#1: Seeking Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation with St. Thérèse of Lisieux

One practical way St. Thérèse awakened her seeking heart for Jesus was in her devotion to frequent Confession. For example, in speaking to her older sister, Pauline, about her first Confession experience, she said: 

“I remember your saying to me: “You are not going to confess your sins to a man, my Darling, but to God Himself,” and I took this so to hear that I asked you quite seriously if I should not tell Father Ducellier that I loved him with all my heart, since it was really God I was going to speak to… [After] I made my Confession. I made a big act of faith when I received my absolution, since you had told me it was at this most solemn moment that my soul would be purified by the tears of the Child Jesus… [I] left the confessional with such a light heart that I think I had never been so happy before… and every time, my Confession gave me a foretaste of eternal happiness” (21). 

What a beautiful experience for St. Thérèse to have during her first Confession! Thanks in large part to the excellent catechesis she received from her sisters, St. Thérèse developed a bold confidence in the forgiveness of God through the Sacrament of Confession that it even led her to state: “Even if I had on my conscience all the sins that can be committed, I would go and cast myself in the arms of Jesus with a heart torn by repentance, for I know how much He cherishes the prodigal child that return to Him” (C 64). 

What a powerful witness to the mercy of God! Indeed, through this biblical lens of the story of the prodigal son, we can say confidently that going to Confession is one of the best ways for us to both seek Jesus and be found by Him in our hiding spots. Just as the prodigal son had a moment “when he came to his senses… [and] set out [to] go back to [his] father” (Luke 15:17-18), we too can open our eyes, get out of our hiding spots, and seek reconciliation with Jesus right now, regardless of how far we feel from Him. The great news is that just as the father of the prodigal son “saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (15:20), the same story is guaranteed to happen with each one of us when we seek Jesus in Confession. 

With St. Thérèse as our model and guide, let us pray that our Lord may transform us through the graces of the Sacrament of Reconciliation from being prodigal sons and daughters into passionate lovers.

To conclude: What is 1 thing you want to remember from this reflection?

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