If a person is not committing mortal sin, why should they still go to Confession on a regular basis? I have been having discussions with people who only go every few years. They may say things like “my venile sins are forgiven at Mass”, or “blessing myself with Holy Water takes care of them.”
First, it is a sacrament. It confers grace. Who doesn’t need ‘more’ grace?
Second, even ‘venial’ sins still offend against God. Why not be sorry even for the ‘littlest’ offenses too?
Third, it helps to build up one’s spiritual ‘muscle.’ Think about this --how many athletes would ‘limit’ themselves to exercise ONLY the ‘3 x per week for 30 minutes’ that is recommended for people to be ‘healthy’?
How many readers would limit themselves ONLY to the 2 books per year that is the “average” person’s reading ‘quota’?
How many hobbyists would limit their hobby time to the absolute minimum?
IOW, if you would take time and trouble to go above ‘the minimum’ for your body’s health, for your intellectual health, and for your personal enjoyment–why would you NOT do the same thing for your SPIRITUAL health??
I tell my classes that they only have to go to the dentist when they need to have a rotten tooth dug out. However, if they go regularly, and have the minor problems cared for they won’t have rotten teeth that need to dug out.
Similarly for Confession. You only have to go when you have utterly rejected God’s love by mortal sin. However, if you go regularly, and correct your minor misdeeds, you won’t sin mortally and be in danger of hell fire.
If you truly love the Lord, why would you miss the chance to go and tell him how sorry you about how much you have hurt and offended Him?
Say your spouse constantly nags you. And she/he is always trying to stop but keeps doing it. Doesn’t it make you happy when he/she says “Honey, I’m sorry.” Otherwise, they may be sorry for it but how would you know?
I love the feeling I get after confession. I love knowing that I have received yet another infusion of God’s grace. There is a book with the title “Frequent Confession”, don’t have the author handy, but even the little bit I have read has convinced me that once a month is the bare minimum for me.
because in addition to forgiveness of sins the sacrament also gives formal absolution and strengthens us against temptation, curbs concupiscence and increases the opposite virtue of the sin confessed. This is particularly critical when battling habitual sin.
yes venial sin is forgiven during Mass, in the penitential rite, and Eucharist itself, and that is good if the penitent will actually use that opportunity to recall his venial sins and as he is confessing contrition for them, make a resolution about them. MOst of us sleepwalk through that part.
not to mention confession and communion are part of the requirements for many devotions that carry an indulgence.
I can attest to this from personal experience. I have been a Christian for a long time and a Catholic since 2006. I have things that I battled for years that are much easier to deal with since I have had the privelidge of going to confession. Grace in action
Because frequent Confession acknowledge that a person is sinner. He isn’t perfect so going to confession is receiving God’s mercy in action. The penitent if he is properly dispose, confesses his sins with contrite heart and honestly wants to be forgiven, he will be forgiven.
I frequent confession every week.
There are several benefits for frequent confession. Pope Pius the XII explains:
He said that “the pious practice of frequent Confession which was introduced into the Church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit [is] to be earnestly advocated.”
By frequent confession, Pius XII explained:
*]genuine self-knowledge is increased,
*]Christian humility grows,
*]bad habits are corrected,
*]spiritual neglect and tepidity are resisted,
*]the conscience is purified,
*]the will strengthened,
*]a salutary self-control is attained,
*]grace is increased in virtue of the sacrament itself
He then warned those “who make light of or lessen esteem for frequent Confession know what they are doing. What they are doing is alien to the spirit of Christ and disastrous for the Mystical Body of Christ.”
John Paul II also enumerated these:
we are renewed in fervor,
strengthened in our resolutions, and
supported by divine encouragement
He said those who discourage frequent confession “are lying.”
Because of frequent mortal sins. If indeed the people you meet only commit venial sins, then praise the Lord. For other poor slobs like myself, that is not the case.
Even if one did not commit mortal sin as frequently as I do, I think that it is beneficial to go to confession for the one-on-one spiritual direction. But most importantly, it is a Holy Sacrament which Jesus Christ instituted for our reconciliation. Why shouldn’t I WANT to go frequently, if indeed it was given to me as a gift from God as a means of receiving grace ex opere operato? If people better understood the theology of the sacraments, I would think there would be long lines for every one of them that could be repeated.
If someone is frequently sinning, obviously the more frequent confessions are needed, especially in a willful act against God where one is turning away from God’s love and heaven. Those willful acts, the one’s you know are wrong hint premeditated sinning, are mortal sins.
“Frequent” is a bad term since it is so subjective. I think that going to confession at least once a month is a good idea, whether or not there is mortal sin.
It’s true that the penitential rite at Mass removes venial sin (I’ve never heard of Holy Water doing this), but it’s just not the same as confessing to a Priest.
There shouldn’t be a lack of material either. If someone makes an honest examination of conscience at the end of each day and can’t think of anything that they shouldn’t have thought, said or done then they’re doing better than most of the Saints did (every Saint except for Mary, in fact).
One of our Priests gave a presentation on reconciliation for the RCIA and told a story of a self-righteous person claiming to another that he leads a perfectly clean life. The person replied that he should sin a little bit so that God has something to forgive
The devil fears the confessional. It’s a shame that more people don’t make serious use of it.
In addition to all the excellent advantages mentioned, may we consider the added benefit of obtaining plenary indulgences. It is possible to gain one every day through certain devotions to which the Church grants these. The requirement in order to gain one daily, is to go to confession at least every two weeks, receive holy communion, and offer prayers for the intention of the Holy Father.
Maybe I’m chicken, but I don’t savor the idea of spending even a moment in purgatory, and I have loved ones (living and deceased) for whom I offer these plenaries. Although the Church does not teach that those in Purgatory gain complete remission of temporal punishment from a plenary indulgence, these do benefit the holy souls there.
We cannot imagine the intensity of spiritual suffering, but I have understood that it is far worse than any physical suffering we can undergo. Our assistance with this spiritual work of mercy is of the highest charity.