What exactly does confessing your sins do? Is anyone beyond redemption to God? If so, what do you when you have screwed up your life on Earth. What does repentance do? How long should you hold your guilt? How do you feel sorry for your sins without rationalizing them or making yourself the victim? Why should you see yourself for what you truly are, what if you are truly wicked or it is too difficult to honestly see how all your sins have damaged others and/or yourself?
No one is beyond redemption if they sincerely ask for forgiveness. Going to confession with a contrite heart insures God’s forgiveness. For all sinners this is a first step in the journey to holiness. No one can honestly see the harm we have done to others. Remember Christ’s words on the cross, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
We can only trust God at His word. He has forgiven us. We need to begin life anew and begin again. Perhaps we will need to begin again and again and again. If possible try to make restitution for those harmed by our actions. If this is not possible do this, be grateful to God for the blessing of forgiveness and reach out to others with God’s compassion and forgiveness.
One can not undo the past but we can strive to make this moment and each new moment a time for God.
Yes, I agree. Well put in my opinion.
Interesting you say no one can honestly see the harm they have done to others?
A cross word to a sales clerk maybe?
A smile not given when desperately needed?
A letter not written?
A thoughtless word expressed?
Blindness toward someone’s pain?
An angry look at a child?
A drink offered to an alcoholic?
A snicker a someone’s weight?
There are so many thoughtless ways we can harm each other and not be aware of the hurt we have inflicted.
Small things perhaps - but they are like pebbles thrown in a still pool causing ripples that can travel a long ways. They can ripple in ways totally unknown to us.
Fortunately the same can be said of the small kindnesses we can offer to those around us.
One thing confession does it make us face ourselves and our downfalls, our sins, our weaknesses. We are humbled by asking for forgiveness, and I think the Sacrament of Confession, in addition to being the way our Savior left for us to receive His Forgiveness on earth, teaches us humility.
How long to hold onto your guilt? Not a minute longer. NOT ONE MINUTE. Feeling sad for our sins and for hurting God? Okay. But don’t let guilt (unforgiveness) tarry a moment longer in your heart or mind. The residual effects of sin can be felt, and resurrected in your heart or mind at the worst times, but don’t hold them against yourself, or you might fall prey to that sin once again.
Think of this: is your forgiveness bigger than God’s? Are you more important than God that once God has forgiven you (and our sins hurt HIM more than us or anyone else, for we were created in and for love), you don’t forgive yourself?
I have lists and lists of sins. It’s actually HARD for me to confess my sin without ‘conditions’, unless another sin put me into that temptation of sin (overdrinking, perhaps), which I have to confess as well. Don’t rationalize, to yourself, or to God through the priest.
There is a book by Vinny Flynn (I think) about the 7 secrets of a good confession.
Leave your sins in the confessional. Fill it with His Grace and Love when you walk out.
God bless you.