Confession weekly? That may sound like too often, but there are many benefits to it. For example, His Blessed John Paul II, who went to confession weekly, said:
“It would be an illusion to seek after holiness, according to the vocation one has received from God, without partaking frequently of this sacrament of conversion and reconciliation. Those who go to Confession frequently, and do so with the desire to make progress, will notice the strides that they make in their spiritual lives.”
So here are seven reasons to begin frequent confession this Lent (weekly or every other week):
1. Priestly absolution is a generous gift that Jesus gave us.
Christ gave us this Sacrament and wants us to enjoy His grace through it. He told His first priests, the Apostles:
Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins are forgiven (John 20:22).
Christ gave us this sacrament of grace and forgiveness because He loves us. It is a divine gift of mercy and love – not merely an obligation.
We are a sinners and we need to examine the sinful patterns of our hearts and have a priest give us absolution, counsel, and penance.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn 1:8).
We are often not honest with our hearts and it takes an objective “physician of souls,” to help diagnose us spiritually. If you injured your hand or back, you would consult a doctor. If you injured your soul through sin, shouldn’t you see a priest?
3. Confession is a means of grace.
Confession shouldn’t be terrifying. It is peaceful. We get excited over baptisms, weddings, and ordinations. Why not this remedy for our greatest Christian struggle? Why not be excited about Christ’s forgiveness being declared by His appointed deputies – the priests of His Church.
4. You may have committed mortal sin.
There is a such thing as mortal sin:
If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal. (1 Jn 5:16)
Mortal sin is deadly and it separates our souls from the pure eternal life that exists within the Blessed Trinity. Contrition and priestly absolution restores our hearts to a position of love toward God and our neighbors. The absolution infuses our souls with grace. It ratifies our contrition.
Often Satan weighs us down with guilt. Guilt can be a good thing if we transform it into repentance. Of course, Satan hates this and God and the angels love it. So free yourself from guilt and hear a tangible person with priestly authority say, “I absolve you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
6. Confession unites you more fully to the Church.
When you make your confession to a priest, you acknowledge that you have sinned not only against God, but against every single other Christian because by your sin, you have weakened the universal witness of every single Christian. You have given the non-believer the excuse that “All Christians are hypocrites.” When you go to Confession you acknowledge that you have caused every Christian to suffer by your sins.
“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Cor 12:26).
The priest, who represents both God and the Church by his ordination and office receives your repentance and you have the assurance of not only God’s forgiveness, but also the implicit forgiveness of the entire Church.
7. Receiving the Eucharist becomes even more powerful.
When you receive the Holy Eucharist you receive the true Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ our Redeemer. When you confess your sins in a sacramental way, you also have a stronger sacramental union with Christ in the Eucharist. Also, if you are living in mortal sin, you should NEVER receive the Eucharist because you blaspheme Christ and set yourself up for greater judgment and eternal damnation! Consequently, confession heals and deepens your devotion to Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
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