Why is Advent considered the beginning of a new liturgical year?
Calendars bring order and sequence to the events of our lives. Each day, we look to our calendar to see what we are going to do that particular day. We also look ahead to see what will be happening the rest of the week or month. It reminds us about events we may look forward to.
When I read this question, I realized how pertinent it is. In my experience as a confessor, impatience is the most confessed sin by adults.
Being impatient is a state to which we become addicted. When we experience a situation or see a person, we might feel irritation and anger bubble up from our gut. With these feelings come words of blaming of them in our mind and possibly shaming the person or situation verbally or nonverbally. While it feels right and proper at the moment, we know at the end of the day we will feel guilty and empty about it.
An unfortunate trend today views the spiritual as a novelty. This has led to a rise in certain television shows about "spirits" and various practices, such as using tarot cards or Ouija boards, palm reading, reading horoscopes, using hypnosis for fun and even participating in magic beyond the normal illusion tricks.
The Apostolic Pardon is one element of the "Last Rites" of the Catholic Church. It is given by the priest to a person who is dying or near death. After the sick person has made a last confession, or if they are unable to go to confession, the priest has asked all present to call to mind their sins, and he is invited by the Church to give the Apostolic Pardon. The words of this prayer tell us much about what it is:
Recently, Pope Francis extended to priests worldwide the faculty to absolve the sin of abortion for the Year of Mercy. While the St. Louis Review and parish priests have done an excellent job in explaining the meaning and significance of the announcement, it has raised another question in people's minds: Are there sins for which people can't be forgiven? For example, does God forgive a murderer? Or how about a rapist? How far does God's mercy extend?