Wednesday, June 13, 2012

10 Reasons To Go To Confession

From Advent . . . 


1)  The Church is the continued presence of Christ on earth, and Christ has given the Church his own authority. With this authority, the Church has determined that making a thorough confession to a priest is essential for the forgiveness of sins.

2)  Throughout Christian history, it has been necessary for one to make some "public" reparation for one's sins. In the earliest days of the Church, this sometimes took years. Today, it just takes a few minutes.

3) Sacraments work. God has promised that the sacraments will do what the Church say they do. In other words, the Eucharist really is the body and blood of Christ, whether I believe it is or is not.  Baptism washes away Original Sin whether the person receiving baptism knows it happens or not. In confession, sins really are forgiven, even if I don't feel it. On what basis does one making a confession directly to God know his sins are truly forgiven?

4) Sin is not only personal reality. All sin has public ramifications. They do damage to the entire Body of Christ. Just as the priest stands in the place of Christ and pronounces a sin forgiven, so too does he stand in the place of the community, forgiving on behalf of the entire community.

5) How often has one actually knelt down before God and confessed one's sins? How often has one really, honestly, and thoroughly articulated to God the exact nature and extent of one's sins. I am willing to bet that more often, one goes before God with an indeterminate vague feeling of having "been bad." Feeling bad and telling God you are sorry does not constitute a confession of sins.

6) Confession is therapeutic. Ask any addict in recovery. They will tell you that part of the healing process is admitting to another human being the extent and nature of the ills one has committed (typically called the 5th step). Recovery cannot proceed until this has occurred. Many people will repeat this examination of life with their sponsor from time to time as a way to maintain accountability with oneself.

7)  Another person can give me perspective. Sometimes I am too hard on myself, and sometimes not hard enough. The priest helps me have the proper perspective.

8) Telling someone else makes it harder to commit the same sin again. If I go to a regular confessor (and I should) it is hard to have to confess the same thing time after time.

9) A priest is the doctor of the soul, and sin is a soul sickness. Not going to confession and speaking directly to God is a bit like going to the pharmacist before seeing the physician.

10) I need to hear someone say, "Your sins are forgiven." These are typically the last words spoken in the confessional. God seldom speaks so clearly.

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