2 Corinthians 5:18
The Sacrament of Confession, also known as Penance or Reconciliation, is the Sacrament of God's loving mercy. Since all have sinned, all are in need of forgiveness (Rom.3:23-24). Confession is how God chose to impart His mercy. Literally in Confession we admit our sins to God and the Priest acts as God's mediator. The Priest will hear the Confession, offer some spiritual encouragement, assign the penance, say the words of Absolution, and tell us to 'go in peace;' but it is God who grants the forgiveness.
The beauty of the Sacrament of Confession is that God is promising to send forth His healing Grace! We all struggle, but a Saint is someone who gets back up (spiritually in Confession) and goes forward with God. Our Father desires for us to encounter His loving mercy, receive healing, and go in peace. Be not afraid to make a Confession, for in this Sacrament, we will encounter Divine Love.
In short, yes, because this is the pattern Jesus established. John 20:19-23. In the Gospels we see Jesus heal the sick, cure the cripples, and forgive sins. He indeed, as God, has such awesome power. In the Gospels we also see that this great gift of pardoning sin is handed on to the Apostles. It is Christ who established the Sacraments and their minister. Regardless of needing a priest for Confession, it is Jesus who pardons the sin. The Priest is the instrument for Our Blessed Lord. Could God forgive by going directly to Him, yes; however, this is not the path He chose. In humility (a virtue), we Confess with the minister of the Church. This action of humility unites us to Christ on the Cross and then in HIs Resurrection.
In John 1:9 we hear, “If we confess our sins he (God) will be faithful and forgive.” God wants to forgive anything and everything, but we have to be willing to make use of this Sacrament. If you need help in the Confessional, Father is there to help you.
The minimal requirement of any Catholic is to make use of Confession once a year (CCC1457).
It is far more helpful, efficacious, and loving to go to Confession on a regular basis. Catholics who practice their Faith, are encouraged to make monthly use of the Confessional. The way to fight sin and encounter love is by using this Sacrament.
If it has been a long time....Just go! Do not be afraid, for God is anxiously waiting for you (Luke 15:11-32).
This is a prayer or prayers the Priest will ask you to say after Confession. The prayers of Penance are not a punishment. Although our sins are forgiven, by God through the Sacrament, the effects of our sin are still present in the world. The prayers are given for our Penance not as punishment, but as an attempt on our part to make up for the effects of our sins.
“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking Him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes” (Dan. 9:3).
“I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27).
Yes. So long as we do not intentionally (on purpose) avoid listing a known mortal sin of ours, all the sins are forgiven. This includes the sin that we accidentally forgot. When we go to Confession, the power of the Holy Spirit helps us. Romans 8:26 says, "...Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words." Christ conquers all.
“Confession is an act of honesty and courage – an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God.”
PRIOR to going to Confession, Catholics should do an examination. This prepares our souls, recollects the conscience, and ensures we make a holy Confession. It helps to formulate a lit of the sins to confess and be absolved of. ALL mortal sins need to be confessed.
Once the examination is completed, arrive early for Mass. This is a noble practice, especially if we are going to Confession. Locate the confessional and wait for the next turn. Then simply enter and begin the confession. It may help to take your examination & guide with you.
After confession, return to a pew. There, be sure to pray the penance that was assigned in the confessional. Penance comes after repentance. The penance prayer is asking for the Grace to make up any temporal punishment incurred because of sin.
Confessions in all SHC Parishes are heard 40/30 minutes prior to the Weekend Holy Mass.
One can also contact Father and easily set up a different time for Confession.
Pope Saint John Paul II
Make time for a good examination. It can help to make a list. We are only asked to confess mortal sin, however, confessing venial sin helps grow in accepting God's Grace. When making the Confession, try and list the sin with the number of times committed (generally). This clarifies for us personally, where we need to invite God in for greater healing. Be sure to recollect sins of omission too; what we were called to do and did not then go do.
All of us are called to serve God in various vocations, ways, and means. It is very beneficial to let Father know your state in life. This would include: age, marital status, kids living at home, work etc...
It will also help if we can recall (roughly) when the last time we went to Confession.
Be sure to Confess sin committed, and not someone else's sin. When we confess we convict ourselves and do not seek to blame others or situations. Excuses are just lies guarded. They have no role in a Confession. By owning the sins we have done, we can freely give them to Jesus and He will cleans us. Have no fear there. Father is not there to judge, but speak the words for healing and Absolution.
Just be clear and direct. Try and avoid sayings like, "I need to be more nice." This could imply everything from cussing someone out to physically attacking them. It is too hard for any spiritual advice to flow form this or for us to truly own the sin and so be free to give it to Jesus. We do not need to list names of others persons involved, if there were any, but be clear on the sin committed. Know that Jesus is there to forgive, not condemn in this Sacrament.
Father will ask you to pray an Act of Contrition. It helps to learn one, but do not panic or avoid Confession if one is not known. Acts of Confession are posted in all SHC Confessionals, are on the bottom of the examinations, and can even be made up by the penitent. Father is also happy to help if needed. DOn't be afraid to enlist his service, that is why he is there.
If you desire to be set free from the yoke of sin and enjoy the life of Grace, go to Confession. Go often. Jesus is waiting for you.
Repeat and frequent Confession helps us live in the freedom Jesus so desires for us (Gal.5:1).
Go and encounter Divine Love!
The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you,
not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
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