Pastoral Letter for Lent on Sacrament of Reconciliation
Bishop Richard Moth Pastoral Letter for Lent: Be Reconciled to God
Bishop Richard Moth has issued his first Pastoral Letter for Lent since he was installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton on 28th May last year. The Pastoral Letter is to be read in all churches this weekend, 13th and 14th February 2016.
He asks people through the traditional ways of prayer, fasting and giving to the poor to be open to ‘the way of Mercy’. In particular, he encourages everyone to encounter the mercy of God by making full use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) this Lent.
Bishop Richard says “Through our celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we ‘confess’ – acknowledge and praise – the holiness of God and his mercy towards us.”
Bishop Richard reminds people that the practice of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not just about putting our individual relationship with God right, but also putting right our relationship with our brothers and sisters. We are better able in this way to act with compassion and mercy in the world at large. He says that “Mercy and compassion are central to discipleship and mission, for our task is to proclaim to the world a compassionate and merciful Saviour.”
He asks those listening to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis, but also encourages those who may not have been for some time not to be anxious and that “the priest, who is God’s instrument of mercy in the celebration of the Sacrament will assist you.”
The Year of Mercy, and in particular the ’24 Hours for the Lord’ on 4th and 5th March to be celebrated in parishes in the Diocese, is a wonderful time to be reconciled to God and to step out and “take the way of conversion and Mercy.” In this way says Bishop Richard “it will transform our lives, enabling us to be the instruments of Mercy for others and effective disciples in the Mission the Lord has given us.”