversion.

As we were telling the kids, there was a time in our marriage when we never went to confession. I guess at the time we thought we were perfect people, or perfect enough that we didn’t need the sacrament. Only by the grace of God, I’m sure, were we able to survive those years without falling apart. And only by the grace of God have we been brought back to this beautiful Sacrament.

And then another timely reminder, which Fr. Dubay addresses to religious leaders, but that’s particularly useful to us, as we’ve had parenting issues to deal with the past few weeks:

To lead in this context means, of course, to lead first by living an example of deep contemplative prayer and then to teach what they themselves are living. Our best people are thirsting for this quality of leadership.


Prolixity, a new word.

I refer to penitents who take undue amounts of time in what they have to say to the confessor.

The rest is a review of what is, and how it should be approached. At our parish, at least, this doesn’t seem to be a problem, as everyone seems to be cognizant of the proper length of time spent at the confessional. We’ve rarely experienced a delay at the waiting line caused by someone spending too much time with Father.

Among all worldviews it is the gospel alone that produces the beauty of the saints. Nothing else does. They are deeply converted, and therefore utterly in love with triune Beauty.

Yes, this truly has been my most fruitful Lent ever. I will be on my knees thanking the Lord, these Holiest Days of the Year, the Easter Triduum. This is going to be one tremendous Easter.