Due to the sin of our first parents,
Adam and Eve, sin entered into the world! One of the negative effects of sin is
darkness of the intellect and with this CONFUSION!!!
With the building of the tower of Babel
still more confusion pervaded the world at large! This time the confusion spread through an
actual “Confusion” of languages! Everybody began to speak but in a different
language resulting in extreme difficulty in understanding.
MORAL RELATIVISM. Today many decide to reject the moral
authority of the Church, the Magisterium and the Papacy; this leads to moral
relativism and still more confusion.
In this short essay we would like to
respond to another crisis—the crisis of the loss of the sense of sin, the
failure of the formation of the conscience and the huge drop off in the
reception of the Sacrament of Confession.
An immortal saying of Pope Pius XII, so applicable today is “The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin.” Let us launch into our defense of
TYPICAL OBJECTIONS LAUNCHED AGAINST
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION!
“ It is a man-made invention. Where is it in
the Bible!” Wrong! It is not a man-made invention! Rather, Jesus, the Son of God and Divine
Healer instituted this marvelous Sacrament. Read Jn. 20:21-23. Jesus breathes on the Apostles the Holy
Spirit and says: “Whose sins you forgive they will be forgiven; whose sins you
bind will be held bound.” Jesus
forgives but through the person or minister of the priest.
“ I always confess the same thing. “ Maybe this is true, but thanks be to God you
are not committing other sins. In
Sacramental theology there is a key element that must be understood to receive
the Sacraments efficaciously. This is
called “Dispositive grace”. This means
the better the disposition the more open the soul is to God’s graces. Maybe you confess the same sins but with less gravity and less
frequency! Bravo! There is improvement. This is called the Principle of
Graduality—gradually, with the help of God’s grace, the gravity or the
seriousness of the sin is diminished as well as the number of times is
less. The Italians have a saying: “Roma no fue fatto en un giorno.” Rome was not built in one day and we cannot
become saints overnight! Many want a “Micro-wave” spirituality—to become saints
in the same time it takes to boil water in the Micro-wave oven. Not that easy, my friend!
“The priest does not understand me.” The priest acts in the person of
Christ. He has received the Sacrament of
Holy Orders. He is the Doctor of the soul. Once Saint Faustina left the
confessional in a state of confusion. Jesus revealed to her that she failed to
pray for the priest before entering the confessional. Get in the habit of
praying for the priest—maybe even his Guardian angel—before entering the
confessional. The confession will flow
“ I forget my sins; my memory goes
blank.” You are neither the first nor
the last that this has happened to!
However, here is a helpful tip!
Write down the sins on a sheet of paper as a memory aid! No way to forget if this is done!
“ I get tongue-tied.” Pray to the
Holy Spirit. At Pentecost he was able to
untie the tongue-tied Apostles—especially Peter who denied Him three
times. The Holy Spirit inspires us with
honesty, sincerity and the ability to express our inner thoughts and of course
“ ASHAMED!” You were not ashamed to commit the sin. It is interesting how the devil works to
block our salvation and the flow of grace.
When we sin, the devil takes all of our shame away. However, when we
must confess the sin, the devil can fill us with so much shame that we are
paralyzed! Beg the Lord for interior
“PRIEST IS A TATTLE TALE!” Not true!
On the contrary, the priest has a very serious obligation to maintain
what is called the “Seal of the
Confessional”. In concrete this
means that the priest can never—even to the point of surrendering his
life—reveal the sins that are confessed in the Confessional. In the history of the church, priests have
actually died as martyrs to defend the seal of the confessional. One of the most famous saints is SAINT JOHN
“ TOMORROW!!!” One of the most common victories of the devil
is to convince us that we have a long life and that we can always put it off
until tomorrow! If your house were
burning down, would you wait? If your child accidently took poison, would you
wait till tomorrow? If you stepped on a
rusty nail, would you wait to have it extracted? To all of these questions, a
blunt no! These demand a quick and
immediate response, if not serious consequences might follow, even death! If we commit a mortal sin, we should seek to
reconcile ourselves with God as soon as possible. Blessed Pope John Paul II
calls mortal sin, “Moral suicide”. We should not play “Russian Roulette” with
the salvation of our soul. We have one life to live and one soul to save. This
is our primary and principal goal in life—to save our soul!
“I do not know the Commandments!” The success of a good confession depends on
prior preparation. You might even say
that ninety percent of making a good confession is the preparation made even
before entering into the confessional.
Find a good booklet as a help to examine your conscience with a clear
explanation of the Ten Commandments. Recently I published a rather lengthy but
clear explanation of the Ten Commandments. Check out my blog!
10. “ I always forget the
basic steps to make a good confession!”
Well, try to memorize them, they are short and easy to memorize! Here
Examination of Conscience.
Contrition for the sins.
Firm Purpose of Amendment.
Confession of sins to the priest.
Carry out the penance.
We have responded to ten of the basic
objections to making a good confession. As a means of encouragement we will
list ten awesome fruits of a good confession. These fruits are available for
your picking and gathering in!
FRIENDSHIP WITH JESUS. Mortal sin ruptures the friendship with
Jesus, but confession restores it!
SANCTIFYING GRACE INCREASES! Related to friendship with Jesus is the
growth of sanctifying grace every time we make a good confession!
HUMILITY. Confession demands humility of heart. Jesus
loves the truly humble of heart.
SHIELD FROM THE DEVIL. The devil is constantly attacking us with
temptations, like fiery darts.
Confession serves as a shield of protection against the wiles and
attacks of the devil.
PREVENTIVE MEDICINE. Even if one confesses venial sins this serves
as spiritual medicine to prevent future sicknesses. Indeed sin is infirmity of
HEALING GRACE. The specific sacramental grace of the Holy
Eucharist is spiritual nourishment. In confession, the sacramental grace is
healing of the sick soul! Jesus came to heal the lepers of body and soul!
FERVENT COMMUNIONS. St. Ignatius states that there is an intimate
connection between Confession and Holy Communion. Confession purifies the soul to be more
receptive to receiving Jesus with greater purity of heart and greater love.
PEACE OF SOUL.
Sin robs us of our interior peace of soul. Confessions well-made restore
peace to our souls. Indeed we can be a
living “Shalom”—Peace be to you!
SELF-KNOWLEDGE. Being honest with the confessor, listening
attentively and seeking advice all serve to help the sincere penitent to grow
in self-knowledge. In the spiritual life self-knowledge is indispensable to
grow in holiness of life!
10.HEAVEN. Frequent confession frees us from sin,
liberates us from vices, forms in us permanent attitude of humility and
contrition and repentance. With this
disposition of soul God is very pleased and will be ready to welcome us home
like the Prodigal son.