And, we want to scream it out from a mountain top! How to practically and effectively do this? Well, right here we have an audience. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity and as freely we have received freely give. If we only help one person here to understand better - there will be rejoicing in heaven.
PennyinCanada, it is not only the non-Catholics who are not confessing. There are many Catholics in the periphery of the Church who do not confess ‘directly’ to God.
When I lived in the periphery of the Church I practiced my faith with my very limited understanding and thought I was fine with God. I was out in the periphery not because I was a so-called 'Cafeteria Catholic" - (what ever that means) or a “Holidays Catholic” by choice, but due to my particular circumstance in life. Specifically, my Catholic upbringing abruptly stopped when I was nine years old. I had not yet received my first communion. I was sent to live with people who were non-practicing Catholics and I could not even go to church. The years went by and I ended out in the periphery. There are a variety of reasons why people live out there. I missed out on the Sacrament of Confession and I don’t recall necessarily confessing directly. If I committed a sin, I would think that at some point I would have asked God to please forgive me and that I would try not to sin again… but… this is really way out there. There is no sense of commitment nor obligation when everything can be rationalized and the person keeps 100% percent control of the practice of the faith.
I have a cousin that lives way out yonder and her reason is the marriage and remarriage situation. She can not receive the Eucharist and so, long ago, stopped attending Mass and participating. She, like many so-called ‘Non-Practicing Catholics’ has rationalized many things and particularly has condensed all the teachings of the Church to the commandments of Jesus:
Love the Lord
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37–38).
Love Your Neighbor
“And the second [commandment] is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”.
According to my cousin, as long as she loves God and her neighbors she’s good to go. To say that even Catholics who live in the periphery can rationalize doing without
confession not only to a priest but totally.
Although as noted in this thread by bben15 we read in Sacred Scripture about Confession in John 21-23 and as noted by Crochet Lady in I John 1:9 and I myself noted Mark 2; the desire of Jesus that we should confess doesn’t seem to pop for some people from the scripture. So, that not only non-Catholic/non-Orthodox christian do not have it integrated as an important practice of their faith but also Catholics who are out in the periphery can just disregard it.
The only non-Catholic/non-Orthodox faith that I can think of right now that has confession integrated as a part of the practice of the faith is the Jewish faith.
Many people misunderstand God’s Mercy. They think that God is Love and is Mercy and will forgive them. However, Paul tells us that the time of mercy is now and then comes judgement.