Sins of the past shouldn’t keep us from our future

By Annie Moks

During a spring break trip to Orlando, Florida, in the mid-’90s, I found myself, alongside my sister, at Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine in Kissimmee. Despite my frequent visits to Orlando, this trip was unique, as it had been years since my last confession. I decided it was time. Yet, in the middle of the Act of Contrition, I stumbled, forgetting the words. I was so embarrassed. But the priest's response was unforgettable.

“It’s OK. You’re here,” he reassured me, guiding me through the rest.

This experience cemented my belief in the true purpose of confession: to unburden ourselves of the sins weighing us down through true repentance. Our priests, as earthly representatives of Christ, turn this into a conversation leading to absolution. Our God isn't focused on punishment, but rather on offering us a chance to reset – to reconcile with him and the church – when we acknowledge our wrongdoings.

As we enter this Lenten season, I encourage you to let go of the sins of your past. Entrust them to God — he will forgive you. Equally important is learning to forgive yourself. Embrace the opportunity for reconciliation, especially with the extended confessional hours being offered at several churches across our diocese.

Remember, initiatives like "The Light is on for You," as shared in our e-news, are there to guide and support you in this spiritual journey.