“Fr can I do my confession to you over the internet?”
“Is it a sin if I choose to go for confession to a priest who I think will give me lesser penance?”
“If I confessed that I stole some money or thing, why is it that you will not ask me to return it as my penance?”
These were some of the questions that were put to Fr Martin Arlando, parish priest of the Church of Divine Mercy, Penang during his dialogue session on Repentance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the recent formation for Family Empowered by the Mercy of God conducted by Martin Jalleh. This formation started on Friday night, 1st July with participants coming as a family for an Holy Hour followed by mass. Over the next two days, a total of 126 participants of single adults, married couples with or without children, single parents with their children, held hands, smiled at each other, laughed and cried, hugged and affirmed, confessed short-comings and pledged support for each other.
In his sessions, Martin Jalleh explained the forms of God’s Love and Mercy, God’s Salvific Mercy and the Holy Family as a Family of Mercy. In addition, there was an Inner Healing Through Divine Mercy Session where, as a family, they were made more aware that each member of the family has faults and there was no perfect father, mother, son or daughter. At times, Martin challenged the understanding of the faith of the participants and revealed to them the immeasurable greatness of God’s love for us and his ever Divine Mercy, no matter how unworthy we are. It was a challenge for Martin Jalleh to conduct a formation that catered to all members of the family and to sustain the interest of young and old alike over two days.
Towards the end of the formation, there were testimonies given by young and old participants on how they have come to realize the power of prayer in their lives. They also learned how meaningful some of the sessions were to them in understanding the importance of forgiveness and love in their relationship with family members.
Dr. Ivan Filmer
6th July, 2016.