I just love the Archbold brothers. Their faithfilled reflections delivered with humor and frankness are completely refreshing, and it is a joy to read their take on the news of the day or something of the mundane delivered from a new perspective.
Also, I enjoy the consolation of knowing that our family is not alone. There are people all over the world who think the way we do, have the same values, and appreciate joy in laughter and tears. When you're Catholic, and you actually believe and submit to Christ and His Church, all sorts of kindred souls start to emerge. Communion is a beautiful thing.
Today Pat Archbold wrote a great article about the economics of mercy...and wouldn't you know that I have thought the same thing about the availability of confession. It needs to be abundantly offered.
"Confession needs to be available throughout the day, week in and week out, everywhere it can feasibly be provided so that when the desire hits, people know that mercy is just a quick trip to the Church away. By Saturday afternoon, the feeling may likely have passed."
Confession is Christ's merciful love in action. Many pastors are awesome at offering this sacrament at different times throughout the week, including Saturdays and Sundays before Mass. But sometimes I have heard the comment that nobody comes, therefore the priest will reduce hours in the confessional. This, I think, is an instance in which the laity needs to provide feedback for these misguided notions of cutting back hours of confession availability. If you provide it, we will come. Maybe not instantly, but slowly, like a steady trickle that flows through a crack in the dam before it bursts open.
From a mother's perspective, confession availability might be likened to providing supper every night for the family. Sure, it's disheartening when I take time to prepare something that is healthy, nutritious and delicious...and only half the children eat it. But if I stop offering them healthy food, their bodies are going to malfunction and start limiting their ability to physically perform the tasks they need to work and play. How much more is the spiritual life affected by the spiritual malnutrition that is perpetuated by the lack of the sacrament of confession? This sacrament is vitally important in our culture today that is increasingly growing in adversity to the faith.
Thank you to the wonderful priests who serve us so faithfully day in and day out. Be assured of our prayers for you. We are all being called to heroic sanctity. Our family feels the weight of the world everyday, and I know that the priests are right there in the thick of it. Only lives of ongoing conversion directed toward holiness are going to ease our burdens, offering us the consolation of God's abundant mercy and more workers for the vineyard.