.- The Archbishop of Lima, Peru, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, has delivered a special message to the faithful this week, as Catholics mark the beginning of the month of October, traditionally dedicated to the devotion of Our Lord of the Miracles.
According to the Cardinal, the month of October, know as "Lima's Lent," "traditionally provides us the opportunity to contemplate the merciful gift of the Our Lord of the Miracles to the Church in Lima."
The statue of the Crucified Christ, which is carried in procession throughout the month, reminds us of the story of salvation, "the amazing story of reconciliation: that by which God, who is Father, reconciles the world to Himself through the blood and the cross of His Son made man," recalled the Cardinal, quoting John Paul II.
Cardinal Cipriani reminded the faithful of the different means of reconciling oneself with the Lord: "Faithful and loving attentiveness to the Word of God, personal and communal prayer, and above all, the sacraments, true signs and instruments of reconciliation, especially the Sacrament of Penance."
The Cardinal underscored "the need to personally approach this Sacrament of mercy and forgiveness well-prepared," and he exhorted priests "to generously attend to the faithful that wish to confess."
Cardinal Cipriani mentioned that "nobody, on their own, can obtain perfect contrition. Nevertheless, by approaching the Sacrament with the desire to ask for forgiveness, one can, with the help of the grace of God received in the Sacrament, perfect one's authentic repentance and purpose of amendment."
The Cardinal exhorted priests in his archdiocese to make Confession generously available to the faithful, "using every means possible" so that as many people as possible can receive "the grace which has been given us through Penance for the reconciliation of each soul."
"May Our Lord of the Miracles bless this ministry which you offer the Church, and may Our Lady of the Evangelization help you with her maternal protection in this priestly task," he concluded.