BITE-SIZE THEOLOGY (146) What can I get out of confession?

Have you heard of kintsugi? According to Wikipedia, “Kintsugi (“golden joinery”), also known as kintsukuroi (“golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.” The result? The repaired pottery is more expensive than the original. In a way, that’s what confession does to our souls: it repairs us and makes us more valuable.

The usefulness of beauty

Your magazine gives a lot of importance to the dimension of Beauty. It is a line that I approve of, but often – when I talk about it – I get objections regarding the futility of art. They tell me that Christianity must pursue a certain essentialism, otherwise it would be distracted from serving God and man. How can I answer these objections?

A questionnaire for Apostolic visits at the time of saint Pius X

The questionnaire, marked as “confidential” is very detailed and full of questions of all kinds. For example, speaking of the Diocese in general, it asks if sanctuaries exist, how they are administered and how many people flock to them and what advantage they bring to piety and divine worship. Speaking of the people, it asks “whether there is a practice of Christian life in general, with a sentiment of faith and frequency of sacraments; or indifference or external worship and a religious practice of formality reign, without spirit, and without the exercise of the virtues essential to Christianity”.

SEPTEMBER 29: Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

In our times, the custom of reciting the St Michael Prayer after Mass has fallen into disuse. But the custom was recalled by St John Paul II at the Regina Coeli on 24 April 1994: “Although today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass,” he said, “I ask everyone not to forget it, and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.”

“Without obedience there is no virtue”- St Padre Pio

Many remembered Padre Pio de Pietrelcina for receiving the stigmata and this is what he is often known for. However, this privilege of sharing the suffering of the Lord was certainly not the greatest legacy he left behind. It was obedience, grounded in patience and trust in Jesus Christ which led to his extraordinary legacy. As he was known for his obedience to God, he did not waver in being obedient to Church authorities as well.

BITE-SIZE THEOLOGY (145) What makes a good confessor?

“The confessor is not the master of God’s forgiveness, but its servant. The minister of this sacrament should unite himself to the intention and charity of Christ (Presbyterorum Ordinis 13). He should have a proven knowledge of Christian behavior, experience of human affairs, respect and sensitivity toward the one who has fallen; he must love the truth, be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, and lead the penitent with patience toward healing and full maturity. He must pray and do penance for his penitent, entrusting him to the Lord’s mercy.”