How do we root out sin if holiness persists in rising again after falling? The sacrament of reconciliation is a very important gift given to us by Jesus Christ. In past issues we focused on the importance of the Eucharist in our spiritual growth. Now it is necessary to emphasize the role of the sacrament of reconciliation.
How sad it is that so few Catholics make use of a sacrament as powerful as confession to rid themselves of their many sins, defects, fears and burdens! This is one sacrament that, upon the Day of Judgment, those who neglected it will be shocked at what an incredible difference it would have made if they had gone to confession regularly. To grow in holiness and to attain a closer relationship with God, the sacrament of reconciliation is absolutely necessary for the following reasons:
- Forgiveness from God.
- Penance offered by the priest gives the opportunity for remission of temporal punishment for our sins.
- Frequent use of the sacrament re-sensitizes us to particular sins.
- It increases a total abhorrence of all our sins.
- We experience a gradual purification of our desires, desiring God instead of self.
- We also experience enlightenment of our mind and strengthening of the will.
- Frequent use of the sacrament increases interior peace.
- We are reconciled with the mystical Body of Christ, the church.
- Our love increases.
- Our desire to use other persons and things for selfish reasons decreases.
This is a partial list of the wonderful fruits of this sacrament. Confession is not just for those who believe they are in a state of mortal sin, nor is it just for the Advent and Lenten seasons; it is for all Catholics at any time of the year. It is especially for those seeking spiritual growth and peace within their interior life. Frequent use of the sacrament of reconciliation, also known as penance and confession, is absolutely essential.
Next Issue: How to make a good confession.