I had one interesting conversation with my brethren in our community (CFC-Singles for Christ). He told me he didn’t want to go to confession.
“Bro, I’m afraid to go to confession. I will keep it to myself instead and just pray about it,” he said.
This made me reflect, why are Catholics not claiming the gift of Reconciliation? We all know it’s freely given to us. But why do most of us ignore it? It got me so I came up with 3 possible reasons why Catholic’s don’t confess:
FIRST: “The priest might scold me”
“The more you need it, the less you want,” I was reminded of this quote and sadly it makes sense.
After we sin, we realize we made a bad decision – done wrong, and so the guilt sinks in, prompting us to run away.
The more we run away from the redemption of our sins we fall deeper, darker. Sometimes the more we sin, the less we feel the guilt. The habit of sinning is dangerous.
One of my friends told me that he will not confess his sins because the Priest might scold him. I think people are afraid of the consequences of sin. Deep in our heart is the fear of the after effects. Fear of judgment from the confessor, the reprimands and chastisement.
If this is the case, REMEMBER: The priest will always give his blessings when we admit it and humbly ask for forgiveness. BECAUSE THE PRIEST IS ONLY A THIRD PARTY, it’s really God who forgives.
The priest is not there to scold you. He may ask certain questions to help and encourage you. The mercy of God is infinite it never runs out, so a confessor will never scold you, that priest can only deliver God’s mercy – nothing more nothing less.
SECOND: “I will just say the same sins, over and over. It’s the similar repeated sins”
Sometimes we tend to rationalize them and say, “They all do that, so I’ll do it anyway”, “I have done it, so I’ll just do it again”, “I’m broken, and so I don’t care”.
These are all lies! The enemy is clever. He doesn’t stop and tries to give new reasons for us to believe in his lies. Friends, let us not be led by the false whispers of the enemy.
If you fail and listen to the devil, seek the light and remember that Our God, even we have repeatedly sin, will always forgive us if we ask. He never tires of giving mercy. Whatever sin we have committed, He will give us mercy.
God is Omni-present. He knows what happened, what is happening and what will happen. He knows that we will sin over and over again but He will forgive over and over again. The key is, if we ask for it. His mercy is like ocean. Never ending. Everlasting.
THIRD: “The Priest might tell my sins to others”
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the priest are bound not to tell anyone what they’ve heard in confessions, the catechism states that:
…the Church declares that every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him… (CCC 1467)
It’s not just a “pinky promise” It is an absolute duty of every priest to not disclose anything they’ve heard from the penitent.
Ever wonder what happens when they break and violates the seal?
“One is to be punished in accord with the seriousness of the offense.” And the worst case leads to excommunication.
We can say that the seal is very sacred in the eyes of the Church so your confessions are safe. We can be confident in approaching the sacrament of confession and assure that everything we say is between the Lord and us only.
God loves giving mercy to us. He doesn’t stop giving it. He allows us to experience that mercy. This sacrament celebrates God’s unlimited mercy and love no matter what we have done and not done.
Christ heals the relationship thru the priest and we are reconciled to God, others and ourselves. So what are you waiting for? (Written by: Michael Laxina)