During Lent, Pope Francis offers tips for preparing for Confession as we are encouraged to participate in the Sacrament, particularly in this season. As Pope Francis said: “We find peace, relief when we judge ourselves rather than others. ‘Who am I to judge’ is recognizing our sin, having mercy on others”. When we point a finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at us. Pope Francis posed the following questions in his recent booklet, Safeguard your Heart
- Do I only turn to God when I’m in need?
- Do I take attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation?
- Do I begin and end the day with prayer?
- Am I embarrassed to show that I am a Christian?
- Do I rebel against God’s plan?
- Am I envious, hot-tempered, biased?
- Am I honest and fair with everyone or do I fuel the “throwaway culture?”
- In my marital and family relations, do I uphold morality as taught in the Gospels?
- Do I honor and respect my parents?
- Have I refused newly conceived life? Have I snuffed out the gift of life? Have I helped do so?
- Do I respect the environment?
- Am I part worldly and part believer?
- Do I overdo it with eating, drinking, smoking and amusements?
- Am I overly concerned about my physical well-being, my possessions?
- How do I use my time? Am I lazy?
- Do I want to be served?
- Do I dream of revenge, hold grudges?
- Am I meek, humble and a builder of peace?
- Reflect on the questions above during the Lenten season and ask God for the strength to think and act on doing the right thing.
- Think of one thing you would really like to change or improve on this Lent, and three things you could do to bring about this change.
- Try and go to confession this week, as Pope Francis said: “Confession is meant to be a sincere moment of conversion, an occasion to demonstrate trust in God’s willingness to forgive his children and to help them back on the path of following Jesus”.