Confession is Good for The Soul

I just finished reading a Russian novel, ‘Nicolas and Alexandra’.  In pre-Revolution Russia, one of the most influential people in Czar Nicolas II’s court was a wandering Orthodox monk named Grigori Rasputin.  Empress Alexandra fell under Rasputin’s spell and his doctrine of immortality– that is the believer’s responsibility to sin with abandon in order to experience joy in repentance.The greater the sin, the greater the joy.What shall we say about this?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not!

 

The Bible is clear that sin is what separates us from God.  Choosing not to confess our sin and turn from it is like cutting the communication lines with God.There are disputed questions non-Catholics often ask:  “Doesn’t the ease with which Catholics obtain pardon in the confessional incline them to sin at the first opportunity?”  “What’s to keep a Catholic from sin when he’s forgiven simply by telling it to the priest?”  They are all traceable to a misunderstanding of the conditions required by the sacrament of confession for forgiveness. Ifall that was necessary for pardon was the mere confessing of sins, the objection would be well-grounded.  But much more is required.  The penitent must not only humbly confess his sins but also have genuine sorrow for them and firm, resolute purpose to avoid them in the future and to amend his life.The sorrow must rest  not merely upon his lips  but in his heart.   He must have the  sincere intention of avoiding not only the sin but also the near occasions, such as persons, places or things, which lead him to sin.  Without a genuine sorrow for sin and firm purpose of amendment,confession is worthless.  Indeed the Church teaches that mortal sin is so horrible an evil that even God Himself cannot pardon sin unless the sinner repents.  There were great penitents in the Holy Scripture who expressed their sorrows and detestation of their sins.  After Apostle Peter had thrice denied   that   he   knew   Jesus,   he   was   overwhelmed   with   shame   and   sorrow.    “And   the   Lord turning,” relates Luke, “looked on Peter…and Peter going out wept bitterly” (22:61-62).  When Mary Magdalene came to Jesus at the home of Simon, the Pharisee to obtain pardon, she wept so copiously that, as Jesus said, “she with tears has washed my feet” (Luke 7:44).  It was only after the Prodigal Son expressed sorrow for his sins and purpose of amendment that he secured the grace to return to his father’s house and receive the pardon.The necessity of repentance and of doing penance for sin is said by Christ Himself:  “Unless you shall do penance, you shall all perish (Lk 13:3).  After Jesus had pardoned the woman taken in adultery, He was careful to add, “Go and from now on do not sin anymore” (Jn 8:11).   This too is what is said in substance to the sinner just pardoned in the confessional.To sum up:  Those who go to confession receive the grace of God to curb their passions and live upright and virtuous lives.  Frequent confession keeps the conscience sensitive to the moral law and provides God’s powerful assistance in observing His commandments.  It helps a person to grow each day in the likeness of our divine model, Jesus Christ – the goal of every Christian.

 

Sunday Mass Schedule Effective March 2011

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15n.n - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English

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