Bishop Patrick Lynch on Confession, Celtic Monks and the Prodigal Son

02/12/2015 10:04 am

Today's advent reflection for the 'Year of Mercy' comes from Bishop Patrick Lynch, an auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Southwark.

Bishop Lynch's wide-ranging reflection covers the Parable of the Prodigal Son and being open to the healing power of God's mercy. His focus is also set firmly on the Sacrament of Reconciliation - Confession - something he describes as a gift and a journey.

Looking to the Celtic monks in Ireland he describes that journey as one of four stages: the piercing of the heart, the opening of the heart, the healing of the heart and the freeing of the heart.

"For the Celtic monks, the penance was not simply a punishment for sin but an essential part of the process of 'freeing the heart' from all the attitudes and attachments that cause us to sin, to be selfish, to hurt others and to be blind to their needs, and to turn away from God.

"For the monks, penance was always focused on helping the penitent to free their hearts from those destructive attitudes and attachments so they could follow Christ more faithfully, more freely and more fervently."

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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