Monday, March 17, 2014

The Light is on for You (Word Among Us Press)

Over the past several years, the Archdiocese of Mobile, which I am a member of, has adopted a program during Lent called "The Light is on for You." I'm not sure if all others dioceses have adopted it as well, but I know many have. The program is designed to give people more opportunities to go to Confession during Lent. I strongly support this program, because even though you only "have" to go to Confession once a year, you should make it a practice to go more frequently. The book I am reviewing today is also called The Light is on for You by Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

The Light is on for You begins by explaining our need for Confession. Cardinal Wuerl goes so far as to trace Confession back to the Garden of Eden and the Fall. God invited Adam and Eve to confess their sin to Him, and shortly thereafter He also invited Cain to confess to murdering Abel. He then explains how sin turns us away from God, but Confession is a call to conversion or turning toward God. In the next chapter, he then dissects the ultimate story of Confession in one of my favorite parables, The Prodigal Son.

The next several chapters cover the facts of confession. The reader will learn how come priests have the authority to forgive sins, how to prepare for confession, a step-by-step guide on how to make a good Confession, and the seal of the confessional. The final chapter was the most interesting to me. It described Confession as the sacrament of the New Evangelization, "because it offers us 'a new and personal encounter with Jesus Christ, as well as a new encounter with the Church.' We can always come home to God and to the Church."

I found this to be a very good, but basic book. If you are a devout Catholic, you probably won't find much new information in this book. However, I don't believe the devout Catholic is the intended audience. This book is trying to reach the inquirer, the fallen-away Catholic, and the Catholic who just shows up to get his card punched. The appendices, which walk you through an Examination of Conscience and the Sacrament are useful, and the chapters which explain what Confession is and does are edifying. The main message, however, is that there is a Savior and a Church waiting with open arms for you to come home and be forgiven. So find out when your local Catholic Church is having Confession, and go! After all, the light is on for you.

This book was provided to me for free by Word Among Us Press in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click the link and hit Yes!