I was just wondering,
Why is confession so estentiall when God is in our hearts? Do we have to go to a priest to be forgiven or can we confess directly to God through prayer?
Please help me!
JESUS instituted the sacrament of confession in HIS first visit to HIS apostles upon HIS ressurection, “whose sins you forgive they are forgiven and whose sins you retain they are retained”. So, as JESUS did institute this sacrament to be ministered through HIS apostles and priest, then we need to go to them.
Yes, we can go directly to GOD, but generally only in times of life threatening situations, such as the Twin Towers on 911 or other such terrible events, in which the loss of your life appears to be a possibility.
When you look through history and realize that GOD’s chosen have done terrible sins, i.e. David (who slew goliath and was King David for many years) committed adultery and then murder to cover up the adultery, and he confessed and was forgiven.
So, do not be in fear of telling your sins to the priest, you are not going to shock him, but you are going to experience a wonderful sense of release. If it has been awhile, make a list and call the parish to set an appointment.
The priest will be very direct with you as to the nature of your sins, but he will not harm you, he will heal you.
Please, go and be freed from the burden you are carrying.
It’s very enlightening to read the episode of King David’s repentance from his adultery and murder. The prophet Nathan accused David of his sins, and David repented bitterly, fasting and praying. No-one who reads the beautiful Psalm 51 (“Have mercy on me, God, according to your lovingkindness …”), which tradition holds was written at this time, can doubt David’s sincere repentance.
But having done all this, did David just get up one day and say ‘OK, I’ve done enough, I now trust that God has forgiven me’? No. He waited until NATHAN told him ‘for your part, God has forgiven your sins’.
See, God knows that when we’ve sinned seriously we need tangible (perceptible to the senses) reassurance of our forgiveness. This is why Christ instituted the sacrament when He did. They had all, apart from John, abandoned Him, and doubtless felt incredibly guilty and wondered whether He would forgive them. So they needed this reassurance, and He allowed them to give it to each other.
For us, it comes through the words of our priests, as it did for David through the words of Nathan.
Because Jesus knew what is best for us…and arranged it this way (mortal sins must be confessed…venial are recommended to confess at least some…but can be forgiven in other ways such as contrition in prayer)
I have found a good resource for you Go to www.fathercorapi.com and in the middle of the page in the right hand column under a block entitle Social Commentary, there is a link to a printable pdf entitle EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE.
A good primer to help you form and prepare.
God can certainly (and does) forgive us when we go “straight to Him”. He is a loving Father who does not refuse forgiveness to his children.
Sometimes I look at the difference between going straight to God and going to confession as the difference between emailing a confession and apologizing in person. To me, meeting Jesus in confession through the person of His priest is a much more intimate encounter - one in which I can HEAR Him assure me of His forgiveness. With an email, I would have to sit there and wonder if the person ever got it, or maybe I sent it to the wrong address, or maybe it went into the SPAM folder, etc.
The sacrament of confession provides absolution, which going straight to God in prayer does not. It is also a way for the penitent to be reconciled with the church, as sin harms that relationship as well.
Fr. David provides a much better explanation that I am giving here. Unfortunately, I am not getting any results when I search for his posts.
Added bonuses include: grace to fight future temptation, advice and guidance from the priest on avoiding the sin in the future, and the opportunity to surrender to Jesus in humility and obedience the things that keep us from Him
Thanks everbody for helping out,
I am 13 and don’t have overly religious parents, who just take me to church every once and a while. I recently went to a Christian camp and I go to a baptist youth group and both having me want to understand and learn more about our amazing God. I want to go to confession but Ive gone twice in my life, just cause all I attend is mass.
That’s why I asked if I could be forgiven directly through God, because I dont get the opportunity to confess when I want to .
Firstly - rest assured that God knows your situation. You want to go and can’t. He won’t hold it against you if it’s truly not possible for you to go, as long as you go when you can.
Having said that, there are a few things you can do. Do you have any other friends or relatives or anyone else you know who are Catholic and go to church more regularly than your parents? Maybe they could give you a lift.
By the way, you can, if you get to Mass early by 15 minutes or so, knock on the door of the sacristy and ask if the priest has a little time to hear your confession. He can do so then and there. At worst he’d probably ask you to come back and see him after Mass.
If you ever go past the church or the presbytery on your way anywhere else, it may even be worth popping in or knocking on the door to see if the priest is anywhere around.
Point is, you don’t need to wait for the scheduled confession times.
Thank you very much,
I don’t know if I will possibly be able to get to a confession unless my parents decide to go, which will probably be my sister conformation in a couple years, until then I will have to just continue to try to become a better Catholic and pray to God for guidance. I am hoping that in 4 year after I graduate I can attend church regualarly and confess all I need to say.
It’s very comforting to know that God know my situations
Pray, certainly, but also try to find a way. Pick up the phone, call the church office, and talk to someone about your situation. You go to school - is your school anywhere near a Catholic church or presbytery? If it’s close enough you can arrange to meet the priest before or after school or during your break.
Talk to your parents and tell them that you feel that you need to go to church, and ask if they’ll take you - or at least drive you there. You might be surprised. Talk to your friends - are any of them Catholic?
There is no Catholic church in the town I go to school in, and I live on an acreage , so my church is about 15 minutes away unfortunately. 3/5 friends are baptists and the other two are atheists. I plan on bringing it up next time were on the way to church I just dont want to get into a conversation about why I want to confess with my parents. Hopefully I can build up the nerve to just ask.
Wait a sec - you said your parents don’t go to church regularly. Why not start by just talking to them about the fact that you want to go to Mass more often? See how they respond to that idea.
And when I said friends I didn’t mean close friends, just people you know - is there anyone apart from your parents that you know in your area who’s Catholic? Someone they’d trust to give you a lift to and from Mass on Sundays?
I actually don’t know any Catholics in my area who my parents would trust to take me to mass. I like your idea of taking small steps and convincing my parents to go to mass more regularly ! Hopefully this works out for me.
It can be a difficult thing to talk with to your parents but I agree on bringing up wanting to go to mass regularly if they’d take you - to at least drop you off if they don’t want to go. They may be struggling spiritually and it may be your actions that lead them back to Christ. I joined the Church as an adult but growing up I went to a nondemoniational church. My parents went when I was very young, were very involved and then that just stopped. But I wanted to keep going and they were very willing to do that. Looking back, I know that they were struggling during that time - and still are - with their faith. But they put me first and allowed me to go as well as to do extra curriculars with the church. So keep praying and talk with your parents.
By the way, confession is so much better as a Catholic than not. It’s more difficult, it makes me examine myself more closely and really want to change myself (not just words) and it’s more freeing.
These are all good answers you are getting from the different posters.
Here’s another angle…
Confession is the inexhaustible source of renewable grace.
The grace recieved in Matrimony, Confirmation and Baptism is a one time deal.
Confession is renewable and inexhaustible…how can I not avail myself of such a gift, such an opportunity?
Once a year is all that Holy Mother Church requires of us…I personally try to go once or twice a month…