Two weeks ago, we talked about the importance of reparation and setting the scales of justice back even again. Reparation or Penance has another even more important quality, in that it relieves our guilt. Often times people come to me in confession and say, “Well, I have confessed this before, but I still feel really bad about it—should I confess it again?” The answer is no, because we have to have faith in God’s promise to forgive us always. That is why the crucifixion was so horrible—Jesus, the Son of God, wanted to show us how far He was willing to go so that all of our sins could be forgiven. That is why we have such prominent crucifixes in our churches, but we also need them in our homes, reminding us always of the extent that Jesus loves us and wants to forgive us.
I explain to these people that they need to do reparation for their sins. As they begin to complete meritorious acts, their guilt is assuaged. This is amazingly therapeutic. Venerable Fulton Sheen said that as the confession lines get shorter, the appointment books of the psychologists get fuller. God wants to heal us, and He wants us to be happy. That healing begins in the confessional and then continues through the Mass as we offer up our good works and sacrifices in reparation for our own sins and for any other cause we think needs God’s help and grace. Even if this were the only thing we did at Mass, it is definitely worth our time to do it and is a huge investment in our future perfect happiness in Heaven.
After the offertory of the Mass, we go into the Eucharistic Prayer as we move toward the consecration of the bread and the wine that make it the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.