Priests & Confession


#1

I heard once that priests actually do acts of penance for their penitents every time people confess to them. Is this true? I can't see to find anything on it in the Catechism.

If it is true, what types of penances do they do? And do they do penance for each individual person who confesses to them or just in general for all the people who come to them?


#2

[quote="elizabeth211, post:1, topic:328357"]
I heard once that priests actually do acts of penance for their penitents every time people confess to them. Is this true? I can't see to find anything on it in the Catechism.

If it is true, what types of penances do they do? And do they do penance for each individual person who confesses to them or just in general for all the people who come to them?

[/quote]

Some priests do this and many priests do not. Some priests are active in helping the homeless. Some priests are active in the pro-life movement. Some are active in Catholic schools. There is no rule that requires a priest to do this. Every priest has his own callings and ministries. :)


#3

This is in the Catechism:

1466 The confessor is not the master of God’s forgiveness, but its servant. The minister of this sacrament should unite himself to the intention and charity of Christ.71 He should have a proven knowledge of Christian behavior, experience of human affairs, respect and sensitivity toward the one who has fallen; he must love the truth, be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, and lead the penitent with patience toward healing and full maturity. He must pray and do penance for his penitent, entrusting him to the Lord’s mercy.

I don’t know how it plays out in real life.


#4

I wonder, and I would love to ask our Beloved Father Ben at our parish,
if, when he puts on the stole and enters the closet ; ) he begins with a prayer,
to ask the Holy Spirit to guide him with doling out correct pennance, and to be strong to
not be mentally affected by our confessions. Lets face it, priests hear everything, could probably write some interesting books if they could, and sometimes when young people, married people, single lonely people, confess certain actions that would suggest impure mental images, these poor priests have to listen to these, and have to ward off the enemy just by avoiding the mental pictures from the confessions alone. I am sure they must pray for strength, and then when they are done say a prayer for all of us to give us the strength to not repeat our sins. Wouldnt you? Dont you, as a person and a child of God, when you hear bad news, or if someone is struggling with something (and I am sure that is what all of us are doing here at the Forum) we pray for all our brothers and sisters, because being Christ-like we love one another, even those we may never get to meet in person..... and we arent even priests!

Maybe a priest will see this post and help us out with an answer.... I pray for them, they are all SAINTS


#5

Hearing Confessions is penance enough. Have you ever noticed how hot it is in there? I can only stand it for a few minutes ;)

But some priests do do actual penances for their flock. At the very least, they pray for those entrusted to them.


#6

[quote="NHeath, post:4, topic:328357"]
I wonder, and I would love to ask our Beloved Father Ben at our parish,
if, when he puts on the stole and enters the closet ; ) he begins with a prayer,
to ask the Holy Spirit to guide him with doling out correct pennance, and to be strong to
not be mentally affected by our confessions. Lets face it, priests hear everything, could probably write some interesting books if they could, and sometimes when young people, married people, single lonely people, confess certain actions that would suggest impure mental images, these poor priests have to listen to these, and have to ward off the enemy just by avoiding the mental pictures from the confessions alone. I am sure they must pray for strength, and then when they are done say a prayer for all of us to give us the strength to not repeat our sins. Wouldnt you? Dont you, as a person and a child of God, when you hear bad news, or if someone is struggling with something (and I am sure that is what all of us are doing here at the Forum) we pray for all our brothers and sisters, because being Christ-like we love one another, even those we may never get to meet in person..... and we arent even priests!

Maybe a priest will see this post and help us out with an answer.... I pray for them, they are all SAINTS

[/quote]

Just one of the many things which makes them such very special men. As a Church we are blessed to have our priests. :yup:


#7

When I was a boy in South Florida, our home was a second home - sort of a "home away frome home- for our Parish priests. They didn't even have to knock on the door, they just came in.
One Saturday evening, Father X ccame in and settled in an easy chair in our living room. He had a rather dour look on his face, so my mother asked him what was the matter. His reply was: "I just came from 4 hours in the Confessional, and I do not like people very much right now". So, my mother made him a cup of coffee and fed him a piece of pie and left him alone.


#8

[quote="George_Stegmeir, post:7, topic:328357"]
When I was a boy in South Florida, our home was a second home - sort of a "home away frome home- for our Parish priests. They didn't even have to knock on the door, they just came in.
One Saturday evening, Father X ccame in and settled in an easy chair in our living room. He had a rather dour look on his face, so my mother asked him what was the matter. His reply was: "I just came from 4 hours in the Confessional, and I do not like people very much right now". So, my mother made him a cup of coffee and fed him a piece of pie and left him alone.

[/quote]

Bless your mother for her wisdom and your family for offering the priests somewhere they could have a sympathetic breathing space. :clapping: Our priests get assailed from all directions by so many issues, they deserve our support, prayers and love.


#9

This is very true. Let us always pray daily for our priests -.particularly now when they are being attacked at every angle - by the child abuse issue, the celibacy issue, the seal of confession issue, catholic ‘wingers’ & the general topic of the church’s relevance in the secular world. For the many priests who are innocent & happily celibate, we must take our opportunity to support them every way we can.


#10

Amen!


#11

I went to my first confession and felt sick afterwards. A young lady (cradle catholic) went in after me. She came out crying her eyes out. Was the priest lacking grace? Do priest have guidelines during confession ?:confused:


#12

I’m sorry you felt sick after your first confession. :frowning: Believe me, I have an idea of what that is like.

There are a thousand and one reasons why people leave the confessional in the state they do. In the case of the person who confessed after you, there is just no way of knowing why she was in tears. That’s between her, the priest and God. I wouldn’t worry about it.

In each of six recent confessions, I have left feeling happy, feeling ill, feeling relieved, feeling defeated, crying buckets of tears, and ready to strangle someone. All confessions were with the same priest. There were different reasons for each result, most of which had nothing to do with him.

As for guidelines, it depends upon what you mean by that. There is a format to confession, but in my experience it’s not a rigid formula except for the words of absolution. If you are talking about the priest’s behavior and attitude, I think that’s just down to common sense. For example, a priest should not behave in a way that makes people scared or reluctant to confess. There may be a document with recommendations for how the priest should act in confession, but if so I do not know about it (I’m not an expert in such things :blush:).


#13

I have so much to learn about Catholicism . :slight_smile:


#14

Good job you didn’t witness one of mine - it was actually a breakdown and not a confession as the Priest kept saying “not a sin”. So I would not read too much into it.

Please keep going at the Sacrament of Reconciliation, it gets easier. It took me quite a while to understand and feel the benefit of this wonderful Sacrament.

I don’t know if they have guidelines, but I do know that when I am at the Sacrament of Reconciliation the Priest is prayerfully listening. I get the strong sense that as the Priest is listening, he is somehow in communion with Jesus and that the words I hear are not completely the Priest’s words. I can’t explain it, but there is just a huge difference between it and normal conversation. This is just my feeling and is not based on any facts or teachings of the Church.

God bless.


#15

I made my confession at a retreat not my home parish. My priests at home is full of grace. The one at the retreat, not so much. After mass this priest ate some of the bread in handfuls and the deacon drank from the cup . I mean he picked up the cup and drank and drank. This happened after the service was over. Weird!


#16

This happened after mass not the confession.:o


#17

Eating the remaining Precious Body is common if there is no Tabernacle available. The deacon was likely cleansing the chalice (that is, purifying them to make sure that there is not one drop of the Blood of our Lord left), which should be done during or after every Mass. If you were at a retreat center, this is probably the cause.


#18

I’m so relieved to know that now. Thank you! So much to learn.


#19

I almost always cry at confession, whether it was 10+ years, or a weekly/monthly confession. It pains me greatly to admit my sins to God, even though He already knows them. But I almost without fail feel better afterwards. When I realize how far I’ve chosen to live away from God’s Love and Grace, even for a moment, I’m so ashamed and upset.

Did you know that I pray for everyone else in line at the Confessional? So perhaps, your neighbor is praying for you…that’s something to think of.


#20

You never know why someone might be crying.

I remember attending a communal reconciliation service. During my confession the priest said something so beautiful about God’s love that I started crying. As I was leaving I said to him “Oh no, I’m crying and people are going to think you’re really mean. You’ll have a short line after this.” He laughed and blessed me and all was well.


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