Freedom and Forgiveness: A Fresh Look at the Sacrament of Reconciliation
The sacrament of Confession is probably the most talked about sacraments in the Catholic Church, as well as a spiritual practice being revived in many Protestant churches. This book explores the sacrament focusing on the two people who confess — God and the penitent. God is the primary confessor when he confesses his forgiveness for and trust in the one who is celebrating the sacrament. The gift of freedom, the existence of hell, and the role of conscience are discussed at length. Jean Vanier in his foreword says: "Somewhere, along the line, in the history of the Church, people have become more centred upon obedience to laws than upon this relationship with love with a person, with Jesus. This book flows from an understanding of Confession as a meeting of love and as a renewal of friendship." How that friendship is renewed is explored using the Rite of Penance and St. Peter in the Gospel. This helps us understand what happens in the sacrament and how we can celebrate it. Ultimately, Fr. Paul describes reconciliation as God’s gift to us to express God’s humble forgiveness and his confidence in us and also the place where we take responsibility for our lives.