How’s about simply calling to Jesus and confessing to him. and he is just and righteous to forgive us our sins. It’s Biblical. Very simple.
Jesus, in the bible, said, “Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sins you retain they are retained.” This was said to his apostles right before he ascended to heaven.
For he knew our weakness and was taking pity upon us. Before he left us to go to heaven, he wanted to be sure we knew thru his representative that we were forgiven.
May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.
Well said. I think I’m beginning to understand a bit more about your faith. I just know that anyone can call upon the name of Jesus and accept him as savior and confess their sins to him. I did not realize there must be an intermediator for this process to happen, seems like a clog in the process. It is by his shed blood only that sins can be forgiven. Confession of a contrite heart is all he seeks regardless of religious doctrine.
Penance is a good idea Catholics have though, helps one reflect one the sin I think. Most non-catholic churches should require a form of it. God paid a very dear price for us, we need to appreciate that soundly.
Thank you for your kind post.
This may help.
Keep in mind that when we go to receive the Sacrament, we do meet Jesus and confess to Him.
Thank you very much! I have food for thought here, but confessing to another man who is human like me with faults, give me cause for reservation. I, like yourself love my master and Lord Jesus. It’s hard to wrap my mind around not conversing with him directly for forgiveness and friendship. I feel his kind presence and know he enjoys thanks giving and prayer always. Am I to assume that only through the church I can be with Christ but redemption comes upon the Churches approval? I feel as though such binds a very controlling relationship with Christ.
Your article has great points and I will pass it to some friends for their thoughts as well. You have been very gracious. Thank you!
Hello Man of War. For someone who is not Catholic, this is a common hang-up. Just keep in mind when a Catholic goes to receive the Sacrament, he/she is conversing with Him directly. God is there, and we feel His presence when we’re there.
As to your question regarding confession through the church, Catholic Answers has a good response:
"The power to forgive sins was one Christ gave to his apostles (Lk 10:16, 2 Cor 5:18-20). After he rose from the dead Christ said to the apostles, “‘As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on then and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained’” (Jn 20:22-23).
We can be truly sorry for our sins–that is essential for forgiveness–but we can’t forgive our own sins. We can’t absolve ourselves. That is a power reserved to God alone. Through Christ that power was conferred on his apostles and their successors, the bishops, and their helpers, the priests. Confession is not an option. It is the ordinary (normative) means through which sins are forgiven."
Thing is, in the confessional the ‘Man’ as you put it is the word of God. Jesus works through him to forgive you your sins etc. Its not just a matter of sitting next to some guy and telling him all your sins.
Its about confessing all your sins directly to God and then being forgiven by God, through the priest.
God bless you
May I also recommend a book…Scott Hahn’s Lord Have Mercy-The healing power of confession…for further reading.
With that said, I would like to give you this passage for you to ponder more, and I do have a question at the end:
7 After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.
Question: Why did God, who spoke directly to Eliphaz, not just forgive him directly? And why did God order him to go through Job?
Job pleased the Lord and by him was established a line of redemption for them. Am I correct? I am starting to see your point here. Thank sir.
Hey Man of War! The Church teaches that it is Jesus Who forgives us through the priest. In fact, if the priest refuses to forgive someone who is truly repenting, or forgives someone who is lying about being sorry, Jesus can see into the heart of the person and “over rule” what the priest says.
The Church also teaches that if one is sorry for offending God, but is not able to go to confession (stranded somewhere without a priest, dies before he has the opportunity, etc.), Jesus will forgive him as long as he is willing to go to confession should the opprotunity arise. Jesus is not barring us from His forgiveness, but is asking us to come and seek it. I once heard a priest say (this is not verbatim) “Of course Jesus can work outside the sacrament! He’s God! He just wants to do it this way!”
Also, Matthew Kelly says that Jesus was acting as the “Divine Psychologist” when he started this sacrament because this way it is easier for people to relieve their need to talk to someone about the wrongs they have done. It also helps prevent us from tricking ourselves into thinking what we did wasn’t “that bad”. This is especially helpful for someone who is having trouble hearing God’s voice in their life.
Glad you are asking questions! I hope this was helpful; let me know if what I said was confusing.
God bless you!
Hmm… if it’s a “clog in the process,” then what did Jesus mean in John 20:23? If apostles were given the authority to forgive sins, then isn’t this a process that Jesus intended?
It is by his shed blood only that sins can be forgiven.
Actually, no: Jesus forgave the sins of many who came to him, prior to his crucifixion. The critical notion is that it is by the authority of God alone that sins can be forgiven; in John 20:23, Jesus gives this authority to forgive sins in his name to the apostles.
confessing to another man who is human like me with faults, give me cause for reservation.
Why is that? You’d go to a doctor – “another man who is human like me with faults” – to receive physical healing; you’d go to a minister – “another man who is human like me with faults” – for baptism (in which your sins are forgiven)! What’s different about going to a priest, in order to receive the Reconciliation that Jesus detailed in John 20:23?
HMMM, Thank you, I’m listening and weighing things out. I was raised Catholic to the age of 15, but left because I wanted to hear more about Jesus, not long drawn out sermons that seemed to bore even the priest. I left and accepted Christ at an Assemby of God Church while in the Army in Germany, there I fell in love with the worship and felt Christ’s presence very strongly. Years later in the States I joined a Baptist Church where I learned much,but was burned out quickly with the weekly shouting and guilt trips.
Many jumped on the “Once Saved Always Saved” but were still dealing with repeated sin taking the" I just have to confess if I do it again". And that’s where I saw a weakness in non-catholic churches. Gods grace is free but should never be taken for granted. Where is the penance I began to wonder and still am.
Firstly, thank for your post, it is solid in content. I would just like to understand what makes a priest qualified to absolve sin, what rites are applied that the Holy Spirit abides in this fine man. I have known good priests regardless of the media, and they impressed me as great leaders with wit and genuine compassion.
The only area that really holds me back is the veneration of saints and of Mary. The Bible states we should not pray to familiar spirits. It all seems to over shadow Jesus. I don’t understand that. Jesus should be the only focus.
I can see that someone else has already cited John 21 to you, so I won’t go over that again.
The priest has this gift through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The Catholic Church is unique in that EVERY PRIEST was ordained by a bishop, who was ordained by a bishop… …who was ordained by a bishop, who was ordained by Christ Himself. ONLY with this valid ordination may a priest hear a confession and say the prayer of absolution. APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION, and the SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS are topics you may also be interested in. Please feel free to start a thread on both of these topics. Hope to see you there.
You may like this audio clip about Confession. youtube.com/watch?v=fZ0D-BLWY70
There are many threads here about intercession of saints, or you may start your own.
Hope to see you around.
Now you are referring to Holy Orders. Jesus commissioned the twelve and gave them His authority (bind and loose, forgive and retain sin). Exercising that authority, the apostles appointed successors (Matthias replaced Judas). Those successors still exist as bishops in the Catholic Church. Priests are ordained by bishops. By virtue of their ordination, the priest has the same authority that Christ gave His apostles. When one separates from that line of succession, there is no authority.
In regards to Mary and the Saints, its probably best to start another thread.
One point to mention that apparently has been overlooked. Confession to a priest is only required once a year unless a mortal sin has been committed. A mortal sin is one that has serious matter, is done with full consent of the will, and with full knowledge of its seriousness.
Thank you friend this has been very helpful and kind of you, my eyes are opening.
In addition to what’s already been shared with you:
It also teaches me humility. It’s easier to ‘confess’ to an invisible God, and hear <?> His Forgiveness, than it is to face the priest (even behind the screen) who is in persona Christi. We don’t have to ‘wonder’ if we are forgiven; we don’t have to wonder if our own penance is what He wants. We don’t have to worry if we are truly contrite (either perfectly or imperfectly).
Why do I believe that the priest is in persona Christi? Because of what’s happened during my Confessions. In addition to receiving Graces from Confession, the priest has at times addressed things in my life through his words (Christ’s words) that he had no way of knowing would comfort me or help me. I visit 3 or 4 confessors, because they rotate (I’m in a large city), and I don’t always know which one is in which confessional. I have serious doubts that they would recognize my voice. Even if they had, there is no way that they knew my uncle across the country had just passed the day before, or what Scripture I had just studied on the previous day, yet either quoted that Scripture, or commented on grief. There was 100% no way that any ‘man’ could have known those things. Yes, sometimes I do receive what I think is ‘generic’ advice or such, but it’s still always helpful.
But the times when I received very specific information…wow wow wow. God is soooooo good!
Well…that is one thing…but not quite…and there is much more. I think this is in post 5 wherein you stated:
Thank you very much! I have food for thought here, but confessing to another man who is human like me with faults, give me cause for reservation.
As our human frailty…this is something which we, quite do not like to do. We like it easy…when we can go directly to Jesus.
And so the point of God in making Eliphaz go through Job was to humble himself. Just like how King David convicts himself here:
: 2Sam 12 (please read the whole chapter, will only cite this verses):
5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!
13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”
Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for[a] the LORD, the son born to you will die.”
And this is what we do in the sacrament of confession…we admit our faults, no ifs and buts…and convict ourselves…same as David does here.
We want to avoid what Adam and Eve does here…in Gen 3:
from Genesis 3:
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Adam, instead of owning to his sin, or admitting the sin (confessing) which God was looking for, he blames God instead
Same with the Eve…she blames the serpent. Adam and Eve rationalizes their faults…which is what we humans have a tendency of.
In the sacrament of confession…there is no such rationalization…and it is very humbling.