During the General Audience today, Pope Francis spoke about forgiveness – both by script and spontaneously (the link to Vatican Radio’s report below).
The Holy Father, in his characteristic frankness and humbleness, pointed out that priests are the instruments of forgiveness through their administering of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. At the same time, they must realize that, that “they too are in need of forgiveness and healing and thus they must exercise their ministry in humility and mercy.”
Then, to back up his point and show example, he spoke off the cuff about his own need for forgiveness. assuring the crowd that he, too, is a sinner and goes to Confession every 15 days. With all of the responsibility on his shoulders and the more-than-busy schedule he keeps, he still makes time for what is most important: the sacraments. Think about it: How often do you go to Confession? How often do you attend Holy Mass?
I think our human nature causes us to take these two sacraments for granted. What would happen to us if the privilege of receiving them was taken away from us?
This weekend, both of our cars went out of commission and we’ve not been able to get them fixed until the end of this week. Because of that, I’ve been pretty much tied to the house and unable to attend daily Mass. I’m not loving this. It was fine when I missed it via my own decision whether or not to go, but now that it’s our cars’ decision that I cannot, I’m grumpy and resentful. Phooey.
The lyrics of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” keep going round in my head: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone?”
The sacraments aren’t “gone” from us, but Pope Francis’ revelation of his reconciliation habits is a good reminder to me that I have to make the time for what’s most important. Right now, it’s just a couple of rebellious vehicles. Maybe someday it will be something more, something more prohibitive or longer lasting. I don’t want to come to realize what I had until after it’s gone.
Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/20/pope_francis:_god_never_tires_of_forgiving_us/en1-748280
of the Vatican Radio website