The Secrets Of Sacramental Confession Revealed
By: Augustine Mario
Before celebrating the Sacrament of Penance, one should prepare oneself with an examination of conscience, which involves reflecting prayerfully on one’s thoughts, words, and deeds in order to identify any sins. There are various types of examinations of conscience but regardless of which one you use to prepare yourself for the Sacrament it should be rooted in Scripture; particularly, the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes.
I’ve been sitting in the confessional in a parish where I’m filling in for 50 minutes now. Not one penitent. The door is open the available light is on. – From a Catholic Priest.
I hear sharply the criticism from people that priests aren’t available enough for confession. Perhaps this is a reason. Both the lack of availability of priests and the lack of penitents are a symptom of what Pope Pius XII called back in 1950 *“the loss of the sense of sin.”*
People don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. The Ten Commandments are outdated. They say mistakenly “Everybody goes to heaven, to the same place, a better place. You can presume that God forgives you.”
Yet this is not compassion it is a loss of morality, a dead conscience. If you have knowingly violated one of the Ten Commandments you are in mortal sin and need to repent.
Confession is the ordinary means Jesus gave the Church to do this. He wished us to receive his own forgiveness through this very human encounter with a priest *because when you repent of your sins out loud before another human person you are only then really owning up to them, it neutralizes the shame, you immediately feel unburdened, and grace is given by the invisible God who also receives your confession through the visible minister.*
Grace is given as Jesus promised;
*“whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven”.* So you hear his voice through the priest say, *“I absolve you.”* Then you know without a shadow of a doubt that you are forgiven.
As the weekend approaches maybe we can find time like Pope Francis to receive the Sacrament of mercy. Consider going to Confession this weekend as a way to help you continue this 40 day journey of mercy.
Repent! Go to confession.