Audio

Bishop Robert Byrne on liberation through God's mercy

14/12/2015 10:27 am

Bishop Robert Byrne, an auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Birmingham, talks about his many years as a prison chaplain for today's Advent reflection.

"As a prison chaplain for so many years, I saw how an encounter with God's mercy, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, was able to bring a whole new level of meaning to the prisoners' lives.

"Very often a prisoner would come in weighed down by the crimes he'd committed but by knowing that he was forgiven by God through the Church, he had a new chapter beginning in his life.

"It was rather like seeing a sunflower opening out to see these people, who had come into prison with guilt, shame and all kinds of feelings of inadequacy, then feeling loved and forgiven by Christ - it changed their lives.

"To be forgiven by God is in itself an act of faith and I think it's something we grow into the more we appreciate the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation."

Podcast Series

The Year of Mercy, given to us by Pope Francis, presents the ideal opportunity to focus on God's mercy and forgiveness.

To mark this, many of the Bishops of England and Wales have recorded special reflections for Advent. One podcast reflection will be uploaded every day throughout the season.

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