Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
One happy effect of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is that it really and truly allows us to “start all over again”. This does not mean that we can sin with abandon, go to confession, and then tell the people we hurt, “Get over it. That was then, this is now.”
Reconciliation is intended to make us more able to love people we have ill-used, not more able to ill-use them. But it is also true that Reconciliation does give us a whole new lease on life. Like the brand new Scrooge at the end of “A Christmas Carol” (surely the most Lenten Christmas tale ever written) the penitent discovers “Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!” No wonder many a penitent has emerged from the confessional light as a feather, happy as an angel, merry as a schoolboy, and giddy as a drunken man. A merry Lent to everybody!