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Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Confessional

I hear so many people say that the reason that they don't go to confession is that they don't want to confess their sins to a priest! They say that they don't need to confess to another human being. This is just another poor excuse for not dealing with their sins, or maybe they are just unaware of the proper teaching of our faith. They say I will talk to God about my sins. Indeed you are when you go into the confessional. You are speaking to God through the priest. The Holy Spirit works through the priest to forgive us.
This sacrament can only be administered by a priest and is the only way to be absolved from your sins. Talking to God outside the confessional is not valid confession. You need to be absolved by the priest. For these reasons our priests are ordained. There are also graces that come from going to confession.The Sacrament of Reconciliation is extremely vital and should be frequented often especially if you have committed a mortal sin. The Cathechism is a great guide for the discernment of mortal sin. It is very important to know what mortal sin is, and to confess it immediately. If you should die in this state, it could cost you your inheritence into the kingdom of God. It is a good practice to frequent more than the alloted times that our Catholic Church requires. It is very beneficial to go to confession once a month. It strengthens us spiritually and it is a good habit to get into.
Remember that Jesus is merciful and forgiving. Our priests want nothing more than to see you confess sins and wipe your slate clean to begin again. This gives our priests their strength to overcome their sins and weaknesses as well. If we are all receiving graces from God through this Sacrament we can overcome the hand of Satan.
Just open your eyes to what is happening in the world. There is so much destruction out there. Morally we are in so much trouble and there is temptation everywhere you turn. I believe strongly that the happenings in the world are a sure sign telling us to repent, or we will be very sorry.
In the times of Noah there was the Flood, so in our times are our warnings by severe weather. We need to open our eyes and minds to heed these warnings swiftly. Jesus and Mary have been warning us for a very long time. Reading about Fatima can give real insight to Mary's warnings to us as her Son has asked. Forgiveness of sin is indeed imperative.
More than ever we need forgiveness, and it is a constant battle with the enemy. The priest is not our enemy in that confessional. He is there to help us offer ourselves to God and ask for our pardoning. Don't be afraid, or offer excuses for why we don't go, use this sacrament for our benefit. Our souls are in much need of forgiveness. Knowing that you are wiped clean of your sins the minute you step out of the confessional, should be enough for you to want to frequent this Sacrament.
Another thing I would like to mention is that I don't think it is fair to our priests to confess face to face. If you are comfortable with this, your priest may not be. If you confess by directly looking at him, he will remember who you are, and what your sins are ( for he is only human). This may make him uncomfortable every time he sees you he knows your sins and I feel that he does not need this burden. This may not be the case for every priest, but I wouldn't want to take the chance. He will have to try very hard to put your sins out of his mind. I don't know that this is possible. He, of course, does not judge you, or would he ever betray you. Even if you think this is good for you it may not be good for him and could put him in an occasion of sin by via his thoughts. Let us try to keep each other from sin and to help each other obtain the goals of heaven together.
The confessional originally was set up so that you spoke through a partition, and you were to be contemplating that this is Jesus I am speaking to. The face to face confessional was something adapted later and should have never been put into place. Face to face meetings should be left for counseling sessions or meetings with your spiritual director. Confession is between you and God through the priests intercession and done in the proper place.
Remember to pray for poor sinners and those souls in purgatory every day.


At 7:26 PM, Blogger Jamie McMorrin said...

Very good post- would that more people would take heed of it!

A priest commented to me (in jest, I hasten to add) the other day: "I think people must have stopped sinning, because they certainly aren't confessing anymore." The irony- just when we are in most need of sacramental grace, we begin to spend our money on psychologists and lifestyle counsellors to make us feel good about ourselves instead of going to God (through His Church) with our sins. Oremus...

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