We live in a world filled with signs. First, there are the obvious ones like road signs and the signs that tell us a store’s hours.
Then there are the more subtle signs like a warm smile or a sharpened tone of voice. But whatever type of sign we’re talking about, they all have one limitation: They can only tell us something. It’s up to us to interpret them and then choose how we will respond.
That’s what makes sacraments so different. Sacraments are “ef.cacious signs of grace” (Catechism, 1131). The signs of a sacrament—the bread of communion, the oil of confirmation, the water of baptism—have the power to bring about the very thing they signify. They do not only tell us something about God, they bring God and his grace into our lives.
This month, we want to take a look at the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Like all the others, this sacrament has its own signs: among them, our words of sorrow and the…
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