Father, I have a basic confusion about confession that is due to insufficient education as a child:
Could you explain to me the reason confession is necessary? I understand the necessity of having your sins forgiven, and understand and believe that catholic priests have the power to forgive sins in Christs name, passed from Him through the Apostles. But I also believe that God hears my prayers. Unlike the other sacraments which by their nature require either physical acts (Holy Communion, Baptism, etc.) or witnesses (Matrimony), I dont see the essential role the priest plays in the forgiveness of sins. I have even heard many Catholics say things like “you arent really talking to the priest in the confessional, youre talking to Jesus, he is just standing in for Him”, and that mindset makes the priests presence seem unnecessary.
Again, i understand its something they are authorized to do by God, but in saying me praying for God to forgive me in my heart is not enough to save my soul, we are saying God almighty needs a human middleman in order to forgive my sins, which I am having a hard time grasping.
I know this frame of mind is incorrect, so I am misunderstanding something, or missing a piece of the puzzle. Can you clear this up for me? God Bless.