Tuesday, February 2, 2010

If We Don't Even Give it Much Attention, Why Would People Bother?

I am hard at work finalizing a resource list for our bishop's approval for our diocesan Year of the Eucharist - gathering information on books, media, web resources, text supplements, etc. for enrichment for people of all ages on the sacraments of Eucharist and Penance (Reconciliation)  but I am finding it difficult to locate much for the latter that is not related to preparation of children for the sacrament. While Catholic authors, teachers and publishers have expended great effort to resource our ability to enrich adults to understand Eucharist, and rightly so, there is quite a bit less to support an updated understanding of Reconciliation for adults.

With relatively few Catholic adults participating in the sacrament on a regular basis, apparently either it is difficult to explain in a fruitful way, or there is not much market for such resources. High-quality pastoral resources, like the little book Reconciliation by Bishop Robert Morneau (Orbis RCL?Benziger adult spirituality series) and the small-group resource from Archdiocese of Milwaukee/LPI, Reconciliation: The Unfolding Mercy of God's Mercy and Love are relatively few.

So, I have to ask - if we don't bother - if we put little energy into updating people's understanding of this sacrament - why would your average Catholic adult change their mind? If people think of Confession as unpleasant, irrelevant and unnecessary - and they associate images of the old-fashioned confessional box, such as pictured above or shown on TV or the movies with the sacrament, it's no wonder few avail themselves of it.

1 comment:

  1. As an adult I found the following to be such a gift: The Untapped Power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation: A Priest's View by Father Christopher Walsh. It is not at all a textbook, and I don't have my copy with me now, so I'm not sure if it has the nihil obstat or the imprimatur, but it is a phenomenal personal read for someone wanting to renew/refresh their understanding of the sacrament.