Category Archives: Rite of Penance

Is Penance Working?

An interesting thread disappeared at PrayTell in which the blog author asked a direct and challenging question: Is the Sacrament of Penance working for Catholics? I would say yes–for a small minority of us. I would say that there’s no … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Job 14:13-17

In preparing my parish’s summer Bible study, I’ve gone deeper into the book of Job than ever. In the midst of the whining, lament, sarcasm, accusations, and preaching, I’ve found the occasional gem. What do you make of this passage? … Continue reading

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Holy Saturday Confessions

Some parishes offer a confessor’s time. Others do not. Sometimes the reasons for either are good. Or well-intentioned. For the record, a celebration of the Sacrament of Penance is not forbidden on Holy Saturday. I can’t honestly recall a parish … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Matthew 22:34-40

A similar passage may be found in Mark, at 12:28-34. We covered that one on this post. The Lucan parallel is in verses 25-28 of that Gospel’s tenth chapter. That brief passage is not given as an option in the … Continue reading

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Open Thread on Accounts and Guarantees

From our occasional commenter, Dick Martin cited Hebrews 10:9-14(NKJV): (T)hen He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist: Slowing Prayers

The Benedictine monks at St Martin’s Abbey have a careful pace to the psalms and certain texts, like the Lord’s Prayer. I was caught a few times, but even in a smallish community of twenty-something, it’s easy to get back … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Micah 6:7-15

Continuing from the first part of Micah, chapter six, we come to the conclusion offered by the prophet on the question of what should we do to be just, in the right, or “good” in God’s eyes. Earlier the prophet … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Luke 15:11-32, The Older Son

The final scene of Luke 15 gets a lot of mileage these days. I’m not sure it can be overstated. Jesus is clearly poking at Pharisees and scribes for whom this story was created in the first place. Like he … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Luke 15:11-32, Full of Compassion

My wife remarked on the promos for the upcoming tv production, The Story of God. If we want insight about God off the tube, the parables of Luke 15 tell us quite a lot. While he was still a long … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Luke 15:11-32, Coming To One’s Senses

We continue with our brief reflection on the parable of the two sons. In the last post, we left off with a stranger in an alien land. Suddenly, his experience inspires a sense of loss. It seems sudden, and can … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Luke 15:11-32, Journey to an Alien Land

The longest parable of the Lord is cited as much as ever these days by the proponents of mercy. This familiar story is also recommended for use in the Rite of Penance. Does that familiarity damage the power of the … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Isaiah 53:1-12

What a powerful and wrenching option for the Rite of Penance. It certainly keeps our thoughts on the suffering, yet merciful Christ. This reading is proclaimed every Good Friday. I remember a student lector from my days at Michigan State’s … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Psalm 22:2-3, 7-9, 18-28

The Palm Sunday Psalm is one of the choices in the Rite of Penance. In the ritual book, it is joined by Isaiah 53, the canticle of 1 Peter (used as a reading) and Mark’s account of the final prediction of the … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Psalm 32

Saint Augustine identified seven psalms as “penitential.” The 32nd is one of four of those utilized for the Rite of Penance. (Psalms 6, 91, and 102 were not chosen–perhaps possible inclusions for the next edition of the Rite.) Nine years … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Psalm 90

Scripture scholars categorize the 90th psalm as a communal lament. Sounds about right for the Rite of Penance. The given antiphon in the rite is: Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy! Do Catholics … Continue reading

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