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Confession is a vastly powerful but underutilized Sacrament March 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery.

There are so many reasons to go to Confession.  To reconcile ourselves to God and Church, to get back into the life of Sacramental Grace that flows into a soul in a state of friendship with God, to find and weed out our faults and failings, and as a penitential offering for those who do not make use of this Sacrament.  Each Confession benefits the whole Church:

The way to receive Confession

The greatest tragedy in any man’s life is sin, because the result of sin is a far-reaching disorder which starts in the very centre of his being and spreads outward to affect all those around him. In the Sacrament of Penance Our Lord sorts out all those misplaced elements; in addition to pardoning the sins, he restores to the soul its lost order and harmony.

A well-made confession brings much good to all those who live and work with us. What is more, it is of benefit to very many other people with whom we come into contact in the course of the day. The grace that we receive in this sacrament means that we say and do everything in a very different way.

Not only that, but when a Christian goes to Confession, the whole Church receives an incalculable benefit. Every time a priest pronounces the words of absolution, she [the Church – ED] rejoices and is mysteriously enriched, because every Confession, through the Communion of Saints, sends blessings which resound through the whole Mystical Body of Christ.

In the intimate life of the Church – whose cornerstone is Christ – every member supports all the others his good works and merits, and is at the same time supported by them. We all need to be, and in fact we all are, continually receiving a share of the spiritual benefits which are common to us all. Our own merits are helping our fellow men in every part of the world. In the same way sin, lukewarmness, venial sins and self -satisfied mediocri­ty weigh down every member of the pilgrim Church: If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

This is the other aspect of that solidarity which, on the religious level, is developed in the profound and magnifi­cent mystery of the ‘Communion of Saints’, thanks to which it has been possible to say that ‘every soul that rises above itself raises up the world’. To this ‘law of ascent’ there unfortunately corresponds the ‘law of descent’. Con­sequently one can speak of a ‘communion of sin’, whereby a soul that lowers itself through sin drags down with itself the Church and, in some way, the whole world. In other words there is no sin, not even the most intimate and secret one, that exclusively concerns the person committing it. With greater or lesser violence, with greater or lesser harm, every sin has repercussions on the entire ecclesial body and on the whole human family.

That is a beautiful reflection on the Sacrament of Penance from the Franciscans of the Immaculate.   It is precisely for the reasons stated above that I beg, implore, and agitate for more Confession time in all our parishes!  “If you build it, they will come.”  My experience has been that adding more time for Confession will lead to more people availing themselves of that great Sacrament.  I know one local parish that has greatly increased their Confession time – they have 12+ man-hours of Confession per week (4 hours x 3 priests), and there are lines present all throughout that time, now.  Many more souls are reconciled to God due to the emphasis that is placed on this Sacrament.  And emphasis it is, because when a parish has more time for Confession, that communicates to the faithful in ways subtle and direct that the priest/pastor places a high emphasis on this pentitential Rite.  What a great blessing!

In times past, most parishes would have Confession time every day.  It was also common to see Confession offered during Mass – such was the emphasis on this very necessary Sacrament that priests not celebrating the Mass would be in the Confessional, allowing souls to be in a worthy state to receive Communion.  I pray every day that we will see much more emphasis on Confession in our local parishes.  It is sad to know that many Catholics have not been to Confession in years, and are in all likelihood receiving the Blessed Sacrament unworthily……”eating and drinking comdemnation on themselves.”

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