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  #1  
Old Jun 8, '12, 4:42 am
Hansel Paul Hansel Paul is offline
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Default The Secret Power Of Confession

THE HIDDEN POWERS AND SECRETS OF CONFESSION INCLUDE TRUE MEANING OF 'CONVERSION'

There are hidden powers and history with Confession. Seldom do we stop to contemplate how powerful this sacrament is in ridding pride (truly, the great inhibitor to holiness) and purging evil. An exorcist in Rome once wrote that Confession is as powerful against the enemy as a formal exorcism! When we purge darkness, we purge demons. And when we purge demons, we often set the way to healing (for as Christ showed, many ailments are caused by unclean spirits).

We tend to think Confession was always with our Church, that as a sacrament it is the twin of Communion -- which in crucial ways, of course, it is. However, it does not share the same history. Where the Eucharist was instituted by Jesus at the Last Supper, Confession came through other parts of Scripture.

Note that when Jesus passed His mission to forgive sins to his ministers, He told them that "as the Father has sent me, even so I send you. . . . Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (John 20:21–23).

But it is false to call it a relatively recent sacrament (as do some, saying that verbal Confession started only in 1215, at the Fourth Lateran Council).

In fact, while it has changed, as has the Mass itself, there was Confession in the initial days of the Church (tradition has it, right from the start) -- often involving years of penitential acts. It is pointed out that in the earliest Christian writings, such as the first-century Didache, are indefinite on the procedure for Confession, but a verbal confession is listed as part of the Church’s requirement by the time of Irenaeus -- which means around A.D. 180. It was during the seventh century that Irish missionaries began the practice of "private" penances that did not require public and long-term penances. What the Fourth Lateran Council did was establish the requirement of Confession at least once a year. The Council of Trent (1551) reaffirmed this.

St. Ambrose (d. 397) rebuked the Novatianists who "professed to show reverence for the Lord by reserving to Him alone the power of forgiving sins. Greater wrong could not be done than what they do in seeking to rescind His commands and fling back the office He bestowed." St. Augustine (d. 430) warned the faithful: "Let us not listen to those who deny that the Church of God has power to forgive all sins." St. Athanasius (d. 373): "As the man whom the priest baptizes is enlightened by the grace of the Holy Ghost, so does he who in penance confesses his sins, receive through the priest forgiveness in virtue of the grace of Christ."

That all said, it is good to meditate on the power of this sacrament.

And for this we turn to a useful little book by John A. Kane, How To Make A Good Confession, which includes "examination of conscience."

Therein we realize more fully that when those who were born Catholic but have strayed come back and "convert," what is really meant is "repentance." When we return, we repent. Our eyes are reopened. And with it comes joy because with it comes the Holy Spirit. As Kane says, "The end of sorrow, both natural and supernatural, is correction, change. Supernatural sorrow must wean the soul from sin and turn it to God; it must, in other words, work repentance, for to repent is to change."

Conversion is literally a turning of the soul and all its faculties from sin to complete consonance with the Will of God.

In fact, "repentance" comes from the Greek metanoia.

"True repentance is easily discerned," writes Kane. "Mortification is its soul. When we repeatedly resist our ruling passion, when we remove the causes that stir it into action, when we lay the axe to the root of sin, when we are proof against the alluring voice of self-love, which ever seeks to discredit the claims of conscience, when we bridle the triple concupiscence of the world, the flesh, and the devil, when we are guided by the Divine philosophy of the Gospel and not by the uncertain and shifting maxims of the world, when the spirit of self-denial has so thoroughly woven itself into the fibers of our religious life as to make us impervious to the poisonous exhalations of worldliness, sensuality, and pride, when there is a substantial, not accidental change in our attitude toward sin in its complex guises, when the Cross is for us the test and measure of success, when we learn the secret of sanctity from its greatest exponent and example, Jesus Christ, Who 'did not please Himself,' when we 'rend our hearts and not our garments,' and turn wholly to the Lord, our God -- then and then only are we truly penitent."

In other words: if we do not work actively -- and with great tenacity -- at purging evil inclinations, we have not truly repented (converted).

"Watch and pray," said Jesus (Mark 14:38), "that you not enter into temptation."

Here's a constant prayer for us -- that of the publican: "Oh God, be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13). We cannot repeat that too often.

"The essential difference between true and false repentance shows the indisputable necessity of sincerity with God," says the book. "Our service to God must be free from duplicity. Christ enforces this truth: 'He that is not with Me is against Me' (Matthew 12:30). God cannot tolerate any compromise with sin: 'He that gathereth not with Me scattereth' (Matthew 12:30 again). The man who tries to bargain with God is a weakling. To confess and not to change is treason against God. The eye of the soul must be sound. To the conviction that we are sinners, we must add honesty in dealing with our sins and in addressing ourselves to God for their pardon. Grace not only can reveal to the soul its characteristic weakness -- without the cloak in which dishonest self-love would hide it -- but also can counteract the deadly poison of sin and give the soul the moral strength to overcome the treacherous tempter."
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  #2  
Old Jun 8, '12, 6:46 am
Veronica97 Veronica97 is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

This is beautiful--and so true. Thank you for sharing. I wish more people understood how much Grace is given in Confession and how it opens our eyes to sin.
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  #3  
Old Jun 9, '12, 12:12 am
jonathanw jonathanw is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

Confession is such a beautiful sacrament. I really can't imagine my life without it.
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  #4  
Old Jun 9, '12, 3:10 am
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Angels Eyes Angels Eyes is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

I have only been to confession once since returning to the church. I felt I had plenty to confess to then; being involved in the occult and other things.....but I am unsure what to confess to now. I am no saint, I know this...can I ask for you help with my uncertainity?

Do I say things like, yelling at my children, mean or jealous thoughts...things like that?

Thank you.
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  #5  
Old Jun 9, '12, 5:02 am
TiggerS TiggerS is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angels Eyes View Post
I have only been to confession once since returning to the church. I felt I had plenty to confess to then; being involved in the occult and other things.....but I am unsure what to confess to now. I am no saint, I know this...can I ask for you help with my uncertainity?

Do I say things like, yelling at my children, mean or jealous thoughts...things like that?

Thank you.
Yes - reflect on those areas where "I am no saint" - such as "yelling at my children", "mean or jealous thoughts". These are probably the type of things that probably the most of us have to confess - those things where we know we are not saintly, but probably could be with God's Help and Confession is a rich source of Grace to help us to be more saintly.

Of course, if there is anything more serious on your conscience, that should be confessed first.
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  #6  
Old Jun 9, '12, 6:54 am
InLight247 InLight247 is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

To become holy, we must work on every area of our lives.

We can exam ourselves for many things:
Being self-centered, gossip, quarrelsome, jealousy, lying, being judgmental, pride, wrong motivation, lack of charity, prejudice, bitterness, indifference, vanity, ignore God's request, doubt, lack of trust in God, wasting time, laziness, being idle, procrastination, exaggeration, boasting, complaining, losing temper, stubbornness, rush temper, impatience..... You get an idea. The list goes on …………
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And none beside thee delights me on earth. (Psalm 73:25)

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Old Jun 9, '12, 10:09 pm
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Angels Eyes Angels Eyes is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

Ahhh yes, I understand now. Thank you both for replying. I will organise to go soon.
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  #8  
Old Jun 10, '12, 5:08 am
TiggerS TiggerS is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

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Originally Posted by Angels Eyes View Post
Ahhh yes, I understand now. Thank you both for replying. I will organise to go soon.

God bless and keep you in His Peace!
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  #9  
Old Jun 10, '12, 8:03 am
InLight247 InLight247 is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

St. Teresa of Avila compared a baptized soul as a clear and sparkling crystal. When we are polluted by sins, it is like a tar gets to the crystal. Unless the tar is removed, the crystal won’t be as clear as before. The Sacrament of Reconciliation cleanses us. Though venial sins are not required to confess, there is always amazing grace in the confessional. Receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for venial sins and imperfections can immerse us in God’s grace and help us move forward toward holiness. Holiness should be a goal for every Christian, a goal, with God's grace that we strive for day and night.
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  #10  
Old Jun 10, '12, 11:07 am
RileyG RileyG is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

Thank you for posting this, the sacrament of confession means sooo much to me. Thank you most holy trinity for forgiving me and taking me back no matter how many times I've failed you. I love you. Amen.
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  #11  
Old Jun 10, '12, 11:21 am
Niji Niji is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

how do you know if you where truely forgiven by god and not just because the priest said I absolve you of your sins? im worried cause I always mess up in confession but the priest absolves me anyway.
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Old Jun 10, '12, 1:56 pm
InLight247 InLight247 is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niji View Post
how do you know if you where truely forgiven by god and not just because the priest said I absolve you of your sins? im worried cause I always mess up in confession but the priest absolves me anyway.
God knows your heart. When the priest absolves you, you are forgiven. Trust in God.

Before going to confession, make a good preparation. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. When you know what you are to confess, think about how to put your words together. Make a confession to God in your prayer first, so you know exactly how to keep it clear and to the point.
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Old Jun 17, '12, 11:50 pm
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Angels Eyes Angels Eyes is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

I will finally be going to confession Saturday week. I should have gone a year ago

Can I please ask what will happen. I need to say "Bless me Father for I have sinned it has been 2 years since my last confession". Confess my sins, anything else....do I need to say a prayer or anything?

I did a very 'casual' type of confession when I returned to the church about 2 years ago. The priest (not in my parish - a different one about half an hour away) was lovely and guided me thru it really well, as I had not been to confession for probably 25 years before that day and couldn't remember what I had to do.

I am nervous, any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
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  #14  
Old Jun 19, '12, 11:06 pm
Adamski Adamski is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

Growing up in a liberal catholic home my parents told me confession was something we only do one time and I really had no understanding what it was

Long story short I developed some very bad sins between 18-34 including leaving the church for the evangelical/ fundamentalist churches

At 35 I went to confession for the second time on returning to the church instantly my anger problem and my additions were gone. But I continued to go to monthly confession and daily prayer to work on my faith

It has been 12 months back at a church I never realized I left

Amen to the sacrement of reconcilIation
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  #15  
Old Jun 19, '12, 11:23 pm
TiggerS TiggerS is offline
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Default Re: The Secret Power Of Confession

Quote:
Amen to the sacrement of reconcilIation
I totally agree ...........Alleluia Amen!

How amazing is The Lord, who in sharing our human nature would have realized the struggle we would have to stay on the straight and narrow, and after His Death and Resurraction, He entrusted to His Church The Sacrament of Reconciliation : "[21] He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. [22] When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. [23] Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. " (John Chapter 20)
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