When I say the “Ten Commandments,” what comes to your mind?

For some, it might be memories of watching the classic old movie “The Ten Commandments” starring Charlton Heston as Moses, a great movie. For some it might be memories of religion classes as children when we tried to be the first student to memorize all 10 in the correct order.  For me, it brings to my mind an examination of conscience and preparing to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Often the Ten Commandments are used as the basis for many examinations of conscience, and the discipline of prayerfully reflecting upon our observance of the commandments helps prepare us to acknowledge our failures in faith and open ourselves up to God’s forgiveness.

Noting this, it should come as no surprise that I am extending an invitation for all of us to accept the challenge presented by the Ten Commandments and make a good examination of conscience and celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation sometime during Lent.  Whether it has been one month, one year or 10 years since we came to confession, there is not a better time than now to come back to know God’s love through the forgiveness of our sins.  If you are a little out of practice, have no fear, you will be guided through the celebration with patience and kindness.

In closing, consider the following from Pope Francis: “Let us thank God for instituting the Sacrament of Mercy — the Sacrament of Confession — by approaching it frequently, moved by our faith that we are in need of God’s pardon and mercy for all of us are sinners. It is there where we encounter God’s mercy and strong fatherly embrace when we approach it with a humble and contrite heart.”

Msgr. John McDermott

Vicar General

CNS/Tyler Orsburn