Facing up to ?fessing up

Bridie Stringer
Many of us have childhood memories of confession. In this article, Bridie Stringer finds the ministry of forgiveness and healing ?rooted in the gospels, and offers her views on recent initiatives to encourage the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The author is from the diocese of Portsmouth.

Frank McCourt, in the opening to his autobiography, Angela?s Ashes ? memoir of a childhood says ?When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood; the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.? Mercifully, I do not share McCourt?s misery of his early years but the experience of the Sacrament of Penance as a child does evoke some deep disquiet.

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