The best possible preparation for Christmas

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Dec 15, 2014

Today is “Reconciliation Monday” in the Archdiocese of New York. Cardinal Timothy Dolan explains:

In each of the 365 parishes of this archdiocese, priests will be hearing confessions from 4-8 p.m. Our unprofessional polling tells us that last Advent 60,000 people approached the sacrament at this event.

That 60,000 figure dwarfs the impressive figure of 5,000 penitents in one day, recorded by the Mexico City archdiocese on the eve of the 1st Sunday of Advent.

But the goal isn’t to set records; it’s to encourage lapsed Catholics to “come home for Christmas,” and encourage all Catholics to prepare for the great day. We’re all preparing our homes with trees and wreaths and lights, but preparing our souls is more important.

“Christmas is a great opportunity to cleanse the soul,” Pope Francis remarked as he pushed a button to illuminate the town Christmas tree in Gubbio, Italy. He suggested sacramental Confession as the best way to get into the swing of Advent preparations.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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