Confession and obligation

This question has to do with both sacraments and family, not sure which forum is best. My husband has been a christian for years, but is a nominal catholic and has never gone to confession (he may have gone once before his first communion). I don’t think he ever learned anything about it, or any other sacraments for that matter.

I have encouraged him to go to confession but he doesn’t go. He goes to communion regularly. I am trying to balance not turning him off to the catholic church with all its rules (which he hates) with the real sacramental meaning of communion and confession. So far, other than encouraging him to go to confession a few times, I haven’t said a whole lot about it. (He never even heard of mortal sin or that you can go to hell until I told him a few months ago.)

I am assuming he is not responsible since he doesn’t understand any of the teachings related to communion and confession. I think I must tread very lightly in telling him these things. I know him well and don’t want him to get mad and just give up on the church before he really understands it. Also I am just learning the faith myself because I also didn’t learn a lot of these things before.

Just wondering if anyone has any input or ideas about this situation. For now, I’m just making a comment here and there, and am trying not to push things too much–but praying for him always.

I would suggest seeking the advice of your Priest who knows you both…or your confessor…

as Jesus said…a prophet is a prophet…except among his own…(so it can be difficult…)

One needs to find the right balance of giving the right information in the right way…

With wisdom…to give the truth with love…in the right way etc

Truth and love go together.

Certainly one needs to know more about their faith…and what a mortal sin is…and the need not to receive holy Communion if one has unconfessed mortal sin (not saying he does…I am not God)…perhaps a copy of the Compendium: vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html

you can get it the actual book online. It is short and in q & a

One needs certainly to understand that the Church is not about “rules” though of course one must follow the Commandments and teachings of the Church and disciplines…

In his first public interview after having been elected Pope, the Holy Father summarized his deepest wish both for young people and for the entire world: “I want them to understand that it is beautiful to be a Christian! The generally prevailing idea is that Christians have to observe an immense number of commandments, prohibitions, precepts, and other such restrictions, so that Christianity is a heavy and oppressive way of living, and it would therefore be more liberating to live without all these burdens. But I would like to make it clear that to be sustained by this great Love and God’s sublime revelation is not a burden, but rather a set of wings—that it is truly beautiful to be a Christian. It is an experience that gives us room to breathe and move, but most of all, it places us within a community since, as Christians, we are never alone: first of all, there is God, who is always with us; secondly, we are always forming a great community among ourselves: a community of people together on a journey, a community with a project for the future. All of this means that we are empowered to live a life worth living. This is the joy of being a Christian: that it is beautiful and right to believe!”[19] vatican.va/roman_curia/secretariat_state/card-bertone/2007/documents/rc_seg-st_20070808_125-cav-colombo_en.html

and vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2007/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20070908_mariazell_en.html

But as Jesus says in the Gospels “if you love me keep my commandments”

our Yes to Christ involves a good deal (and some no’s!)

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2006/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20060108_battesimo_en.html

In Jesus Christ is true life (and thus in his Church)

But just like natural life…one can end it in certain ways…and need to be revived (in Confession).

It is important for him to see things in the right context…it is all about Jesus the Christ…about true happiness…true life in him.

Of course here is the canon on Confession once a year…if one has mortal sins (not that you should read him the canon)

Can. 989 After having reached the age of discretion, each member of the faithful is ob-liged to confess faithfully his or her grave sins at least once a year.

on confession of mortal sins in general:

Can. 988 §1. A member of the Christian faithful is obliged to confess in kind and number all grave sins committed after baptism and not yet remitted directly through the keys of the Church nor acknowledged in individual confession, of which the person has knowledge after diligent examination of conscience.

§2. It is recommended to the Christian faithful that they also confess venial sins.

of course before Communion one has to confess any mortal sins…but that is taken for granted here

I think that you’re on the right track. Prayer and your good example with gentle comments or suggestions from time to time are the best method. Most people do not realize that the Ten Commandments and the Precepts of the Church are there for our guidance, but the desire to do God’s Will and love for Him is really what He wants from us. Remember the Spirit (Holy Spirit) of the Law gives life. There is sometimes a fine distinction between the “rules” and the spirit or intention of of the law. Human beings seem to get hung up on the words forgetting the intention. A very well-balanced priest gave a sermon years ago on this topic. He made the comment that the Catholic Church is a church of the middle-of-the-road, not the political definition, meaning that the Church will lead us to God in Heaven by sticking to the balanced position. We can fall by going too far towards severity or rigorism, or too far the other direction towards a lax or loose position. We must be careful. “Keep on the straight path” and pray and Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother will help you and your husband. God bless.

(note that some “rules” are very serious…for they involve mortal sin…but again the “focus” is on Christ…just as one is not to beat up ones mother…yes that is important and that would be a gravely sinful thing to do…so do not do it…but the “focus” is on loving them…being in a loving relationship etc)

=AnneTeresa;7785601]This question has to do with both sacraments and family, not sure which forum is best. My husband has been a christian for years, but is a nominal catholic and has never gone to confession (he may have gone once before his first communion). I don’t think he ever learned anything about it, or any other sacraments for that matter.

I have encouraged him to go to confession but he doesn’t go. He goes to communion regularly. I am trying to balance not turning him off to the catholic church with all its rules (which he hates) with the real sacramental meaning of communion and confession. So far, other than encouraging him to go to confession a few times, I haven’t said a whole lot about it. (He never even heard of mortal sin or that you can go to hell until I told him a few months ago.)

I am assuming he is not responsible since he doesn’t understand any of the teachings related to communion and confession. I think I must tread very lightly in telling him these things. I know him well and don’t want him to get mad and just give up on the church before he really understands it. Also I am just learning the faith myself because I also didn’t learn a lot of these things before.

Just wondering if anyone has any input or ideas about this situation. For now, I’m just making a comment here and there, and am trying not to push things too much–but praying for him always.

PLEASE SHARE this information with Him :o

** 1John.1 Verses 8 to 10:** "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

** 1John.5 Verses 16 to 17**"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**; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, ** but there is sin which is not mortal. **

** John.20 Verses 20 to 23**]" When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. ** Jesus said to them ** again, “Peace be with you. ** As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” ** And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

And because he obviously does not understand the Eucharist; share this: OR GET HIM TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR PRIEST…

1St. Cor. 11:23-29 "[23] For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often** as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.**

This means: It HAS to be Christ REALLY Present because one could not sin just eating ordinary bread and wine.

This is a very GRAVE ISSUE; pray about it and seek help if necessary.

I’ll pray for you both!

God Bless,
Pat

There are some basic building blocks of the catholic faith, however. Two of them happen to be the meaning of the eucharist, and that catholics are expected to confess their sins and remain in a state of grace to receive the eucharist. IMO explaining these simple basics and setting someone straight, to behave as catholics should behave is not being unbalanced. These aren’t silly rules that have been made up for no reason. It’s how catholic christians have functioned and worshipped from the very beginning.

The OP and her husband need to go see their parish priest and let him do the explaining.

Originally Posted by greenmoira
I think that you’re on the right track. Prayer and your good example with gentle comments or suggestions from time to time are the best method. Most people do not realize that the Ten Commandments and the Precepts of the Church are there for our guidance, but the desire to do God’s Will and love for Him is really what He wants from us. Remember the Spirit (Holy Spirit) of the Law gives life. There is sometimes a fine distinction between the “rules” and the spirit or intention of of the law. …

My dear friend in Christ;

I don’t enjoy being disagreeable but either I don’t understand your point, or your of a wrong understanding.

Guidence yes; AND A WHOLE LOT MORE

Here are TWO Jesus Quotes:

Matt.5: 19 “Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matt.19: 17 "And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

Here are Hebrew and Greek definations of the term “Commandments”** From Strong’s Lexicon:**

HEBREW: 2706 choq khoke from 2710; an enactment; hence, an appointment (of time, space, quantity, labor or usage):–appointed, bound, commandment, convenient, custom, decree(-d), due, law, measure, X necessary, ordinance(- nary), portion, set time, statute, task.

GREEK: 1297. diatagma dee-at’-ag-mah from 1299; an arrangement, i.e. (authoritative) edict:–commandment.

  1. entalma en’-tal-mah from 1781; an injunction, i.e. religious precept:–commandment.

  1. entole en-tol-ay’ from 1781; injunction, i.e. an authoritative prescription:–commandment, precept.

  1. epitage ep-ee-tag-ay’ from 2004; an injunction or decree; by implication, authoritativeness:–authority, commandment.

My friend they are FAR more than guides; although they too are guides. They are MANDATES; GODLY COMMANDS to observered and OBEYED by All. Furhter the “ten” are just catagories of sins; nowhere near a complete list.

The only option here is I am ME} in charge; or the GREAT “I AM who AM” is in charge.

me or God that’s the choice.:thumbsup:

God Bless,
Pat

“Obligation” or not, our sins are forgiven by confession. There is no other opportunity on earth like confession. As simple as this fact is, I understand how difficult it can be to truly understand. I don’t know where he’s at in the faith, but I’ll give you a brief bit of the logic that caused me to seriously think about confession: I believe that God Himself became man, died, and resurrected, yet I find the possibility of men forgiving sins (because of the promise of forgiveness by Jesus) to be untrue? Which sounds more insane? Christ has given us an opportunity like no other to free ourselves from sin. If we reject the forgiveness of Christ, who or what are we actually accepting? Andrew and Peter did not understand Christ, yet they followed. Likewise, jumping in and confessing can lead to understanding.

The Church teaches you must be without mortal sin and having confessed within 1 year to receive Holy Communion. If he truly believe in the Real Presence, he should seriously pray on this and determine whether to receive; it is always better to err on the safe side. I understand how difficult to swallow this can be, but these kinds of truths cannot be passed over. I’ll pray for him.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.