What's the real purpose of ''confession''?


#1

I was recently told that the real purpose of confession was for one to be able to receive communion. I really hope its not true,because i've always believed that confession was to help you draw closer to Christ through contrition, and not just so you could receive communion the next time you go for mass.

Secondly, is it wrong for non-catholics,unbaptised catholics or non-communicants to go for confession? If it is,then what happens to their souls when they die?


#2

[quote="eva77, post:1, topic:326316"]
I was recently told that the real purpose of confession was for one to be able to receive communion. I really hope its not true,because i've always believed that confession was to help you draw closer to Christ through contrition, and not just so you could receive communion the next time you go for mass.

Secondly, is it wrong for non-catholics,unbaptised catholics or non-communicants to go for confession? If it is,then what happens to their souls when they die?

[/quote]

The purpose of confession is to reconcile us with God. It is the ordinary way for Catholics to receive forgiveness for sins. As a result of being reconciled with God, we receive His graces and can receive Him in Communion. This draws us closer to him. Receiving Christ in communion is a big deal. It's His very body, blood, soul, and divinity.

Baptism is the "gateway" sacrament; one can not receive the other sacraments without first being baptized. God instituted the sacraments of baptism and penance for our salvation, but He is not bound to them; He can and does show mercy to non-Catholis who die without having been baptized.


#3

[quote="eva77, post:1, topic:326316"]
I was recently told that the real purpose of confession was for one to be able to receive communion. I really hope its not true,because i've always believed that confession was to help you draw closer to Christ through contrition, and not just so you could receive communion the next time you go for mass.

Secondly, is it wrong for non-catholics,unbaptised catholics or non-communicants to go for confession? If it is,then what happens to their souls when they die?

[/quote]

Confession and the resulting absolution restores our unity to the body of Christ after which we are worthy to again receive communion.
St. Paul admonishes us to "Not to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ unworthily"
for we eat and drink damnation upon ourselves.

Non Catholics don't know who's really there in that piece of bread and that cup of wine, therefore no they cannot partake of communion.

There is no such thing as an "unbaptized catholic" for baptism IS the 1st step in becoming "Catholic" or a member of the "Body of Christ".

Because Confession is a part of the "Sacrament of Reconciliation" and Sacraments are a part of Catholic heritage I would say that NO unless you are Catholic you cannot go to confession.

As to what happen to the souls of anyone outside the Catholic Church well we leave this to God for He alone is the final judge as the Catholic Church has stated.
:thumbsup:


#4

Unity with God.


#5

The Sacrament of reconciliation is the remission of post-baptismal sin. We are justified before God through our faith - yes, but also via receiving the absolution of our sins. Sin - and nothing else - can separate us from God. Of course, one of the effects of this remission of sin is that we are again, after examining our consciences, admitted to the Sacrament of Holy Communion. So, from a purely practical standpoint, we are reconciled to God and our communion with Him is restored. So, while there can be no holy communion with God until our sins have been forgiven, it is not primarily so that we may then proceed to communion - it restores our communion. The Sacraments are like scripture: a seamless whole. We cannot separate or segregate one Sacrament from another, as all are ordered toward perfecting our relationship with God.


#6
  1. Can a Catholic take communion if they are in mortal sin and have not gone to confession?

No.

  1. Can a non-Catholic take communion?

No.


#7

True life in Christ (given again if it is lost – purified and stregthened if not)


#8

Catechism:

1468 "The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God's grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship."73 Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of this sacrament. For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, reconciliation "is usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation."74 Indeed the sacrament of Reconciliation with God brings about a true "spiritual resurrection," restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God.75

1469 This sacrament reconciles us with the Church. Sin damages or even breaks fraternal communion. The sacrament of Penance repairs or restores it. In this sense it does not simply heal the one restored to ecclesial communion, but has also a revitalizing effect on the life of the Church which suffered from the sin of one of her members.76 Re-established or strengthened in the communion of saints, the sinner is made stronger by the exchange of spiritual goods among all the living members of the Body of Christ, whether still on pilgrimage or already in the heavenly homeland:77.....

1470 In this sacrament, the sinner, placing himself before the merciful judgment of God, anticipates in a certain way the judgment to which he will be subjected at the end of his earthly life. For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin.79 In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and "does not come into judgment."80

scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm#IX


#9

Regarding the confession of venial sins:

1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.59 Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful


#10

In my personal experience the sacrament of confession humbles us greatly and changes our hearts. It helps us realize the things we do that are not pleasing to the Lord and helps us forsake them in the future


#11

[quote="JordanRogers, post:10, topic:326316"]
In my personal experience the sacrament of confession humbles us greatly and changes our hearts. It helps us realize the things we do that are not pleasing to the Lord and helps us forsake them in the future

[/quote]

And it makes it more difficult to commit mortal sins when most of them are so embarrassing. The next step is to always be aware of God's presence, and then it really becomes difficult to knowingly commit a mortal sin.

I think one of the reasons He instituted the forgiveness of sin in this way was to lead us in the direction of realizing that there truly are no secrets. Not ultimately, anyway. Angels and saints can choose to see us. God always sees us.

By going to the priest for confession, we first learn to expose our sins openly to another living human. Eventually, as we grow in faith, we come to be aware of God's presence, and then sin is very difficult for us. So, in that sense, I think of it more as a direction than a destination.

Yet, since He did institute it this way, I think it's really the only licit way to seek reconciliation in order to seek communion when you are in mortal sin. I am sure God can forgive if he so chooses outside of confession, but it's not something I would want to bet my eternity on when all I have to do is go to Church and confess.

In another sense, it helps me overcome venial sins. It feels like we get graces from it that are not immediately appreciated. I feel sorry for people who do not avail themselves of confession. Even if you don't know what you are doing, it doesn't matter. You just go there, tell the priest that, and ask him to guide you. He is like a shepherd and your soul remains, to an extent, in his care. It's not something to be ashamed about any more than a lost sheep ought to feel shame for being lost.

Also, realize that when you are speaking to the priest, you are also speaking to God. The priest, I think, is very much guided by the Holy Spirit and Christ in this.

I think the correct answers are to be had from a priest, though, and not us. Hence why I earlier tried to cut to heart of the matter and point out that, no, you ought not take communion when you have committed mortal sins and have not confessed them to a priest. Furthermore, no, your non-Catholic friends ought not accept communion. It is a union with God. It is literally the flesh and blood of Christ. When you do go to communion, you need to fixate your mind upon the real presence of God.

As far as learning these things from an actually qualified source, you might be interested in Fr. Barron's youtube videos on confession and the Eucharist. Just search for them using his name and the subject (confession, or Eucharist). There are others. Father Z recently posted an article about it here: wdtprs.com/blog/2013/05/quaeritur-i-found-a-host-at-my-mothers-house-wherein-fr-z-rants-a-little/

I really hope that article will impress upon the OP of the seriousness of this topic.


#12

[quote="eva77, post:1, topic:326316"]
I was recently told that the real purpose of confession was for one to be able to receive communion. I really hope its not true,because i've always believed that confession was to help you draw closer to Christ through contrition, and not just so you could receive communion the next time you go for mass.

Secondly, is it wrong for non-catholics,unbaptised catholics or non-communicants to go for confession? If it is,then what happens to their souls when they die?

[/quote]

Reconciled, we receive life, the grace of the Holy Spirit. Reception of the Eucharist will then increase the grace, remits venial sins, disposes up to acts of love and contrition, and may be sufficient to keep us in a state of grace by a greater fervor and strength against temptation.


#13

so what i seem to understand is that its absolutely forbidden for a non-catholic to go for confession even when they desire to.

Aren't we being a little selfish? I understand about baptism being a gateway to other sacraments,but why shouldn't others partake of the sacraments?

Also, confession being JUST a prerequisite for communion seems like it doesn't have a purpose,and it means i should go for confession only if i want to receive communion,and if i don't intend on receiving communion i should wallow in my sin and its heavy guilt.

Please correct me if am wrong.thanks


#14

[quote="eva77, post:13, topic:326316"]
Aren't we being a little selfish? I understand about baptism being a gateway to other sacraments,but why shouldn't others partake of the sacraments?

[/quote]

Others can receive the sacraments, they just need to be baptized first.

The sacraments are open to all Catholics, and everyone is welcome to become Catholic. We turn no one away. Christ gave us this Church and his Holy Spirit guides us, and the sacraments are outwards signs instituted by Christ to give grace. Holy Communion, for example, can ordinarily only be received by Catholics who are in communion with the Church. What makes someone be in communion with the Church? Well, baptism, for starters. And the sacrament of penance is for remitting post-baptismal sin. If a person is not baptized, he doesn't need confession, he needs baptism.

[quote="eva77, post:13, topic:326316"]
Also, confession being JUST a prerequisite for communion seems like it doesn't have a purpose,and it means i should go for confession only if i want to receive communion,and if i don't intend on receiving communion i should wallow in my sin and its heavy guilt.

[/quote]

I don't think any of the answers given said we go to confession ONLY so we can receive communion. The answers I read talk about reconciling with God, forgiveness of sins, receiving grace needed to overcome venial sins, etc. You absolutely should go to confession even if you don't intend to receive communion, but as a follow-up, why would a Catholic not want to receive communion in she were in a state of grace?

God bless.


#15

[quote="eva77, post:13, topic:326316"]
so what i seem to understand is that its absolutely forbidden for a non-catholic to go for confession even when they desire to.

Aren't we being a little selfish? I understand about baptism being a gateway to other sacraments,but why shouldn't others partake of the sacraments?

Also, confession being JUST a prerequisite for communion seems like it doesn't have a purpose,and it means i should go for confession only if i want to receive communion,and if i don't intend on receiving communion i should wallow in my sin and its heavy guilt.

Please correct me if am wrong.thanks

[/quote]

Who said that confession is only for receiving communion? Not! Confession is for the restoration of our relationship with God - the relationship that we choose to break by sinning. Once that relationship is restored, we can proceed to communion.

Selfish? Rather, it is those who do not desire to deny themselves, take up their crosses and commune with the Church that Christ founded who are being selfish. Why should they belong to a denomination that allows contraception, divorce and abortion and then just pop in for a freshening up That utterly profanes the Sacrament. Where is the penance? Where is the contrition? If they truly believe in confession and the Priest's authority over their sin, why the heck aren't they Catholic?


#16

[quote="nodito, post:14, topic:326316"]
Others can receive the sacraments, they just need to be baptized first. If a person is not baptized, he doesn't need confession, he needs baptism.

[/quote]

This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks,its much clearer now.


#17

I actually think this is a pretty good question.

What if someone, a non-Catholic, does not fully believe everything the Church teaches but readily recognizes the need to confess sin? It seems odd that we should turn him away from attempting to do something right.


#18

[quote="lllj, post:17, topic:326316"]
I actually think this is a pretty good question.

What if someone, a non-Catholic, does not fully believe everything the Church teaches but readily recognizes the need to confess sin? It seems odd that we should turn him away from attempting to do something right.

[/quote]

I think a lot of Protestants recognize the need to confess sins, but they believe they can do so directly to God and/or to an accountability partner.

In order to approach the sacrament of confession in good faith, a person would need to recognize the authority of the Church to "bind and loose." If the penitent recognizes that Christ gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter, that the Catholic Church has apostolic succession, and that the priest acts in persona Christi, which are the aspects that make confession efficacious, then that person really ought to become Catholic and surrender whatever personal beliefs they hold that conflict with Church teaching.

God bless.


#19

[quote="eva77, post:16, topic:326316"]
This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks,its much clearer now.

[/quote]

No problem! God bless.


#20

[quote="lllj, post:17, topic:326316"]
I actually think this is a pretty good question.

What if someone, a non-Catholic, does not fully believe everything the Church teaches but readily recognizes the need to confess sin? It seems odd that we should turn him away from attempting to do something right.

[/quote]

Well they can go in and pray with the priest...or confess their sins out loud but they can not receive the words of absolution. They would let the priest know they are not Catholic. My husband did this before he went to RCIA.

Just believing part of what the Church teaches does not admit you to part of her sacraments.


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