We encounter the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead in our Divine Liturgy this weekend. And there is a beautiful phrase in John’s Gospel which we hear, and it should give us hope? When Jesus is told about the death of His friend, He says to the disciples: “This illness is not to end in death but is for the glory of God”.
During times of illness and crisis the Lord can begin to reveal to us the things in our life that we need to consider letting go. Things that do not bring us closer to God’s greater glory. We need to remember that sin makes all of us ill. It is, in fearful times like these, that God gives us the desire to confess our sins. But what do you do when the Church is closed?
Please know, that if you are in need of Sacramental Confession, I will be here for you by making Saturday’s at 3:30 p.m. available for confession at the main church in Tahoe City or you can call the parish office to schedule an appointment, and I’ll be happy to meet with you. However, if you are not able to meet with me or any other priest during this time of difficulty, here is a magnificent formula and lesson on how to make an act of perfect contrition.
As most people know, there are two types of contrition:
- perfect: out of love of God;
- imperfect: out of fear of Hell.
Catholic teaching distinguishes a twofold hatred of sin; one, perfect contrition, rises from the love of God Who has been grievously offended; the other, imperfect contrition, arises principally from some other motives, such as loss of heaven, fear of hell, the heinousness of sin, etc. When we go to confession, imperfect contrition is sufficient to receive the pardon of our sins. However, in extraordinary circumstances where [when] we cannot get to confession, we can make an act of perfect contrition, which is sufficient to have our sins forgiven. Important: The act of perfect contrition includes the desire for the sacrament of Penance (or Reconciliation) and the intention to receive sacramental confession at the very first opportunity.
Even though there is an awful lot of fear and uncertainty in our world today, we need to remember that the Lord Jesus desires to give us His healing and forgiveness. Let us hold fast to His life-giving words: “This illness is not to end in death, but it is for the glory of God.”
In His Sorrowful Passion,