Carmelite Conversations
A Reflection on Reconciliation

A Reflection on Reconciliation

March 22, 2016

The Sacrament of Reconciliation has rightly been called by a number of names, including confession, the Sacrament of forgiveness, and the Sacrament of healing. It is less well known by what is perhaps its most important name, and its most important benefit, and that is the Sacrament of conversion. In this conversation on the Sacrament, Mark and Frances explore the historical context, benefits and means of preparation. They discuss how God not only wants to grant us His forgiveness and Mercy for our failings and our sin, but He wants to use that very weakness of our nature to bring about our conversion, purification and transformation into His Son, Jesus Christ. The most important aspect for our participation in this process is a continual and ever more challenging examination of our own behavior and even our very thoughts. Here Mark and Frances share three separate means of conducting such an examination, and they demonstrate how the process begins with looking at ourselves externally, turning to our interaction with our neighbor and then returning again to look at ourselves in a much deeper, spiritual and more interior way. This is an important topic and hopefully motivation for many of us to return to and enrich our experience of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Conversion.

RESOURCES
Documents:
“Merciful Like the Father” for 24 Hours for the Lord from the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization:
http://www.im.va/content/dam/gdm/documenti/pdfvari/24HoursForTheLord.pdf

“A Brief Examination of Conscience” Based on the Ten Commandments:
http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments-and-sacramentals/penance/upload/Examination-of-Conscience.pdf

Examination of Conscience According to the Seven Vices
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/98280351/CSMP%20-%20Toolbox%20for%20Website/TBW_Examination%20of%20Conscience.pdf

Examination of Conscience Recalling Relationships with God and Others
http://www.loyolapress.com/an-examination-of-conscience.htm

Examination of Conscience According to the Three Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity
http://www.ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/EXAMCONS.TXT

Examination of Conscience According to the Precepts of the Church
http://www.beginningcatholic.com/precepts-of-the-catholic-church.html

Examination of Conscience Using the Nine Ways of Being an Accessory to Another’s Sin
http://www.stpeterslist.com/6942/the-9-ways-of-being-an-accessory-to-anothers-sin/

Examination of Conscience for Priests and Religious
http://www.thelightisonforyou.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/TheLightIsOnForYou_ExaminationForReligiousAndPriests.pdf

Examination of Conscience and Catholic Doctrine
https://www.newmanconnection.com/ccwatershed/Examination.pdf

Examination of Conscience Based on the Beatitudes
http://www.johnpaul2center.org/JohnPaulIICenter/LayFormation/AdultFormation/SeasonofMercyFaithFormationRes/Beatitudes_EC.pdf

Comprehensive Examination of Conscience Based on the Twelve Virtues
http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/sacraments/adults.htm

Book:
“Frequent Confession: Its Place in the Spiritual Life” by (Dom) Benedict Baur, O.S.B.

Scripture passages cited from the New American Bible, printed 1970:
Lamentations 3:40
John 20:22-23
1 Peter 5:8
Matthew 5:28

The Remarkable Mercy of God (2 of 2)

The Remarkable Mercy of God (2 of 2)

March 15, 2016

In this second in a series of two programs on the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Mark and Frances continue their conversation on a book by the Holy Father entitled “God’s Name is Mercy.” In this follow-up conversation, they reiterate the importance of the scripture story of the woman caught in adultery, and how the Holy Father uses this story to demonstrate that Christ does not just apply justice, nor does He merely forgive sin, but indeed, He goes beyond that and actually “forgives with a caress” as the Pope Francis describes it. The Holy Father has built his argument that if humanity is wounded, indeed, as he says, deeply wounded, then forgiveness, though it will lead to salvation, is not enough to heal the wound within the human heart. It is this very wound in fact that impedes our ability to love and to become fully human persons, people made in the image of God who is love. This is really the entire them of the Holy Father’s message about Mercy – Justice is a balancing of the scales, but does not lead to forgiveness, forgiveness does lead to the absolution of sin and salvation, but Mercy is what heals a wounded heart. God’s message of Mercy is about healing and Love.

RESOURCES
Books:
“The Name of God is Mercy: A Conversation with Andrea Tornielli” from Pope Francis, Trans. by Oonagh Stransky; Random House.

“The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church” by Pope Francis; Loyola Press.

“God’s Healing Mercy: Finding Your Path to Forgiveness, Peace and Joy” by Kathleen Beckman, LHS; Sophia Press.

“33 Days to Merciful Love: a Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy” by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC; Marian Press.

“Angels of the Battlefield: A History of the Labors of the Catholic Sisterhoods in the Late Civil War” by George Barton; Nine Choirs Press.

The Remarkable Mercy of God (1 of 2)

The Remarkable Mercy of God (1 of 2)

March 8, 2016

The Holy Father recently declared this year an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. There are a number of celebration and activities planned for this year, and there are many graces and blessings available for those who take up the Holy Father’s call to seek God’s Mercy. As part of his effort to communicate the importance of this message of Mercy, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, granted an interview with a journalist and commissioned the publication of a book entitled, “The Name of God is Mercy.” In this conversation on the importance of the message of Mercy, Mark and Frances use portions of the Holy Father’s book, key verses from scripture, and some of the quotes of the famous Carmelite Saints to help explain exactly what the Holy Father is trying to tell the Church about God’s Mercy. The most important aspect of this message is that Mercy is that attribute of God, His most important attribute according to Pope Francis, that does more than overcome God’s Justice, and in fact, it does more than allow for the forgiveness of sins, Mercy is what actually leads to the healing of both the effects of sin and the woundedness of our human nature that leads us to sin in the first place. In this important conversation the listener is invited to come to a deeper understanding and a genuine desire to seek out God’s all encompassing Mercy.

RESOURCES
Books:
“The Name of God is Mercy: A Conversation with Andrea Tornielli” from Pope Francis, Trans. by Oonagh Stransky; Random House.
“The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church” by Pope Francis; Loyola Press.
“God’s Healing Mercy: Finding Your Path to Forgiveness, Peace and Joy” by Kathleen Beckman, LHS; Sophia Press.
“33 Days to Merciful Love: a Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy” by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC; Marian Press.
“Angels of the Battlefield: A History of the Labors of the Catholic Sisterhoods in the Late Civil War” by George Barton; Nine Choirs Press.