Faith Check 15 – Confession to Priests

Confession to Priests

Faith Check/Greg Youell
Faith Check/Greg Youell

On this Faith Check let’s take a look at a common question: why confess your sins to a priest instead of straight to God?

First, Catholics are encouraged to privately confess our sins to God all the time and every single Mass begins with a penitential rite in which we do exactly this.

Still we should regularly go to the sacrament of confession or reconciliation.  Remember that in the Old Testament a Hebrew was to publicly go to the temple and offer a sacrifice for his sin.  In John 20, our Lord gives the apostles authority to forgive sins in his name, when He breathed the Holy Spirit on them and said “whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” 1  In 2 Corinthians Paul also notes that the apostles are Christ’s ambassadors who have been given the ministry of reconciliation.2

Early Christian records show that the early Church always understood this according to the Catholic view3:those who sinned gravely after baptism could be reconciled to the Church through confession to the priests, who do not stand as barriers to Christ, but as his ambassadors, who lovingly take us by the hand and restore us to grace after we have fallen.

1 –  Jn. 20:23

2 –  5:18-20

3 – See Catholic Answers website on subject: http://www.catholic.com/library/Confession.asp

USCCA19 – Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation – God is Rich in Mercy – U. S. Catholic Catechism for Adults w/ Arch. George Lucas

USCCA19 Chapter 18 – The Eucharist: Source and Summit of Christian Life

Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 18:

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 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 is an essential element of this Sacrament. In a profound sense, it is also a called “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 love of God who reconciles: “Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call: “Go, first be reconciled to your brother.” (CCC, nos. 1423-1424, citing Mt 5:24)

The Most Reverend George J. Lucas leads the Archdiocese of Omaha. 

For other episodes in the visit our Archbishop George Lucas page

This programs is based on:

More information can be found here.

We wish to thank the USCCB for the permissions granted for use of  relevant material used in this series.
Also we wish to thank Bruce McGregor for his vocal talents in this episode.

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WOM#5 – The Penitential Rite – The Way of Mystery w/ Deacon James Keating – Discerning Hearts

Episode 5 -The Way of Mystery: The Eucharist and Moral Living Keating-2

The penitential rite of the mass, while not the pivotal point, it is one of the most important points of the mass, and key in our moral conversion…it’s about the crucifixion to sin, meeting evil with love.

For more episodes in “The Way of Mystery” Series click here

Deacon James Keating, PhD, the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to ”Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Way of Mystery”.

The Vatican II documents remind us that the spiritual journey is not made in a vacuum, that God has chosen to save us, not individually, but as The People of God. The Eucharist must help Christians to make their choices by discerning out of Christ’s paschal mystery. For this process to take place, however, Christians must first understand how the Eucharist puts them in touch with Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection, and what concrete implications being in touch with this mystery has for their daily lives.

IPF logo small ROHC#6 Deacon James Keating – Heart of Hope part 6 from Resting On the Heart of Christ

For more information on the “Institute of Priestly Formation” and for other material available by Deacon Keating, just click here

Communion with Christ ROHC#6 Deacon James Keating – Heart of Hope part 6 from Resting On the Heart of Christ

Don’t forget to pickup a copy of “Communion with Christ” , it is one of the best audio sets on prayer…ever!

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

How to prepare for the Sacrament of Penance with Archbishop Lucas episode 2 – Discerning Hearts

Archbisop-George-LucasArchbishop Lucas begins a  video series on the Sacrament of Penance

Be sure to check out more from the Archbishop on this sacrament  at  USCCA19 – The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults with Archbishop George Lucas – Chap. 18 Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation – God is Rich in Mercy

 

The Ritual for The Sacrament of Penance with Archbishop George Lucas episode 3 – Discerning Hearts

Archbisop-George-LucasArchbishop Lucas begins a  video series on the Sacrament of Penance

Be sure to check out more from the Archbishop on this sacrament  at  USCCA19 – The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults with Archbishop George Lucas – Chap. 18 Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation – God is Rich in Mercy

IP#169 Shannon Dietz on Exposed on Inside the Pages

“Exposed: Inexcusable Me… Irreplaceable Him” by Shannon Dietz is a compelling book which chronicles her experiences growing up in her devout Catholic home, dealing with realities of brokenness that  results from the assaults that come from the world, from the enemy and from our own negative choices, and the healing that comes from surrendering completely to the love of Jesus Christ.  Shannon shares her story of being raped, not once but twice, and the devastating effect it had on her life and self-image.  She would run from God and her Catholic faith for a time, which only led her to experience a greater period of isolation and despair.  Eventually she turned to Him and found the peace and strength she had been aching for in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  That moment would provide a powerful encounter of grace and mercy and would set her once again on the path home to the loving embrace of the God the Father.  Her story is one that speaks to the hearts of several generation of women.  A powerful story and witness that there is indeed a beautiful “light at the end of the tunnel”. Shannon is the founder of “Hopeful Hearts Ministry“…be sure to visit the website!

You can find the book here

Patrice Fagnant–Macarthur, Sr. Editor of Catholic Lane, Author of “Letters to Mary from a Young Mother”
“It took great courage for Shannon to share her story. It is an important one for young people who are struggling with addiction or abuse and those who question whether God still cares for them.”

C.A. Webb, President of Conversations Book Club, Host of Conversations Live!
“A powerful book that helps us to live a life that is open to receive all that is meant for us.”

“Shannon’s candid sharing will prove to be a blessing to victims and those that care about them.”
Fr. Gavin Vaverek, Maria Goretti Network

 

IP#117 Fr. Scott Hurd – Forgiveness on Inside the Pages

“Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach” is exceptional!  Fr. Scott Hurd has penned the book that should be in  every Catholic home.  To forgive,  without exception, is the hallmark of the Christian life and one of the hardest things to do.  Every single chapter in “Forgivness” is a gem.  Whether it’s is the challenge of “not becoming a doormat”, dealing with our anger over hurts, or reconciling the fact that life isn’t necessarily fair, Fr. Hurd offers timely wisdom from the heart of the Church to the experiences of everyday life in order for us to follow the way of Jesus Christ…and to forgive.  I love this book!

“All of us know that there is more to forgiveness than simply saying “I’m sorry.” In the section entitled, “Hallmarks of Forgiveness,” Father Hurd deftly outlines seven such marks of forgiveness that reflect the teaching and example of Our Lord. In Jesus, we learn how to forgive others as God has forgiven us. Forgiveness is a decision, a process, and a gift.

“Equally challenging today is the question of how to forgive. In Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach we find an entire section on this topic. With priestly wisdom, Father Hurd examines a wide variety of experiences of forgiveness and reconciliation. With examples from Scripture, Church tradition, literature, and his own ministry, he offers a useful ten-step process to aid people ready to make the decision to forgive.”
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, from the Introduction

 

You can find “Forgiveness” here

Visit Pauline.org for more information