“At the same time, however, may they be days illuminated by hope,” he encouraged, “indeed by the certainty that Christ’s arms, opened wide on the cross, powerfully invite all humanity to reconciliation, mercy, and peace.”
Piacenza recalled Christ’s words on the Mount of Beatitudes: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
“[This is] a peace that is God-given and that demands to be built by people, beginning with the peace in their own hearts, because only those who are reconciled with God and with themselves can truly be peacemakers,” he said.
The cardinal also invited priests to practice “great generosity” in listening to confessions, “for in them is strengthened, and in the case of grave sin, recreated, that indispensable bond with Christ.”
The sacrament of confession — also known as penance or reconciliation — strengthens the body of Christ through the miracle of forgiveness, he continued, noting that as the “all” of the Church becomes fortified through forgiveness, this forgiveness can open to the whole world.
Reflecting on the Church’s celebration of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days on Nov. 1 and 2, Piacenza recalled that “the Church is not only the one visible before our eyes, but it is also the ‘triumphant’ one in heaven, according to the communion of saints, and the ‘purgative’ one, on its way to full communion with God, for which we pray in the commemoration of the faithful departed.”