Archive for March, 2014

  Last night was the first class back after a lengthy break. The subject of our lesson was the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Penance/Confession. It was a lively class, but whether or not the students actually learned anything, I can never be sure.

  I started out with an unrelated issue about an 8-year old girl who was asked to leave a Christian school in Virginia because of her tom-boyish appearance and hair style. I pointed out to the class, that while the school claimed to upholding “Christian values,” they might want to reread their gospels. Jesus took much heat from judgmental groups like the Pharisees because he frequently associated with people who they scorned, like Mary Magdaline and Matthew (apostle) who was a tax collector (basically a thief under the Roman Imperial system.) If Jesus were running that “Christian” school, I seriously doubt he would have asked her to leave.

  From there we moved on to the concept of forgiveness, both in everyday life and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We pointed out that most acts of forgiveness involve four steps.

1.) Admission of guilt

2.) Expression of sorrow

3.) Forgiveness

4.) Reparation

  In Reconciliation, these take the form of…

1.) Confessing our sins to the priest

2.) Act of Contrition

3.) Absolution

4.) Penance

  I had two volunteers who I had selected earlier (They were the first two to show up before class.) role-play a little mini-drama. Brighid had taken and broken Emmeline’s pen. At first she denied it. They she admitted it, said she was sorry and Emmeline forgave her. Brighig offered to buy Emmeline a new pen to replace the one she broke.

  We connected that process to the Sacrament. We walked through the process of Reconciliation, emphasizing that the forgiveness comes from God. The priest is just the intermediary. Also we emphasized that the priest is bound to the secrecy of the confession and cannot / will not tell anyone else what you confess. We prayed an Act of Contrition as a class.

  We have just a few weeks left in the year and at least three more sacraments to cover – Holy Orders, Annointing of the Sick and Matrimony. It’s the home stretch.


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It seems like a hundred years since we last met as a class. Actually, it’s only been a few weeks. We will have a regular class session tomorrow evening (March 26.) The focus will be on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, including a role-playing exercise that is usually pretty interesting. See ya then!

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