“Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.“
– Jesus to Sr. Faustina from the ‘Divine Mercy’.
What is Confession?
Confession or the Sacrament of Reconciliation is really a sacrament of healing. All of us are sinners and we carry around so much ‘baggage’ from our past. Confession is about letting go of this ‘baggage’. It doesn’t matter how big or bad our sin is – Jesus can and wants to forgive our sin if we come to Him truly sorry for what we have done.
His mercy is ALWAYS greater than our sin.
Perhaps your marriage has broken down? Perhaps you have an addiction? Perhaps you had an abortion? Or maybe you have just drifted away from and ignored God for many years? It doesn’t matter – whatever it is, Jesus is waiting for you to come back to Him. He wants to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start, and draw you closer to His love.
Think of it like clearing out your cupboards: once you have got rid of all the junk, you have space to receive all of the good things (graces) that God so wants to give you. But you can only receive the grace, once you have the space!
Fr. Sam Explains Confession…
Most confessionals have the option of kneeling behind a screen, or sitting face to face with the priest (at his discretion). It totally up to you – choose which option you are both most comfortable with.
1. Once you come in you say “Forgive me, Father, I have sinned. It has been (however long) since I have been to confession.” Don’t be embarrassed. If it’s been 12 years then fantastic! You are here now–that’s the important part.
2. Now you tell the priest your sins. Remember, say ALL your sins – you are not going to be told off or laughed at. The priest is there representing Jesus. Jesus wants to take all your sins away and wipe the slate clean.
3. Then you will be asked to say an Act of Contrition: “Dear God, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you, and by the help of your grace I will not sin again.”
4. The priest then may say some words, give you guidance and finally, the best part, the words of absolution: “God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
5. The priest will then give you some sort of penance. This may be a prayer like the Our Father or Hail Mary or perhaps to read a line of scripture.
There you are done!!! There is nothing like a clean slate.
Real life testimonials…
“…I had lived and worked in a secular environment for about 25 years and had picked up the habit of rationalizing my every sin. I often noticed sin in others, but had a really hard time recognising it in myself. I had never been called to examine my conscience as an adult. Modern society has lost its sense of sin, and I was one of those people. It was much easier to make excuses for myself than to look at myself honestly. It just got to the point where I felt the secular world was not offering me anything anymore – like something was missing. I felt it was the right time in my life to come back to God – like coming home. I went to see my priest who helped me make an examination of conscience. After this I felt confident and ready to make my first confession in over 25 years…”
Dan, age 46.
“…There was something that happened in my early 20’s that I had been carrying with me my whole adult life. At the time I felt too ashamed to tell anyone and I just tried to put it out of my mind. But it got to the point in my life where I began to understand more about Jesus’ love for me and His message of mercy and forgiveness. I wanted to go to confession for a long time but was too scared. When I stepped into the confessional, I asked the priest if he would help me as I had completely forgotten what to do! He was really patient and kind and took me through it step by step. When he absolved me it was like a weight being lifted off me – I felt my pain finally starting to go away…”
Amy, age 33.
Thought for the Week: WHY CARRY THIS BAGGAGE ANY LONGER?…
Have mercy on me – a sinner. Help me find the courage to make a good confession this week.
Thank You, I love You Jesus. Amen.
Download this newsletter to use in your school or parish: Confession.doc Confession.pdf