Sunday, November 21, 2010

Q and A on confession.

A friend named Amy posted a question on my facebook. I'd like to provide the answer here.

John, important do you suggest is the sacrament of reconciliation before holy communion and how often would you recommend someone to go to confession?

Read what the Apostle Paul says to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 10:15-21). Communion is an actual participation in the Body and Blood of our Lord. He asked a very probing question- Can we partake in the cup of Our Lord even as we partake in the cup of demons? No. This statement is deeper than simply abstaining from visible idols.

Mortal sin is, in itself, Idolatry. Would you dare to mock God? Receiving Communion while in a state of mortal sin is a sacrilege because you are
receiving the person of Christ even as you live in willful disobedience of him. The consequences of this are dire (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).

Contrary to what many say, the Bible is very clear about the difference between mortal and venial sin (1 John 5:16-17)

Having said that, you also have to be careful of scrupulosity. The God who will not abide your willful disobedience is also a merciful and loving God who knows that you are going to struggle with the things humans struggle with.

Do not think of God as a mean old man who can't wait to punish you for every transgression. Think of God as someone who loves you so much that He suffered and died for you.

When you think of your Heavenly Father, much like your earthly father, you know when you are genuinely doing your best to please Him and when you know that you owe Him an apology.

In the sacrament of reconciliation, we are not only restored to God, we also receive graces to help us get stronger.

My answer to you is that you go to confession when you feel you need to. If you are in mortal sin or seriously struggling with certain sins. There is no formula stating you should go x number of times except that you should go at least once a year or anytime you are in mortal sin.

If you feel troubled by a lesser- non mortal- sin, say a sincere Act of Contrition during Mass, before you receive.

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