So glad we have confession


What an awesome sacrament Jesus left us!

I usually like to slide in during scheduled times, but with only 10 minutes of confessions before weekday Masses, I didn’t want to hog the whole time or be rushed, so I emailed our kind priest and asked if he had time after Mass. He obliged.

It shouldn’t amaze me, but it does. They can take all the ick and grime that we confess and turn things around. The things that I was resentful about, are opportunities to participate in the paschal mystery and offer back to the Father for the good of the one I am resentful of! Is that a great economy? It becomes redemptive!

Twenty or so minutes later, I left feeling so encouraged, so much lighter. Hopeful. I marvel at how he always knows just what to say.

Thank you, God, for this sacrament and for your humble priests who bring your love, peace, joy, strength, and hope to us!


When I went to confession last week, I had an experience I have never had before. The priest told me how happy and delighted I made God by coming to confession.

I have often thought how disappointed God might be with me but never thought about God being happy with me. It was and is a wonderful thought to reflect on and has meant a great deal to me. :)


apostolic exhortation
reconciliation and penance
of john paul ii
to the bishops
clergy and faithful
on** reconciliation and penance
in the mission of the church today**

chapter ii

“mysterium pietatis”

  1. In order to understand sin we have had to direct our attention to its nature as made known to us by the revelation of the economy of salvation: This is the mysterium iniquitatis. But in this economy sin is not the main principle, still less the victor. Sin fights against another active principle which-to use a beautiful and evocative expression of st. Paul-we can call the mysterium or sacramentum pietatis. Man’s sin would be the winner and in the end destructive, god’s salvific plan would remain incomplete or even totally defeated, if this mysterium pietatis were not made part of the dynamism of history in order to conquer man’s sin.

We find this expression in one of st. Paul’s pastoral letters, the first letter to timothy. It appears unexpectedly, as if by an exuberant inspiration. The apostle had previously devoted long paragraphs of his message to his beloved disciple to an explanation of the meaning of the ordering of the community (the liturgical order and the related hierarchical one). Next he had spoken of the role of the heads of the community, before turning to the conduct of timothy himself in the church of the living god, the pillar and bulwark of the truth." then at the end of the passage suddenly, but with a profound purpose, he evokes the element which gives meaning to everything that he has written:** “great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion.**”(104)

without in the least betraying the literal sense of the text, we can broaden this magnificent theological insight of st. Paul into a more complete vision of the role which the truth proclaimed by him plays in the economy of salvation: “great indeed,” we repeat with him, “is the mystery of our religion,” because it conquers sin.

but what is the meaning of this expression, in paul’s mind?

It is christ himself

  1. It is profoundly significant that when paul presents this mysterium pietatis he simply transcribes, without making a grammatical link with what he has just written,(105) three lines of a christological hymn which-in the opinion of authoritative scholars- has used in the greek-speaking christian communities.

In the words of that hymn, full of theological content and rich in noble beauty, those first-century believers professed their faith in the mystery of christ, whereby:

-he was made manifest in the reality of human flesh and was constituted by the holy spirit as the just one who offers himself for the unjust.

-he appeared to the angels, having been made greater than them, and he was preached to the nations as the bearer of salvation.

-he was believed in, in the world, as the one sent by the father, and by the same father assumed into heaven as lord.(106)

** The mystery or sacrament of pietas, therefore, is the very mystery of christ**.** it is, in a striking summary, the mystery of the incarnation and redemption, of the full passover of jesus, the son of god and son of mary: The mystery of his passion and death, of his resurrection and glorification.** what st. Paul in quoting the phrases of the hymn wished to** emphasize was that this mystery is the hidden vital principle which makes the church the house of god, the pillar and bulwark of the truth**. Following the pauline teaching, we can affirm that this same mystery of god’s infinite loving kindness toward us is capable of penetrating to the hidden roots of our iniquity! In order to evoke in the soul a movement of conversion, in order to redeem it and set it on course toward reconciliation.


I understand completely. About two years ago, I went to confession (a pre-arranged appointment I had made with our pastor,) and just laid bare all of the yucky attitudes and thoughts that I had entertained, apparently, for years.

Thirty minutes later, I emerged, and only a sense of middle-aged decorum prevented me from doing backflips down the main aisle of my parish church (and, by the way, I can still do them.)

I am reminded of St. Teresa of Avila’s words: “Blessed be God, Who has made me so incompetent. Most heartily do I praise Him for raising up learned and holy men…”

We are truly blessed to have access to this wonderful Sacrament. I feel sorry for Protestants, who, although they believe in the same God as we do, and share to a large part our tradition, don’t have the absolute assurance and guarantee that our sins are indeed forgiven us.


Indeed. I have a great deal of trouble understanding how some (including my catholic step-mother) “don’t feel like doing confession”, or “don’t feel like they have to”. I always hear “Well, I just confess directly to God”. Centuries of tradition, volumes of theology, some of the greatest minds in the world telling you to go to confession, and you “don’t think you have to” because “you don’t feel like it”.

Lord of Hosts, I thank Thee for sending me such trials. In my youth I did pray for patience, and through my age you have sent such things to teach me to love.



I LOVE the sacrament of Confession. It is such a sacrament of mercy! Those who feel like they don't "have to" are really missing out. Do they eat from dirty dishes? If they don't wash their bodies after a hard day's work in the sun they (like all of us) stink - do they think their souls might not also stink with sin? I've been to so many priests who really do relay the what the Holy Spirit wants me to know, His consolation, His joy at my return to spiritual health, and His admonishment to correct my faults, that there is no denying that the priest indeed acts In Persona Christi. It doesn't always have to be mortal sin either - getting rid of all that grit and grime of venial sins is just as cleansing. In Heaven our souls will be pristine and the sacrament of Confession does the same thing here in this life. I want to be as clean as possible when I go to meet Jesus, like at the wedding feast. Jesus meant what He said when He spoke of the unwise virgins and the guests at a wedding not properly dressed - be ready, be properly attired, present yourself as one who really wants to be part of the celebration.


[quote="bamears, post:2, topic:292110"]
When I went to confession last week, I had an experience I have never had before. The priest told me how happy and delighted I made God by coming to confession.

I have often thought how disappointed God might be with me but never thought about God being happy with me. It was and is a wonderful thought to reflect on and has meant a great deal to me. :)


What a great message! Thanks for sharing it. It is truly a Sacrament of Healing.



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