God’s Lenten Love

Students had the opportunity to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation yesterday.

@sdhsCM on Twitter

Students had the opportunity to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation yesterday.

Christian Hall, Staff Writer

Yesterday, St. Dominic Campus Ministry had their Lenten Reconciliation service, reiterating the importance of the sacrament.

During the year, St. Dominic Campus Ministry, along with several other parishes and high schools, hold two Reconciliation services: one in Advent and the other in Lent.

Seniors Briana Pulliam and Kate Nelson began the service with a short prayer and a reading from the Acts of the Apostles. Nelson then read a reading from the Gospel of Matthew about the lost sheep. Rather than following this up with a video or skit like years past, the peer ministers decided to give short testimonies.

Senior Tim Blechle reflected on the Parable of the Lost Sheep.

“God will always be there for us, will always help us when we are blind in the darkness and will always guide us to understand Him better,” Blechle said.

Senior Christian Hall then shared a time he experienced mercy through the sacrament. He talked about the first time he went to confession with St. Dominic’s current chaplain, Father Patrick Russell.

“I sat down [in the confessional] expecting to be met with rejection and anger, but instead, I received love and mercy. Father Patrick looked at me the way Jesus looks at us: He heard my sins and darkest moments and still called me by name,” Hall said.

Finally, seniors Cati Welby and Hanna Vanourney concluded the testimonies with the joy one receives through Reconciliation. Welby shared about God constantly being present in our lives, even when we sin. The forgiveness we receive through Reconciliation allows us to mend this broken relationship with God.

“God is always there for us, waiting to start a relationship with Him, and we do start that through Reconciliation. We start our path to a stressless, happy and honest life today,” Welby said.

Vanourney shared about the freedom God gives us and how He wants us to go to confession because we want to, not because we have to.

“You don’t have to try to hide anymore and keep it on the inside. God isn’t sadness or pain…God is freedom and joy. Reconciliation takes away that sadness and replaces it with this joy that is so deep and real,” Vanourney said.

The four testimonies bring up the importance of why we should receive the sacrament of Reconciliation. Especially in Lent, we await Christ’s resurrection and prepare for His second coming. Reconciliation allows us to receive God’s mercy and love. In such a busy time of the year, the Lenten Reconciliation service allowed all students, whether the last time they went to confession was last week or last year, to set time aside and receive God’s mercy.

The service continued on with an Examination of Conscience and the Act of Contrition. It concluded with a short prayer and a time of reflection before heading towards the confession lines. Many students went to receive God’s mercy from about 15 different archdiocesan priests.

“I wouldn’t have gone by myself without my friends pushing me to go and be better, and I actually get a lot out of [the Lenten service]. I like it during Lent too because it reminds you that every sin you commit is like nailing Jesus to the cross,” sophomore Emilee Gettings said.

Christ is always reaching out offering us mercy, even when we seriously sin again and again. This Lent, try to make a habit of going to Reconciliation more often, and remember Christ’s saving redemption through His death on the cross.