Sacrament of Reconciliation and Healing

So - I have heard from multiple places that when you are struggling with addictions or with healing past hurts, that frequent use of the sacrament of reconciliation can be really helpful.

I guess I am kinda confused as to how this works. I mean, I understand how it absolves you of your sins and gives you healing from those. But how does it work to help fight addictions or heal old wounds if they are not really sinful? :blush:


You receive graces with each sacrament. And combined with the Holy Eucharist, one has the power to resist to temptation. Well, can you think of a greater temptation that one has to face that is battling an addiction? I canā€™t.

John 1:1-14 (English Standard Version)

The Word Became Flesh 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and*** the life was the light of men.*** 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

A few thoughts:

  1. In my home in Louisianaā€¦we get those flash-floods from massive and powerful thunderstorms. When those waters come rushing down our red clay dirt roadsā€¦they carve in the soil ruts and groovesā€¦some are pretty rough and deepā€¦you can barely walk on themā€¦driving is a slow tedious process. Get the picture?

  2. Okay, our soul is like that roadā€¦even after the rains (all sins)ā€¦the flash floods (mortal sins) are gone (forgiven and removed by the Sacrament of Reconciliationā€“Jesusā€™ forgiving us through his priestā€“in persona Christi)ā€¦the soul is still heavily cratered by the devastation our sins, especially mortal sins, have inflicted on the soul.

  3. So going back to the Sacrament more frequentlyā€¦we allow the Holy Spirit of our Redeemer to get to the root of the sins especially past serious/mortal sinsā€¦always rooted in pride, vanity or sensuousnessā€¦in some form or another. What we are really doing (always and completely by the graces of Godā€™s Holy Spiritā€“all we do is be humble and cooperate with the Holy Spirit) is letting the Light of Christ (see John 1: 4-5 above) come into the deepest recesses of our Soulā€¦recesses that we canā€™t even begin to see or understand because it is a deep darknessā€¦but"ā€¦ ***the darkness has not overcome itā€¦" ***( ā€œ[size=3]itā€ā€“the light and life of Jesus)[/size]. We must let in the light to get into the deep darkness of our soul for the healingā€¦the Holy Spirit willā€¦(see Romans 8:26 below)

Romans 8:26 (English Standard Version) 26Likewise*** the Spirit helps us in our weakness***. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

  1. Saint Catherine of Siena says that we should go into the basement of our soul and donā€™t come out until we have a holy hatred of "self"! I believe that she was getting at this ā€œdarknessā€ which we all have deep in our soulā€¦in some shape or fashionā€¦but hide from it or use platitudes and ā€œPhariseeā€ type spiritual devotions to ā€œjustifyā€ our selves. remember the parable Jesus toldā€¦Pharisee and Tax Collectorā€¦
    Luke 18:9-20 (English Standard Version)

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ā€˜God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.ā€™ 13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!***'14***I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but*** the one who humbles himself will be exalted***."

  1. The great gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the forgiveness of the sinā€¦but the hidden greater gift (where real peace and joy come from)ā€¦is when we humble ourselves in total honesty before Jesusā€“in the person of his priestā€“owning up to every aspect of our sinfulnessā€“especially getting to confessing the ā€œroot causeā€ of our sinful habits or addictionsā€¦the Holy Spirit really goes to workā€¦Let The Healing Begin! Amen!
    This has been my experienceā€¦ and I hope this helps you in some small way.

Pax Christi

Wow - thank you so much for that reply. I am working on preparing myself for a confession appt that I have this evening with my priest. I really want to lay everything down at the feet of Christ - and I pray that I have the strength and courage to do so.

God bless you!

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