As Catholics it is a wonderful devotion for us to daily pray for the Holy Father’s intentions. In fact, by offering one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be for the Holy Father’s intention is one of the three parts of a plenary indulgence. The other two are the reception of Holy Communion and making a good confession. If all three is done within two weeks a soul, can receive a plenary indulgence for oneself or it may be offered for the souls of purgatory.
Every month the Holy Father Pope Francis has a particular intention that he prays for. This month’s intention of the Holy Father is that we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God. This intention is an intention that I plead to God so often. I pray that many souls including myself will go to confession during this Lent. You may have heard me mention this once or twice or a million times.
One of my favorite moments of Pope Francis’ pontificate was when he was hearing confessions at St. Peter’s Basilica in 2013. As he was walking to his confessional with is secretary, he turned and went to another confessional and confessed his sins to a priest. I don’t think this priest expected to hear the Holy Father’s confession! The footage of this story can be found online.
As you know, going to confession requires a certain degree of humility. To acknowledge that we are sinners, and to confess our sins takes a great act of humility, but also a love for God.
When meditating on the virtue of humility, I am greatly reminded of the life of St. Joseph. St. Joseph was the humblest man in the world. He truly felt unworthy to be the foster of Jesus and the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary even though he loved them both dearly. By God’s promptings through the angel, Joseph stayed. *
As God wanted Joseph to stay with Jesus and Mary. God wants us to confess our sins during this Lent. At St. Barnabas, we have scheduled confessions every day. Let us remember the Holy Father’s intention this month and pray with him and for him: let us pray that we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God.
In Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Jeff Yildirmaz
* Certain content of this letter was taken from Consecration to St. Joseph by Father Donald Calloway.