[quote="Debora123, post:3, topic:274438"]
Alright, now let's take the dying part out of it.
When we ask for forgiveness through prayer, does God forgive us then? Or are we not truly forgiven until we go to confession?
I wish I had that kind of faith. I wish all people did, but unfortunately VERY few people have that type of faith where they literally can move mountains.
More often, like in the Gospels, it requires the faith of other people to move God to pity and forgive us our sins. Not only that but He requires us to be humble before we are forgiven. He also requires us to be human and not mere embodied angels.
If we were angelic being we could simply move our intellect and will to God, "I am sorry."
We are human and so God requires us to physically get up and walk over to a person and humiliate ourselves before that other person. Ideally, this is to a person whom we believe to be in the person of Christ (assuming Jesus wasn't a liar, a priest is inpersona Christi).
Now, someone will say I can tell my sins to anyone, and beg forgiveness from God and beg them to beg God to forgive me as well, make firm resolve there, and do penance to undue the harm that has been done. I will grant that.... that is a step in the right direction.
Ultimately, I have experience on my side. And, when an elderly priest in a confessional, who has never met me, suddenly begins to list sins, in detail, as they are about to come out of your mouth, you get a heaviness in the chest and a pit in your stomach, and get convinced pretty quick! Yeah, that might be Fr. Whoever but Jesus Christ is certainly there doing exactly what He said He would do.