Confession


#1

I’m sure someone has asked this same question numerous times in the past, but I could not find a thread!
I grew up in the Methodist church, strayed way,way far from where I should have been when I was a teenager, asked Jesus into my life, went back to Medothist, then to Baptist, now non-denominational. As I get older, I’m coming to value history and tradition in my life and in the life of my family, and have been reading more about the Catholic church. Especially most recently due to the Pope.

There are several questions I have regarding Catholocism…hope I spelled that right…the first of I’d like to post here and would greatly appreciate any and all responses.

Can someone please explain the act of confession? I understand confessing my sins to God, and John 20: 21-23; but are we not all disciples of Jesus? That passage is not allowing each and every one of us to forgive sins…far as I can tell. Where can I find in the bible passages about confessing to men or ministers or Priests?

Sorry for the long-windedness…I want to learn to serve and worship the way God wants me to!


#2

There will be other who will answer you better than I will.

Mathew 16

19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 14 Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.He is speaking to Peter and in what you quote he is speaking to the apostles not to the Church as a whole.

This explains it in detail

catholic.com/library/Forgiveness_of_Sins.asp

God Bless You in your search


#3

Don’t forget what the earliest Christians have to say :slight_smile: :

catholic.com/library/Confession.asp


#4

I understand confessing my sins to God, and John 20: 21-23; but are we not all disciples of Jesus?

Mmmm, kinda, not really. While we all DO have the duty/obligation to share the good news to others, this is really a modern slant on this (and all like) passages. If you notice, He gives to the disciples in the room, those who followed Him, this command. He breathes on them, the Holy Spirit. The first time that was done, was when God became intimate with his own creation to animate human souls. This is special (at least that is my take on it). WHY would He do this, if it was for everybody? It was for THOSE MEN who had that ability & which they could pass on to others. There is something to note there, “whose sins you retain.” HOW would these men know which sins to retain unless they heard them? I know that the Protestant slant on this is to say that “Jesus meant everybody,” and, that is true in a practical sense, I believe, because God, the Ultimate Authour, CAN AND OFTEN DOES speak on more than one level, HOWEVER!!!, remember, that the Bible didn’t come about as we know it for almost 400 years after Jesus’s birth. A good 360 years after His death. People couldn’t look at a passage and interpret it. They had to go with what Jesus said, AND, HOW did the common person know? By what their priest taught them? And how did those priests know? Because they were taught by priests who were taught by priests who were taught by priests who became priests because of Jesus commissioning them to go out & preach.

I know I’m missing things, but, I hope this helps.


#5

Everybody seems to have given pretty good answers to this…I will just add one more Scripture verse:

Jas 5, 16

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

[left]Also, I posted this before on a different thread but I will repost what the Baltimore Catechism says on the subject:
[/left]
“Christ never asked men to confess their sins to Him as He could read their hearts. He could see both their sins and their sorrow. However, He rarely gives the power of reading hearts to priests. He wants people to tell their sins since this humbles that pride which is the root of all sin. If we were to tell our sins to God alone, pride would not be humbled and would remain strong.”

[left]Hope it helps!

Pax Vobiscum

~Stephen[/left]


#6

These are all wonderful responses, thank you! The quote from the Baltimore Catechsim is exactly the thought I was having on it…that it was a pride issue. Of course, confessing to God in prayer is one thing; but confessing out loud to an individual would deffinitely humble you even more.
So what gives authority to Priests to hand out Penance? If that’s still done, anyway. And in what way does that help the individual confessing?


#7

[quote=1Stephen1]So what gives authority to Priests to hand out Penance? If that’s still done, anyway. And in what way does that help the individual confessing?
[/quote]

There are two types of consequences from sin. Spiritual and temporal. The absolution granted by the priest addresses the spiritual aspect of the sin. However, when we sin, it does not merely affect ourselves. It also affects others. Anyone else who witnessed the sin and how it influenced them (did the fact that I sinned lead another to sin). The Church. (I am a representative of the Church and my sin causes others to look badly on the Church. Did my sin possibly drive them away from the faith?) Christ Himself. (As a follower of Christ, I represent Him before others. If I sin, those who witness it will say, “This is how followers of Christ act.” Therefore, it is only fitting that we be given a Penance to go some way toward repairing the damage we have done.

For example, if I am told to recite a Rosary for Penance, I do not perform this Penance in private. I will take out my Rosary and go for a walk so that those who see me will say, there goes a man of faith who is willing to pray publically. If these same people witnessed my sin, it is hoped that they will say, “he is praying because he has sinned.”

Additionally, just as it is true that the more one sins, the easier it becomes to sin, the more good acts one does the easier it becomes to continue to do good and, thereby, avoid sin. By having a temporal consequence, one that goes beyond stepping into a confessional and confessing one’s sin in private, you also put up what is hoped to be stumbling blocks to sin.

Lastly, our willingness to accept the assigned Penance demonstrates how true our repentance for the confessed sin is. Confession by itself is not good enough. As the Council of Trent taught, the absolution given in the Sacrament is only valid if one has repented.

All Sacraments require form, matter and intent to be valid. In the case of Confession, the form is the verbal confession of sins by the sinner and the words of absolution by the priest. The intent is to receive and grant God’s forgiveness in the method He established for us. The matter is a repentant sinner and an ordained priest.

I hope that this explanation helps.


#8

[quote=1Stephen1]These are all wonderful responses, thank you! The quote from the Baltimore Catechsim is exactly the thought I was having on it…that it was a pride issue. Of course, confessing to God in prayer is one thing; but confessing out loud to an individual would deffinitely humble you even more.
So what gives authority to Priests to hand out Penance? If that’s still done, anyway. And in what way does that help the individual confessing?
[/quote]

1Stephen1,
I would really suggest that you get into a good catholic study like the one they offer FREE here:
amm.org/chss/chss.htm.
It will give you some great answers
"We Believe" or “The Privilege of Being Catholic” will be good starts.
Pax vobiscum,


#9

[quote=1Stephen1]These are all wonderful responses, thank you! The quote from the Baltimore Catechsim is exactly the thought I was having on it…that it was a pride issue. Of course, confessing to God in prayer is one thing; but confessing out loud to an individual would deffinitely humble you even more.
So what gives authority to Priests to hand out Penance? If that’s still done, anyway. And in what way does that help the individual confessing?
[/quote]

Hi, Stephen. Your insight about confession shows that you are well on your way to holiness. Sometimes one has the feeling that the hardest things to confess are the ones that Jesus receives with the most pity . . .

Let me testify as a Convert that Confession is one of the BEST things about being Catholic. There are truly THREE people in that room . . .

Assigning Penance is part of the process of restitution. When when your sin has caused another harm, you must “pay back” the damage: you broke da window – you replace da window. But sometimes there is no way to do that, or when a sin doesn’t have a material aspect, then a penance can be like “medicine” – a way of building your resolve to completely amend your life and of acknowledging, in a loving and concrete way, the freely given grace and forgiveness of God.

Priests in confession act “in the person of Christ” (to quote St. Paul), thus, we receive a kind of judgment. My confessor (I go to the same guy all the time) frequently assigns as penance meditation on a passage of Scripture relevant to the dominant problem of that day. When I came into the Church and made my life confession, the priest who received it assigned as penance an hour of thanksgiving in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. :slight_smile:

This is an AMAZING Sacrament. What a gift of God! :thumbsup:


#10

[quote=1Stephen1]These are all wonderful responses, thank you! The quote from the Baltimore Catechsim is exactly the thought I was having on it…that it was a pride issue. Of course, confessing to God in prayer is one thing; but confessing out loud to an individual would deffinitely humble you even more.
So what gives authority to Priests to hand out Penance? If that’s still done, anyway.
[/quote]

The authority comes, in scripture, from:

Matthew 16

The authority also comes from the succession of priest that can be traced back to the apostles in Matthew 16. The apostles were directly graced with the Holy Spirit, and via the “binding and loosing” scripture- have passed that authority down to our priests. The priests, (bishops, etc.) are acting as helpers to the steward (the pope) of the earthly Kingdom of God in providing the sacrament of reconciliation to us today.

And in what way does that help the individual confessing?

I’m sure you will get a number of really great scriptural evidence and theological answers here, but I’m going to just give you my own thoughts on what this sacrament does to help me.

So often pride is the instigator for my disobedience- wether through anger, jealousy, or the dreaded “I just didn’t FEEL like it…” (You can fill in the blank.)

When I receive absolution, I am reminded of the Mercy God showers on me- even though I sin. I show him how truly contrite I am, and I put aside any pride- FOR God’s Mercy. Every time I confess, I feel a little closer to God. And every time I am confronted by temptation, I feel stronger in overcomming it BECAUSE of the gifts that the Sacrament of Reconcilliation bestows on me.

As mercygate said in another post (this isn’t verbatim): “When I kneel in front of my confessor, and as he places his hand on my head for the prayer of absolution, I feel a physical connection through the millenia to when Christ washed the feet of his apostles.” I think I felt this connection, but until she stated it that way, it was like an awakening to the profoundness of the sacrament.

It is a truly beautiful sacrament.


#11

[quote=Church Militant] I would really suggest that you get into a good catholic study like the one they offer FREE here:
amm.org/chss/chss.htm.
It will give you some great answers
"We Believe" or “The Privilege of Being Catholic” will be good starts.
Pax vobiscum,
[/quote]

CM, what a great resource! Thanks.


#12

Matthew 16:19, Here Jesus gives His Apostles the ability to give absolution.

See 1st John 1:8-9. It says God will forgive if you confess.

Hey it is not the Priest who is forgiving, it is God through the Priest. Only God can forgive.

Holy Mother Church knows the psychology of confession. The priest can tell you that you are forgiven, the Protestant who confesses ( if he ever does confess) hears nothing.


#13

It isnt the preist who forgives, its the act of confessioning that brings forgiveness.


#14

Confession Is Wrong!!! It Is Not In The Bible!!! It Was Used As A Way To Get Blackmail Material From People. It Is An Invention Of Man.


#15

I am gaining a pretty decent understanding to this, I think. Having to be held accountable for your actions to a man…in the physical world…and one that can point you toward scripture and the means to reconcile with God…in the spirit. It’s beginning to look like to me that the Protestant church has taken quite a bit of scripture out of context by not thinking of the actual history; but simply the text and how it relates to our current world. Although a Pastor or minister can point to scripture to help someone in their walk…but do not take a personal approach…not sure where I’m going with this…


#16

This most deffinitely does help me…greatly! I’m not exactly sure what the Council of Trent is; but I’m looking it up.

When I confess sins to God in prayer, I do feel guilt. Being human though, that guilt goes away fairly quickly. In prayer, I confess…ask for forgiveness…it’s done. Typically I forget, and I do it again. So, if I confess to a Priest, I make an out loud, verbal confession, thereby humbling myself before God by knocking my pride down, the Priest gives me a penance so I will think about what I did, possibly read scripture given to me as penance to learn. Sound right?


#17

[quote=dangitsfang]Confession Is Wrong!!! It Is Not In The Bible!!! It Was Used As A Way To Get Blackmail Material From People. It Is An Invention Of Man.
[/quote]

Not to sound hostile, so please forgive me if I do. Do you have anything to back that up? It seems that everyone else here has such a solid understanding of it and can back it up with documented history and scripture. I’m very open to your comment, since I’m trying to learn as much as possible.


#18

[quote=Exporter]Matthew 16:19, Here Jesus gives His Apostles the ability to give absolution.

See 1st John 1:8-9. It says God will forgive if you confess.

Hey it is not the Priest who is forgiving, it is God through the Priest. Only God can forgive.

Holy Mother Church knows the psychology of confession. The priest can tell you that you are forgiven, the Protestant who confesses ( if he ever does confess) hears nothing.
[/quote]

My oh my. The difference between the NIV and the King James. 1st John 1:8-9 in the NIV do not mentionthe term “confession” at all! I’m think I should find something other that the NIV to continue my quest! Which version should I be consulting?


#19

[quote=1Stephen1]Not to sound hostile, so please forgive me if I do. Do you have anything to back that up? It seems that everyone else here has such a solid understanding of it and can back it up with documented history and scripture. I’m very open to your comment, since I’m trying to learn as much as possible.
[/quote]

He was suspended.


#20

[quote=Church Militant]1Stephen1,
I would really suggest that you get into a good catholic study like the one they offer FREE here:
amm.org/chss/chss.htm.
It will give you some great answers
"We Believe" or “The Privilege of Being Catholic” will be good starts.
Pax vobiscum,
[/quote]

Bless you! I’ve signed up for the “We Believe” course!


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