Faith and Conversion

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Pope Benedict has described this Year of Faith as “a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Savior of the world.”

As we journey through Lent during this Year of Faith, it is good to recall the words of Jesus at the beginning of His public ministry: Repent and believe in the Gospel  (Mark 1:15).  The Lord calls us to conversion.  In His great love, He offers us forgiveness and the gift of new life.

Our Lord’s work of healing and salvation continues in His Body, the Church.  In the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, Christ offers us the ever-new possibility to convert.  Reconciliation with God and with the Church through this sacrament brings great peace and spiritual consolation.  When we go to confession, we experience a true passage from death to life.  I encourage all to receive this beautiful sacrament of God’s mercy.

Of course, to make a good confession, we must approach the Lord with contrite hearts.  This requires humility.  Saint John wrote: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us  (1 John 1:8).  We must be honest with God and with ourselves that we are sinners in need of His mercy.

Sin wounds our dignity as sons and daughters of God.  The good news is that the grace of God is stronger than sin.  With hope in God’s mercy, let us open ourselves to His grace in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation!  He wants to restore to us our dignity as His children.

The Catechism describes the Christian life as a “struggle of conversion directed toward holiness and eternal life to which the Lord never ceases to call us” (CCC 1426).  May the Lord’s grace give us victory in this struggle!

 
Bishop Kevin Rhoades

About Bishop Kevin Rhoades

Bishop Kevin Rhoades is the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Originally from Pennsylvania, he spent time in Rome and Spain as a seminarian before being ordained a priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA. He served as a faculty member and then as rector of Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Maryland. He was ordained a bishop in 2004 and served the Diocese of Harrisburg until he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in November 2009. He was installed as Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend in January, 2010. Bishop Rhoades made headlines in 2011 when he issued the first-known imprimatur for an iPhone app. You can read his weekly column at Today's Catholic.