You and I are going to die someday. We don’t know when. When we die we will be judged. Scripture teaches, and Christ’s own words and actions make clear, that there are some sins bad enough to kill the life of grace in the soul and sever you from friendship with God.
He who die in that state will be eternally separated from God.
If you think about that – eternal separation from God – which doesn’t immediately sound that bad, it will run, so be humble in the confessional, get yourself the pardon of sins through priest, that´s why confesses every mortal sin in kind and number you can think of, Jesus pardons all kind of sins…. because… you one day will die.
Jesus Christ Himself gave His own power to forgive sins to bishops and priests as the ordinary means for forgiveness of post-baptismal mortal sins. Christ’s power is exercised in the Sacrament of Penance.
One of the most difficult proofs in all times is that of the ability to confess our sins to a duly authorized priest, as the Catholic Catechism tells us to do. The loss this ability is harmful for our soul. The loss of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is indeed a great loss, all merits of Jesus are in the Mass and are for our benefit. However, the loss of the ability to go to Confession in some ways is worse for us. This loss is worse for us, because we are not forced to take time to examine our conscience and then proceed into a Confessional and honestly tell our sins to another man, the priest God has sent to hear our confession.
If anyone who has had the misfortune to sin seriously, if wants to save your soul, have no choice but to confess himself for that his sin be forgave.
It is true that with a true repent, the act of perfect contrition, can regain state grace, but for this we must have, in addition, the firm purpose to confess the committed sins before a priest, even though they are already forgiven, so Jesus wanted to subdue to the sacrament of confession all grave sins.
By the will of Christ, the Church has the power to forgive the sins of the baptized and exercises it in the usual manner in the sacrament of penance through the bishops and priests. This sacrament is also called Reconciliation, therefore reconciles us with God and the Christian community which is separated the sinner vitally, losing the grace because of the grave sin.
"Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, and by prayer labors for their conversion."
Do not lives in sin ever. If you have the misfortune to fall that same day make an act of perfect contrition, and then confess as soon as possible. Do not leave it for later.
He who confesses often his sins, it not because he has many sins, but for not have them. He who is washed from time to time, will be dirtier than he who is washed often.
WHY IS CALLED SACRAMENT?
It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by fault of sin.
It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.
It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.
It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest's sacramental absolution God grants the penitent "pardon and peace."
It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the live of God who reconciles: "Be reconciled to God." He who lives by God's merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord's call: "Go; first be reconciled to your brother."
HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO CONFESS?
The Commandment of the Catholic Church requires us to confess once a year. However, this commandment in some churches its fulfillment is impossible, lacks priests, there are few priests, and each time there are less.
And yet, are we obliged to do nothing?
Yes, we are obliged to pray the Lord, who sends more Holy priests.
People increasingly less want to be a priest, they do not want to sacrifice his life, the priesthood requires a lot of commitment, a life dedicated totally to God.
Purity is one of the biggest obstacles to continue as a priest.
The man who does not dominate your body is impossible to be a priest.
It is better to marry and love God as consecrated layman, rather than to be a priest who has not mastered his passions, giving very bad example.
THE MISFORTUNE OF SIN
All who have committed a mortal sin are obliged to repent of that sin and ask God for forgiveness if want to be pardoned.
This is ordinarily done through the Sacrament of Confession, but we are instructed in the Catechism that we should repent at once and make an Act of Perfect Contrition with the resolution to go to Confession as soon as humanly possible. This repentance is required of us a proof of will and faith, if we cannot go immediately to Confession, we are obliged to do it from the moment we sinned or as soon as possible.
Pious Catholics were in the habit of going to confession fortnightly. In fact, in order to fulfill the usual conditions to gain an indulgence, one must go to Confession once every two weeks. Canon Law requires preparation to go to confession once a week, and encourages the clergy to go frequently.
The habit of weekly Confession by the laity has been praised by the Saints and other spiritual authors. We should look at the Laws of the Church as a bare minimum and exceed them.
The question arises, how can we fulfill our part and the spirit that the Church ordering, when we cannot fulfill in confessing once a week?
We would like to encourage all to adopt the practice of a weekly formal spiritual confession, without omitting no one sin, which is absolutely impossible, obtain the pardon in Confession. Everybody commit sins at any time.
That is why as part of this, We would like to encourage all to pray for a confession very well prepared, since one part very important of the Perfect Act of Contrition is a resolution of going to the Sacrament of Confession as soon as possible with a good predisposition.
Separately people can prepare, and take the custom of the Sacramental Confession to enable us to make a weekly Spiritual Confession.
Let us go to the Catechism: What must we do to receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily? To receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily we must do five things:
1. We must examine our conscience.
2. We must have sorrow for our sins.
3. We must make a firm resolution never more to offend God.
4. We must confess our sins to the priest.
5. We must accept the penance which the priest gives us.
There are five parts to the Sacrament of Confession. The first three are always possible and indeed essential to our salvation.
The Confession can be impossible for some people, sometimes even where there is no priests available all the time . We must be prepared doing some extra penance, is so good for our soul the fasting and abstaining.
Yes, our penance must go further and be aimed at correcting and asking atoning for our faults. We recommend study the Catechism and read from pious books that give us advice on how to go to Confession. To this We will add some additional thoughts.
We would like to recommend that all heed Saint Alphonsus’ advice to make a retreat once in their life in order to give up sin. Part of this will be a more thorough spiritual confession, a spiritual general confession. This is a good preparation for beginning or renewing the habit of weekly Spiritual Confession.
We have provided instructions and advice on how to accomplish this elsewhere. What follows are some observations in addition to the basics in the Catechism and prayer books.
EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
Spiritual authors recommend an examination of conscience every night immediately before going to bed. Now this is much simpler and different than the examination we make prior to going to Confession.
In preparing for Confession we examine our conscience looking back to the time of our last Confession. In fact, when we enter the Confessional, we mention that it has been a week or whatever since our last Confession.
In this practice, let us examine back to our last Spiritual Confession. The proper matter for Confession is sin. It is essential to confess each and every mortal sin, so we must be very careful in this regard.
While examining our conscience,let us also look at the occasions of our sins and consider how we can eliminate these from our life. We can look at our habitual sins, and take one and begin applying the remedies.
Rationalization is a defense mechanism consisting justify the actions (usually the own person) so as to avoid the responsibility ... Rationalise: a way to ensure the fall into sin.
Rationalization is the attempt to search an excuse our sin, because of some circumstance, which lessens or even carries totally to excuse the sin. "There is no excuse for sin", and rationalization is a very bad habit to begin to commit sin. Begining with venial sins and ending in mortal sins. Let us be honest, especially with ourselves. It is this lack of honesty, which leads so many souls to hell. Let us look at our reason, and then let us put it to the test. If I always to an honest friend give him all kind of excuses: would he accept me get away each time with different excuses?
Let us think now in God.
If I told this directly to Almighty God, would He accept each time my excuses?
Most likely He would not, so we should not either. Remember our goal here is to discover our sins and then resolve the way to go to not sin any more.
He who wishes to let of sin must pray a lot asking God's help, because alone he will never be able let to sin.
SORROW OF SINS
In the Act of Perfect Contrition, we must be sorry for our sins, because they are an offense against Almighty God. Saint Alphonsus says: An act of contrition and of love makes us friends of God. And Saint Thomas Aquinas advises us: But when there is reason for urgency, the penitent should fulfill his own part, by being contrite.
Let us read from the Catechism: When will perfect contrition obtain pardon for mortal sin without the Sacrament of confession? Perfect contrition will obtain pardon for mortal sin without the Sacrament of confession when we can not go to confession for any reason justifiable. But with the perfect contrition we must have the intention of going to confession as soon as possible.
And in the following question: What is perfect contrition?
Perfect contrition is that which fills us with sorrow and hatred for sin, because it offends God, who is infinitely good in Himself and worthy of all love. We must meditate on the results of sin.
Jesus suffered and died on the Cross,because of my sins! The Saints tell us to meditate often on the Passion of our Lord JesusChrist.
And let us also consider that at the Agony in the Garden, Jesus saw my sins! And He sweat blood! Let us excite in ourself true contrition for our sins, try to avoid and do everything possible for not to sin!
GO NOW AND SIN NO MORE
Our sorrow for our sin cannot be genuine, if we do not have the firm purpose of amending our lives, as the Catechism tells us.
If we have the habit of committing adultery, if we are going to go out with our significant other again next weekend, then we have no firm purpose of amendment.
If we have the habit of anger, but do not work to eliminate it, then we have no firm purpose of amendment.
If we are lazy and do not fulfill our duties or do not even know them, then we have no firm purpose of amendment.
There are several wonderful books, that address the various habits of sin, including our own pet sin. And yes, we all have a tendency to commit one or more sin, rather than another, and this is where we need to go to work.
The Sinners Guide is one such book, asis The Spiritual Combat.
Let us read in the Catechism and elsewhere on what remedies we need to take for our own sins. This will make good spiritual reading throughout the week until our next Spiritual Confession, when we can examine how successful we were and can determine what further resolutions we need to make.
We have discussed the modern habit of Rationalization. We should also considersome of the sins people are more likely to commit today.
The Examination of Conscience in the prayers is a simple generic one. Also we all have a certain sin or certain sins, which are our sting of the flesh.
And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me.
We all have a weakness in one area where we must apply special effort to overcome our sins. To do this, we need to study the remedy for our sin(s), pray for God’s assistance and then apply the remedy.
As St. Augustine says a bad habit brings on a certain necessity (i.e. addiction) And according to St. Bernadine, evil habits are changed into our nature.
Hence, as it is necessary for a man to breathe, so it appears that habitual sinners become slaves of sin and bring themselves into a necessity of falling into sin.
I have said that they become slaves of sin....
Let us identify our habits of sin, which are our favorite sin.
KEEP HOLY THE SUNDAY DAY
Because we currently many of us cannot assist at Mass due to sickness, for working or other matters. How many of us remember the Third Commandment, which is strengthened by the Commandment of the Church. We have specifically requested Catholics to make a Holy Hour on each Holyday of Obligation. Yes, make a Holy Hour if can not assist to the Mass.
Be by work, illness or other matter. In Holy Hour we must remember the sorrow, the pasion and death of the Lord Jesus.
And how many of us totally ignores the Ascension, Assumption, All Saints and the Immaculate Conception and also Christmas if the day falls during the work week.
If we own a business or are self-employed, to work on these days is a mortal sin, unless such is absolutly necessary. And how many of us stretch necessity too far?
The Lady appeared in Fatima to decry the misuse of the Lord’s Day, Sunday, as if it were not important to praise, exalt and consecrate to the worship of Almighty God!
Many parents today totally neglect their duties to their children, and such is criminal. In a short instruction such as this it is impossible to discuss this fully. All of us should take some time, during our retreat to write down all of our duties to God, our fellow man and ourself. Parents should be especially careful to learn their duties, for this fails is lose Heaven!
EAT TO LIVE AND NOT LIVE TO EAT
How many today indulge themselves and their appetites beyond all reason.
To bring on ill health through eating or drinking, this way of act is a sin.
We don´t respect our health. We are required to take the ordinary means to preserve our body and health, and what is more ordinary than regulating what and how much we eat and drink?
THOU SHALT NOT OMIT ADULTERY
Of course this is not the Commandment: and but this is the maxim of the world today. Everybody seems forget that God says: Thou shalt not commit adultery this is the commandment we must fullfil.
How many are extremely permissive in this regard. Do we not remember that every deliberate sin against the sixth and ninth commandments is a mortal sin?
And how many of us cooperate by tolerating the lustful actions of our relatives, friends, neighbours, rather than shunning them when they live obviously in a habitual state of mortal sin by living with a significant other. This is a habitual state of many persons living without get marriage, they are in permanently state of sin.
DETRACTION AND CALUMNY
Indeed, these are two sins which are all too common today. And it is not enough to be pure in our own speech and avoid these detestable vices. We must also avoid listening to such things. And today there are several new ways to commit these sins, that is by way of the internet, television and radio.
Just as it is a sin to look at impure movies, sexually stimulating the mind, television, read provocative magazines etc. It is a sin to look at detractive or calumnious television or websites, etc.
Certain programs must be avoided altogether, because this is their main purpose is to scandalize by mean of the bad example of live of celebrities.
Sloth or laziness has become so easy today. How many are busy about the wrong things, as Goffine (Priest and writer. 1648 -1719) says?
Instead of doing their duty to God and their families, they are busy surfing the net or the channels. They are seeking information they think they need,when in fact they are neglecting their solemn duties. Sloth has become pandemic in these days.
THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE CHURCH
We are obliged under the Third Commandment to sanctify the Holydays of Obligation, and this includes those, which are more difficult due to neo-paganism, which requires many to work on these holydays. Pope Pius IX reminded us of our solemn duty to do penance. In fact, the whole purpose of this instruction is to encourage all to adopt the practice of weekly spiritual confession. Part of this practice includes taking on penance. We cannot act as if the Church laws are impossible to fulfill, and we are absolved from all obligation.
We must also remember that Catholics are known by their observances of the Laws of the Church. We must remember to everybody that is a good practice to abstain from meat on all Fridays and offer it by the conversion of sinners or by the health of sick or by some person in need.
The laws of fast and abstinence retain their full force, and we should be most zealous in their observance and even exceed them in some respects.
Leonard Goffine states:"Fasting is no new invention, as many imagine", writes the Father of the Church, Basil the Great, "it is a precious treasure, which our forefathers preserved long before our days, and have handed down to us." …
St. Basil, writes: "honor ever the ancient practice of fasting, for it is as old us the creation of man. We must fast if we would return to paradise from which gluttony expelled us." … to wish to feel no aggravation in fasting, is to wish not to fast at all." Put it in practice.
A FINAL THOUGHT ON SIN
Three-quarters of those who are Christians labor for nothing but to satisfy this body, which will soon be buried and corrupted, while they do not give a thought to their pour soul, which must be happy or miserable for all eternity. Thy have neither sense nor reason: it makes one tremble. (Saint John Vianney)
True We have not covered all of the sins of the world. For this, We advise studying the Catechism and asking questions if guidance is necessary.
Penance is a part of life of Church. Many times priest give us a brief penance prescribed by the Laws of the Church. However, when we go to Confession we receive a penance from the Confessor. It is an obligation fulfill it totaly to obtain pardon.
This is the final part of Confession, doing penance. Do not forget to fulfill it.
If we do not have a priest to confess, let us consider some way we can prescribe a penance for ourself. i.e. Saint Joseph Cafasso, The Priest, the Man of God said: that is all very well, someone who cannot go so often to church, because, lives too far away from another priest, or do not have a priest to confess, searches a penance by oneself.
It willingly admits that there are difficulties, but whatever the difficulties or obstacles may be, confession should not be deferred for longer than a month; and so, cost whatever it may, a priest should confess once or twice a month.
In the second place, if a priest cannot confess every week, you must at least have the desire and will to do so, as soon as possible; in order to keep this desire alive and sincere. I suggest the following means: let the priest arrange to perform some pious exercise during that week in which he cannot make his weekly confession, a useful exercise, and one that will cost him something; such an exercise might be, for example, a day's fast or an abstinence, a Holy Hour the giving up of some excursion or amusement, especially for one who is accustomed to attend parties.
Before going through Saint Joseph Cafasso’s advice, let us recall that some public sins were punished by public penance. The Cure of Ars informs us: During the whole time of penance they had to keep away from all public functions and ceremonies, and had to live in retirement, to live on bread and water several days each week, and to give alms, all of these being means to give satisfaction to Divine justice.
He also reminds us of the penances prescribed for various public sins: For working on Sundays they had to live on bread and water for three days; for unnecessary traveling on Sundays, seven days and so forth.
If any one omitted fasting for one day during Lent, he had to fast for seven days. And at times public penance lasted for years prior to absolution!
During the seventh century Irish missionaries, inspired by the Eastern monastic tradition, took to continental Europe the "private" practice of penance, which does not require public and prolonged completion of penitential works before reconciliation with the Church.
From that time on, the sacrament has been performed in secret between penitent and priest. This new practice envisioned the possibility of repetition and so opened the way to a regular frequenting of this sacrament. It allowed the forgiveness of grave sins and venial sins to be integrated into one sacramental celebration.
In its main lines this is the form of penance that the Church has practiced down to our day.
Beneath the changes in discipline and celebration that this sacrament has undergone over the centuries, the same fundamental structure is to be discerned. It comprises two equally essential elements: on the one hand, the acts of the man who undergoes conversion through the action of the Holy Spirit: namely, contrition, confession, and satisfaction; on the other, God's action through the intervention of the Church. The Church, who through the bishop and his priests forgives sins in the name of Jesus Christ and determines the manner of satisfaction, also prays for the sinner and does penance with him. Thus the sinner is healed and re-established in ecclesial communion.
Thanks God the Church changed rules and the public penance was abolished and the modern penance brought the reconciliation easier.
Today it is a simple matter to go to Confession and be absolved. Unless the Divine or Ecclesiastical Law obliges restitution, nothing more is expected beyond the small penance prescribed by the Confessor.
1. A day’s fast or abstinence. How many of us over indulge our appetite and should consider curbing it somewhat?
2. A Holy Hour. Indeed, all of us would benefit by improving our prayer life. Reread the Cathechism of Catholic Church searches information about it.
3. We should approach the confession with joy. Immediately after our spiritual confession we should say some prayers, at least the Pater, Ave and Gloria Patri.
Jesus' call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, but fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.
Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one's life, with hope in God's mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of heart).
The human heart is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart. Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him: "Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored!" God gives us the strength to begin anew. It is in discovering the greatness of God's love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him by all eternity. The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced.
Let us fix our eyes on Christ's blood and understand how precious it is to his Father, for, poured out for our salvation it has brought to the whole world the grace of repentance.
Since Easter, the Holy Spirit has proved "the world wrong about sin," i.e., proved that the world has not believed in him whom the Father has sent. But this same Spirit who brings sin to light is also the Consoler who gives the human heart grace for repentance and conversion.
SPIRITUAL BENEFIT THAT OFFERS THE PENANCE
1° - Deletes mortal sins, venial sins, the sins of omission in repentance.
2 - Restores the spiritual merits that we have achieved through the merits of Jesus on the cross and the right to go to heaven as the children of God, with all its benefits for all eternity.
3 - Gives or increases in which performing the penance habitual grace of love for God, for neighbour and for the things of God.
4 - Gives current spiritual graces to avoid sins confessed, and not to commit them again. Has greater eficia in people who show much effort not to sin again, avoiding all occasions of sin, and above all fleeing of the sin places and the occasion of to sin.
The penance as a virtue differs of the sacrament as follows:
1 - The virtue of penance was necessary at all times for obtain the forgiveness of sins, the sacrament is not necessary, except after their institution by our Lord Jesus and not produced its effect but respect of sins committed after baptism.
2 - The virtue of penance is but a part of the sacrament of penance which also includes the confession of the penitent and the priest's absolution.
3 - The virtue of penance can exist without the sacrament, but the sacrament can not exist without the virtue of penance.
It is necessary to stress the divine institution of the sacrament of penance and remain in the Church of power granted by Jesus to the apostles. The reason is clear, since Jesus instituted the sacraments for all human beings and for all times until the end of the world.
WE MUST NOT COOPERATE WITH SIN
There are nine ways to cooperate in the sin of another:
1°- Bad counsel: always ends wrong and harms someone.
2°- Command: he who commands knowing that is wrong commits a grave sin.
3°- Consent: he who consents commits the same crime.
4°- Provocation: he who provokes commit a grave sin.
5°- Praise or flattery of evil: both sins comes from satan.
6°- Concealment: he who help to the conceal makes accomplice of evil.
7°- Partaking: he who partakes of evil commited deserves a hard punishment.
8°- Silence: he who keeps silence and no says the true it is accomplice of evil.
9°- Or defense of the ill-done. he who defend of wickedness commits a grave sin.
Let us be zealous not only to avoid sin in our own lives, but not to cooperate in the sins of others.
Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God's forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
ONLY GOD FORGIVES SIN
Only God forgives sins. Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, "The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" and exercises this divine power: "Your sins are forgiven." Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name.
Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action his whole Church should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that he acquired for us at the price of his blood. But he entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the "ministry of reconciliation."
The apostle is sent out "on behalf of Christ" with "God making his appeal" through him and pleading: "Be reconciled to God."
THE MANY FORMS OF PENANCE IN CHRISTIAN LIFE
The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms:
fasting, prayer, and almsgiving which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others. Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins:
effort at reconciliation with one's neighbor,
tears of repentance,
concern for the salvation of one's neighbor praying for whole world,
the intercession of the saints,
and the practice of charity in spiritual or corporal way "which covers a multitude of sins."
Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation,
concern for the poor,
the exercise and defense of justice and right,
by the admission of faults to one's brethren,
revision of life,
examination of conscience,
acceptance of suffering,
endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness.
Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance.
Eucharist and Penance.
Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. "It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins."
Reading Sacred Scripture, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Our Father - every sincere act of worship or devotion revives the spirit of conversion and repentance within us and contributes to the forgiveness of our sins.
The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year, (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing to our brethren (charitable and missionary works).
TWUENTY SPIRITUAL TIPS FOR A BETTER LIFE.
1. Make a Rule of Life, be persevering.
2. Weekly Examination of Conscience.
3. Fulfill daily duty and obligations.
4. Morning prayers first thing in the morning. Greets God, Jesus, Lady or Saints.
5. Night prayers with examination of conscience followed by inner silence.
6. Practice of the three Hail Marys daily.
7. Daily Spiritual Communion or at least once a week.
8. Daily Meditation of Bible. Half an hour at least.
9. Daily Reading of Saints or some Spiritual reading.
10. Daily Acts of Faith, Hope, Charity and Contrition. Helps brothers in need.
11. Prayer before and after any meals.
12. Sanctify the Lord’s Day. Attends Mass on Sundays.
13. Study the Catechism of the Catholic Church weekly.
14. Weekly Holy Hour, in reparation sins of whole world and conversion of sinners.
15. Regulate our use of time. Do not waste the time in vanities.
16. Retire to solitude and thinks in God and blessed of Heaven.
17. Make a Retreat, once a month if is it possible.
18. Catholic Action, join and have friendships catholics.
19. Monthly Day of Fasting and Prayer or sacrifice for conversion of sinners.
20. Support the Church, monetarily helps the church, during Mass, or in some need of the temple.
RECONCILIATION WITH THE CHURCH
During his public life Jesus not only forgave sins, but also made plain the effect of this forgiveness: he reintegrated forgiven sinners into the community of the People of God from which sin had alienated or even excluded them.
A remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at his table, a gesture that expresses in an astonishing way both God's forgiveness and the return to the bosom of the People of God.
In imparting to his apostles his own power to forgive sins the Lord also gives them the authority to reconcile sinners with the Church. This ecclesial dimension of their task is expressed most notably in Christ's solemn words to Simon Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of the apostles united to its head."
The words bind and loose mean: whomever you exclude from your communion, will be excluded from communion with God; whomever you receive anew into your communion, God will welcome back into his. Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God.
THE SACRAMENT OF FORGIVENESS
Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion.
It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as "the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace."
The formula of absolution used in the Latin Church expresses the essential elements of this sacrament: the Father of mercies is the source of all forgiveness. He effects the reconciliation of sinners through the Passover of his Son and the gift of his Spirit, through the prayer and ministry of the Church:
God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and the 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.
THE SEVEN A´S OF CONFESSION
Would you be willing to face the way through the steps of confession before this life is over? You may have come at this point of your life with unnecessary weight, unnecessary guilt, but you don’t have to bear this burden. Jesus wants help you. He wants bear your burden. The choice is yours…
Have no doubts when go to confession, think before confess your sins. Try to be brief, do not expands too much what is necessary, think other persons are waiting to confessing too.
Please do not cheat in the confession, If it contains any excuse, it isn’t a confession.
It’s easy to hide behind vague generalities. Don’t do it. Identify your sinful attitudes (pride, selfishness, envy, greed, bitterness, ingratitude, stubbornness, etc.) and sinful actions.
Let God know you realize your sinful behavior has caused him pain.
Tell God that you’re willing to bear the consequences of your sin. God may graciously will pardon you. That’s his manner of behave, with love, patience, and above all understanding, never forget that.
It’s easy to hide behind vague generalities. Don’t do it. Identify your sinful attitudes (pride, selfishness, envy, greed, bitterness, ingratitude, stubbornness, etc.) and sinful actions.
Proverbs 28:13 says we should confess and forsake our sin. Make a commitment that with God’s help, you won’t walk down this path again.
If after confessing your sin, you find your conscience is still plagued with guilt, that’s not from God. Ask for pardon to God it is beneficial fills the soul of light and joy. He says that if you confess your sins, He will forgive us. We must receive it, believe it, accept it!
20 TIPS FOR MAKING A GOOD CONFESSION
Many people asking the question “What Does It Take To Grow spiritually and make a good confession?” There are some essential habits you must develop if you want to grow to maturity as a Christian.
1)…examine our consciences regularly and thoroughly;
2) …wait our turn in line patiently to one side of confessional;
3) …come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end;
4) …speak distinctly but never so loudly that we might be overheard;
5) …state our sins clearly and briefly without rambling and without any details;
6) …confess all mortal sins in number and kind;
7) …listen carefully to the advice the priest gives;
8) …confess our own sins and not someone else’s;
9) …carefully listen to and remember the penance and be sure to understand it;
10) …use a regular formula for confession so that it is familiar and comfortable;
11) …never be afraid to say something “embarrassing”… just say it;
always remember that you are confessing your sins to Jesus through a priest, and Jesus always pardon any kind of sin, never mind how much they are;
12) …never worry that the priest thinks we are jerks…. he is usually impressed by our courage;
13) …never be afraid that the priest will not keep our confession in secret… he is bound to keep it in secret, by a rule of Holy Church, he must do so;
14) …never confess “tendencies” or “struggles”… just sins;
15) …never leave the confessional before the priest has finished giving absolution;
16) …memorize an Act of Contrition;
17) …answer the priest’s questions briefly if he asks for a clarification;
18) …ask questions if we can’t understand what he means when he tells us something;
19) …keep in mind that sometimes priests can have bad days just like we do and can treat us badly;
20) …remember that priests must go to confession too … they know what we are going through. That is why, go to confession with much faith, joyful and with a huge trust that God will pardon you. Whatever be your sin.
The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are:
- reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;
- reconciliation with the Church;
- remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;
- remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;
- peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
- an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.
Individual and integral confession of grave sins followed by absolution remains the only ordinary means of reconciliation with God and with the Church.
Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.
HOW SHOULD BE THE CONFESSION?
The Church proposes six steps to follow to make a good confession and thus to exploit thanks to this wonderful sacrament. These steps simply express a path to conversion, ranging from the analysis of our actions until the action that demonstrates the change that has taken place in us.
This confession of sins should be:
Sincere: That is, not wanting to deceive the priest, for to God is impossible deceive him.
Complete: That is, must say all sins, however serious it were or atrocious.
Humble: That is, without haughtiness or arrogance.
Prudent: we must use appropriate and correct words, and without naming people or discover the sins of others, only own sins. In case have participated with someone in any sin, should say it without naming anyone.
Brief: That is, no unnecessary explanations and without mixing with other things, it says sin but do not go into "details" of how I have sinned. Example: I had intercourse with a boyfriend or a girlfriend once. (Without going into details of how was the sex, in this case details not only disturbing to the person who is confessing but also the priest, in other cases it would not be a confession but a psychoanalysis).
Satisfaction: Consists of penance imposed on us by the priest, with the intention to repair the sins committed. It is mandatory to fulfill penance, because it is part of the sacrament of penance and imperious requirement for complete forgiveness of sins.
- To confess there are several requirements, namely:
1) Make a EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE.
2) Contrition O THE PAIN OF SINS.
3) AMENDMENT PURPOSE.
4) THE CONFESSION OF SINS.
5) Fulfill the PENANCE.
6) Receive THE PRIEST´s Absolution.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GROW? CONFESSION!
God wants you to experience the incredible joy of being completely forgiven of every sin.
A. God’s forgiveness includes every kind of sin imaginable.
As I read verses 1 and 2, I want you to circle three words…
1 Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
David uses three distinct words for sin in verses 1-2:
“rebellion” or breaking away from God,
“transgressions” or missing the mark, and
“iniquity,” that which is crooked, morally distorted.
He isn’t saying that God forgives these three distinct kinds of sins as much as He is saying God forgives all kinds of sins…
1. Sins against God or against people.
2. Large sins or small sins.
3. Intentional sins or unintentional.
4. Sins of commission (doing what you shouldn’t) or omission (not doing what you should have).
B. God’s forgiveness clears the guilty completely.
David uses three distinct terms to describe God’s forgiveness in verses 1-2. They are expressions of forgiveness:
1 Oh, what joy for those
whose rebellion is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
2 Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of sin,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
1. God carries away your burden of guilt—removes it, forgets it.
2. God covers your shame—its defilement is no longer reason for shame, implies that He will never bring it up again
3. God cancels your debt—nothing left for you to pay.
C. God’s forgiveness results in boundless joy!.
Oh, what joy…
Whom don´t like living in joy?
Maybe you’re here this morning with no joy. Weighed down with the guilt of your sins. Guilty, ashamed, a prisoner of your troubled conscience. Doesn’t have to go on that way! You can go with joy! You can know joy again confessing the sins to God!
You’re thinking, “If that were only true. It may be true for others, but it isn’t true for me. My sin is different. God’s forgiveness be extended to others, but not to me.”
The background of this Psalm is probably David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba, and then his murder of her husband Uriah. Adultery. Murder. David says that God has forgiven him of these things. If God can forgive David of these, why don’t you think he can forgive you of your sins? You may be thinking.
What I've done is so horrible, it is inconceivable that He could ever forgive." I have a word from God for you.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I Jn 1:9
Now if you are here today saying "God can't forgive me" that just makes one more thing God can and will forgive you for. God is not a liar. When He says He will forgive, he means it.
I have done this sin so many times, that God by now is sick and tired of me coming to him over and over. God can't possibly forgive me again."
We think of God like someone on the other end of a phone. We have called him and called him about the same sin. Over and over and over again. And we are sure that if we call once more, He's going to yell into the phone, "YOU AGAIN!!!" and then slam down the receiver.
But notice again what the verse says, "If we confess our sins...He will forgive us our sins up to 10 times, up to 100 times, up to 1000 times." No. It says that if we confess, He will always forgive you.
God say we need to prove our sincerity with Him. God says that all we need to do is confess. What He will invariably do is to forgive. But what if we don’t confess? Look again at Psalm 32…
LIVING WITH UNCONFESSED SIN RESULT IN SICKNESS OF BODY AND SOUL
“I refused to confess my sin…” Is it hard to admit you’ve been wrong? Absolutely!
So sometimes we stubbornly refuse to admit we are in the wrong. Pretend as though if enough time goes by, God will forget about it. Pretend as though it wasn’t that big of sin. Excuse, rationalize, justify. There are predictable consequences for refusing to confess your sins…
A. You’ll lose your strength and peace.
When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable…(lit. my bones wasted away.)
B. You’ll lose your joy.
When I refused to confess my sin…I groaned all day long.
C. You’ll find no relief.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
You’ll be thwarted and frustrated, lasting success will always elude you.
People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy.
Some of you have been trying to run from God, trying to run from your sin. Some of you have a temper that flares, and you strike out in anger at those you love—your spouse, your kids. And because you’ve refused to confess it for the sin it is, you’ve been wandering in the wilderness. It’s dry. It’s desolate. There’s a cancer eating at your soul. Have you had enough yet?
Some of you have been trying to run from God, trying to run from your sin. Some of you have been convicted by God about your adultery, but you don’t want to acknowledge it and confess it as sin. The doctor says he’s not sure why you can’t sleep at night, but you know. The doctor says your stomach problems are real puzzling, but you know. You’ve been wandering in the wilderness. It’s dry. It’s desolate. Have you had enough yet?
Transition: Refusing to confess leaves us miserable—sick in body and sick in soul. Counterfeit confessions are even worse. So what’s the answer?
The only way you can find the joy of forgiveness is through the humility of confession
A. Confession means I acknowledge ownership of my sins
5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to a priest
and stopped trying to hide them.
Did you catch whose sins they were? David’s sins. One essential part of confession is ownership—these are my sins. In verse 5, three times David acknowledges that these sins are his sins. Circle the phrases “my sins” “my rebellion” and “my guilt.”
Today I claim ownership of my sins
B. Confession means I don’t disguise my sins
Finally, I confessed all my sins to a priest and stopped trying to hide them.
Confession means I come back to God on His terms.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Confession always involves a return to reality about myself, about my sin, and about my God.
THOSE WHO CONFESS THEIR SIN GAIN GOD´S HELP
A. Those who confess their sins gain God’s complete forgiveness
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
B. Those who confess their sin gain God’s secure protection
Therefore, let all the godly confess their rebellion to you while there is time,
that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.
WE MUST CHOOSE GOD´S PROTECTION RATHER THAN HIS JUDGMENT
Those who confess their sin gain God’s wise guidance
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Let us choose God’s loving guidance rather than His harsh discipline
Those who confess their sin gain God’s unfailing love
Many sorrows come to the wicked,
but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
Let us choose God’s unfailing love rather than sin’s unending sorrow
Those who confess their sin gain God’s triumphant joy
So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
Let us choose everybody God’s joyful victory rather than sin’s sad defeat.
THE CONFESSION OF SINS
The confession (or disclosure) of sins, even from a simply human point of view, frees us and facilitates our reconciliation with others. Through such an admission man looks squarely at the sins he is guilty of, takes responsibility for them, and thereby opens himself again to God and to the communion of the Church in order to make a new future possible.
Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: "All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly."
When Christ's faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, "for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know." According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year." Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.
Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful:
Whoever confesses his sins . . . is already working with God. God indicts your sins; if you also indict them, you are joined with God. Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: when you hear "man" - this is what God has made; when you hear "sinner" - this is what man himself has made. Destroy what you have made, so that God may save what he has made. . . . When you begin to abhor what you have made, it is then that your good works are beginning, since you are accusing yourself of your evil works. The beginning of good works is the confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light.
THE PUNISHMENT OF SIN
To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin.
On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin.
A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.
The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the "old man" and to put on the "new man."
IN THE COMNUNION OF SAINTS
The Christian who seeks to purify himself of his sin and to become holy with the help of God's grace is not alone. "The life of each of God's children is joined in Christ and through Christ in a wonderful way to the life of all the other Christian brethren in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, as in a single mystical person."
In the communion of saints, "a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things." In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.
We also call these spiritual goods of the communion of saints the Church's treasury, which is "not the sum total of the material goods which have accumulated during the course of the centuries. On the contrary the 'treasury of the Church' is the infinite value, which can never be exhausted, which Christ's merits have before God. They were offered so that the whole of mankind could be set free from sin and attain communion with the Father. In Christ, the Redeemer himself, the satisfactions and merits of his Redemption exist and find their efficacy."
"This treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are truly immense, unfathomable, and even pristine in their value before God. In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints, all those who have followed in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by his grace have made their lives holy and carried out the mission in the unity of the Mystical Body."
SPIRITUAL HELP AND PRAYERS TO CONFESSION
Fr. Demaris says (in They Have Taken Away My Lord): Nothing silences measures which are the tests of Saints, if we cannot confess our sins to priests, confess them to God. Indeed, the lack of the ability to present ourself before a priest of God, who is duly authorized by God’s Church to hear our confession and to absolve us is one of the largest tests of the saints of these days.
Indeed, Apocalypse is right when it tells us to have patience in these times. However, we must follow the advice of Saint Thomas Aquinas to do our part, when we cannot receive the Sacrament of Confession.
We ask all to study the Catechism, especially on the matter of the perfect act of contrition, which will restore us to grace until we can fulfill our promise to confess our sins, which we make in the most well know Act of Contrition. Let us also consecrate our efforts to the restoration of the priesthood, so that we can again confess to the priest of God! The following prayers will assist us to make a formal spiritual confession.
PRAYER TO IMPLORE THE DIVINE ASSITANCE TO MAKE A GOOD CONFESSION.
O Almighty and most merciful God, Who has made me out of nothing, and redeemed me by the Precious Blood of Thine Only Son; Who has with so much patience borne with me to this day, notwithstanding all my sins and ingratitude; ever calling after me to return to Thee from the ways of vanity and iniquity, in which I have been quite wearied out in the pursuit of worldly pleasure; seeking in vain to satisfy my thirst in unclean places, and my hunger in sinful places.
Behold, O most gracious Lord, I now sincerely desire to leave all these my evil ways, to forsake the thought of death where I have so long lost myself, and to return to Thee, the Fountain of Life. I desire, like the prodigal son, to enter seriously into myself, and with the like resolution to arise without delay, and to go home to my Father – though I am most unworthy to be called His child – in hopes of meeting with Thee, O Father of mercy.
But, O my God, though I can go astray from Thee of myself, yet I cannot make one step towards returning to Thee, unless Thy divine grace move and assist me. This grace, therefore, I most humbly implore, prostate in spirit before the throne of Thy mercy; I beg it for the sake of Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who died on the Cross for my sins.
I know that Thou desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he may be converted and live; I know Thy mercies are above all Thy works; and I most confidently hope that as in Thy mercy Thou hast spared me so long, and hast now given me this desire of returning toThee, so Thou wilt finish the work which Thou hast begun, and bring me to a perfect reconciliation with Thee.
I desire now to comply with Thy holy institution of the Sacrament of Penance; I desire to confess my sins with all sincerity to Thee and to Thy minister; and therefore I desire to know myself, and to call myself to account by a diligent examination of my conscience. Since I cannot now confess to Thy minister in the holy Sacrament of Penance, I desire to confess my sins to Thee.
I humbly beg of Thee to restore the priesthood to Thy Church, so that I can once again confess to Thy minister as Thou willest. I offer all of my efforts, prayers and penance and consecrate myself to do all in my power to bring about the restoration of the priesthood for the salvation of souls and my own salvation.
O my God, how miserably shall I deceive myself if Thou assist me not in this great work by Thy heavenly light. O then remove every veil that hides any of my sins from me, that I may see them all in their true colors, and may sincerely detest them. O let me no longer be imposed upon by the Enemy of souls, or by my own self-centeredness, so as to mistake vice for virtue, or in any way to make excuses for my sins.
ACT OF PERFECT CONTRITION.
My God, because Thou art infinite goodness,
I love Thee above all things,
and because I love Thee above all things,
I am sorry for the offences I have offered to Thee,
O Sovereign God!
My God, I purpose never more to offend Thee.
I would rather die than offend Thee more.
O my God,
I resolve with the help of Thy grace to avoid sin and the near occasions of sin.
WHY DO I HAVE TO CONFESS TO A PRIEST?