Saturday, October 07, 2006

"I don't have anything to confess"

"Once a month is recommended for confession! I don't have anything to confess that often." Last night, I had a great discussion about faith with several SAA parishioners. In particular, they had many questions about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. One of them asked how often we should go to Confession, and I said, ideally, it's once a month. Their response was very similar to the above comment made by one of our bloggers.

The first thing to point out is that in Confession (and all the Sacraments), we receive Sanctifying Grace which is a share in God's Life. We need this Grace in order to live a Christian life on Earth and, thus, enter the Kingdom of Heaven. So, the primary reason for going to Confession is to receive God's Grace. Even if a person is a very faithful follower of Christ and lives a life of virtue, he/she should go to this Sacrament regularly to be filled with Christ's Grace.

Secondly, I would challenge someone who says that they don't have anything to confess regularly to do a more thorough examination of conscience. For example, last night, the same person who made the comment of having little or nothing to confess was unaware that some things were sins - drunkness and gossip, for example. When we properly examine our consciences on a regular basis, we see that we commit many more sins on a daily basis than we are aware.

A good examination of conscience can help to shed light on how we have offended God or neighbor. Here are a sample of questions from "A Guide to Confession" of which I have many available copies:
Do I pray daily? Have I put faith in horoscopes? Have I received Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin? Have I used God's holy name irreverently? Have I deliberately come late or left early from (Sunday) Mass without a good reason? Do I honor and respect my parents? Have I led anyone to sin through bad example or through direct encouragement (to sin)? Have I deliberately viewed pornographic magazines, videos, or internet websites? Do I share what I have with the poor and the Church according to my means? Have I ruined the good name of others by spreading lies or maliciously revealing their faults and sins? Am I envious of the possessions, abilities, talents, beauty, or success of others?

The last question is under the 9th and 10th commandments, but it concerns one of the seven deadly sins: envy. We all struggle with these seven dangerous vices every day, to one extent or another. Examples of questions relating to the other six might be:

Pride - am I too proud or embarrassed to go to Confession?
Anger - have I been angry with God or someone else?
Sloth - have I been lazy in carrying out my responsibilities?
Gluttony - have I overindulged in food or drink?
Greed - do I have an attachment to money or possessions?
Lust - have I entertained and pursued impure sexual thoughts?

18 Comments:

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Kelly H. said...

FATHER G, Thanks for Holy Hour last night. Very Beautiful.

 
At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Kelly said...

The first thing to point out is that in Confession (and all the Sacraments), we receive Sanctifying Grace which is a share in God's Life. We need this Grace in order to live a Christian life on Earth and, thus, enter the Kingdom of Heaven. So, the primary reason for going to Confession is to receive God's Grace. Even if a person is a very faithful follower of Christ and lives a life of virtue, he/she should go to this Sacrament regularly to be filled with Christ's Grace.
-----------------------------

Amen! Having become a regular receiver of this Sacrament and have in the past been a regular, God's Grace will fill you to the brim. I look at it this way sin (especially mortal) does not allow Jesus to fully entire his human vessel - After confession, we are better prepared to love and serve HIM because we are filled with His Grace.

 
At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't horoscopes just a game? Not to be taken seriously? I mean its in the Washington Post.

 
At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horoscopes are often used to predict the future, advise people, among other things. Many people see them as "authority" from the supernatural realm. So this would be breaking the commandment " Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God. And have no other Gods before Him" Even if people see it as a harmless game, it is playing with fire. THe Holy Spirit lets us know when and what we need to know. Horoscopes make me laugh -:)

 
At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We read in the scriptures today “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Gn2:18). From the very beginning man is made for union with another. We understand that the very nature of God is a union, the Trinity. Made in His image and likeness we too are made for union. To be isolated and alone is a description of hell. Marriage is made to be the remedy for hell.

It is evident to me that marriage, the joining of two people in a bond of love with all that entails, especially the expression of the “two becoming one body” and given the vocation to participate in the act of creation, is the most beautiful gift and sign of God’s love to humanity. Marriage is a sacrament meaning it is a sign of God’s love for us, of Christ’s love for his body, the Church. Spouses also become a sign for each other. In loving each other, in giving of themselves to each other, in sacrificing and changing for each other, they are loving, giving and sacrificing for Christ. In loving each other they love God. Christ takes on flesh in the spouse. This is why Monsignor Giussani has said that every man at some point in his life, being aware of the mystery revealed before him in his wife, should fall on his knees in adoration of her.

Often, some estimates claim over 50% of marriages “fail”, this is not what married couples experience. Of course there are many reasons for this. People are not conscious of what marriage really means, or do not understand what love is. Today’s culture has succumbed to believing love is nothing more than mere instinct. Sex is seen as a right because it is instinctual. It is never at the service of something greater. In fact sex becomes the prerequisite of marriage rather than the gift given to each other because of the marriage.(I am so saddened by the fact that so many couples coming for marriage prep are living together.) Even in marriage ignorance of the true meaning of sex continues. The place where sex is supposed to be the completion and renewal of the marriage covenant - mutual self giving, it is an act of seeking pleasure from another. Consequently sex becomes isolating for one or both. For these people marriage becomes hell.

The answer is Christ. He came to destroy hell. Out of love, a spousal love, he died for us. We must be willing to die for those we love. Otherwise it is no love. Marriage can only be the place where two become one when both die to themselves and live for the other. It is a miracle but it is not unreachable. This is why we need the Eucharist. We need to let him impregnate us with his love so that we can love others. Sin separates us; Christ brings us together through his blood. We are made for union with another. This can only happen if we are at union with the Other, Christ.

God bless all you married couples and thank you for your witness of love.

 
At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the above awesome!

 
At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is goth? Why are more people getting into it and what is the church's position on it?

 
At 12:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon #4,

What a great detailed description of the familiar saying "marriage takes three." So many people do not understand marriage and have secular expectations. Without loving each other in a Christ like love, marriages can not with stand the inevitable struggles/problems in life. So sad to say, but most people are looking for marriage for their own satisfaction. Quite to the contrary, marriage is about sacrificial love for one another. It is not about giving 50/50, it is about giving 100/100 and centering married life on Christ. Sex in a loving marriage is about surrendering our complete selves to one another. It is called making love for that reason. Also being open to life is a sign that a marriage is Christ centered. Open to life...open to the blessing of many babies. Again, this must be centered on sacrifical love. I have a friend who has just had her 8th child, and she & her husband exemplify what God intended marriage to be.
God bless you for teaching about true marital love. It is truly a divine and precious gift.

 
At 3:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secondly, I would challenge someone who says that they don't have anything to confess regularly to do a more thorough examination of conscience.


I take the challenge in one month.

 
At 3:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really won't have ANYTHING to confess.

 
At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about things that the Church considers sins but which I really do not genuinely feel contrite about? For example, who do I hurt if I get drunk? Who do I hurt if I have lustful thoughts -isn't that natural? I feel phony confessing these things.

 
At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Searching For Holiness said...

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At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about coincedences in my life! Yesterday I decided to go to confession and at the last minute changed my mind. I then realized my keys were in my car! I called my auto insurance and waited. While waiting I decided to go to confession. Today I was all ready to go to Mass and at the last minute changed my mind and walked out. I hung around for a while and chattted with some people and then decided to head home. Yup, you guessed it, my keys were missing! I couldn't believe it! I looked in my car and was very relieved they weren't there but where were they? I then remembered they were in the library and as I ran to get them the bells rang signalling the 12:30 Mass. I decided to go after all. But talk about coincendence!

 
At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anon who writes about not feeling contrite over what the church considers sinful. Pray and read about the seven deadly sins. Lustful thoughts can lead to other things(edited for the g rated readers). Your body is a temple of The HOLY SPIRIT. So when u get drunk, you abuse that temple. Also drunkeness often leads to other sins, you are no longer in control of all your decision making processes. Drunkeness can lead you to other sins like fornication, drunk driving, riding with a drunk driver, saying things that you would not normally consider appropriate, for some people anger/violence/domestic abuse. Hangovers also do not make us cheerful servants of the Lord, generally speaking. Oh and back to the lustful thoughts, yes, it is natural to be attracted to the opposite sex. However, we must learn to control our thoughts, urges, and desires. The Holy SPirit gives us self control. If we followed all of "natural,"urges based on them being natural, well, let's just say that is not a good criteria for choices. Again g rated readers here. Sometimes it seems like a drag to talk about the things you are not "allowed," to do as follower of Christ. Then it is time to read about the gifts and fruits of the Holy SPirit.

 
At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tO ANON ASKING ABOUT GOTH-


GO TO A STORE CALLED HOT TOPIC(IN MOST MALLS) AND YOU WILL KNOW ALL ABOUT. IT IS DRESSING, PLAYING MUSIC, AND OTHER THINGS FROM THE DARK SIDE. THERE ARE ENTIRE CLIQUES OF TEENS INTO IT. MOST OUTGROW IT AFTER A YEAR OR TWO. PERSONALLY, IT GIVES ME THE CREEPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 11:11 PM, Anonymous searching for holiness said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a friend who was into Goth and never could understand why. Maybe I am just so different I don't need anything else to make my "mark".

Hey girl where have you been?

 
At 2:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still dont have the Act of Contrition memorized...

Me neither.

 

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