Thursday, December 12, 2013

The long waiting lines

"The Confession" by Pietro Longhi, 1750
At least twice a year, the long lines for confession appear in many churches. This is the case especially during Advent and Lent, when penitents make an inventory of their lives and confess their sins to a priest. Such was the case yesterday in my parish in Bend when 10 priests spent almost two hours hearing confessions in English and Spanish. I personally spent another two hours in the morning hearing our school children's confessions. The long waiting lines were very impressive and moving, as well as consoling and comforting for priests. Next week we will do the same as we help neighboring parishes in Redmond, LaPine and Madras, and I'm sure even there, the lines will be long, but worth waiting for. Penance or Confession is a very healing sacrament and the sadness on people's faces turns into joy when they leave the priest or the confessional, a few minutes later, healed, forgiven, refreshed and revitalized, especially when people hear the words...."Your sins are forgiven...go in peace."

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