Skip to comments.Importance of Confession During Lent - Making a Good Confession
Posted on 03/07/2010 2:03:21 PM PST by NYer
I have heard the priests of my parish encouraging us to go to confession during Lent. I admit I have not been to confession in years because I am not sure I know how to go to confession. With all the changes that occurred in the '60s, would you please review how to go to confession?
With that in mind, a person begins with a good examination of conscience. We need to hold up in life to the pattern of life God has revealed for us to live. For instance, we take time to deflect on the 10 Commandments, the Beatitudes, the precepts of the Church, and the virtues of prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice. (Several clear, simple pamphlets with an examination of conscience may be purchased at the Daughters of St. Paul Bookstore in Alexandria).
The examination of our conscience is like stepping back and looking at the picture of our life in comparison to the masterpiece of life revealed by God. Remember when we were children, we used to trace pictures. Tracing helped us learn to draw. We would take a piece of plain paper, hold it over the original picture, anti then put it up to the window. The light would enable us to trace the original picture onto our blank sheet of paper. Periodically, we had to stop and step back to see if our paper had slipped and was out of kilter with the original or if we had deviated from the lines.
In a similar way, as we live our lives, we are tracing them in accord with Gods pattern of life. In examining our consciences, we step back and honestly assess how well we fit Gods pattern and have stayed within His boundaries. At this time, we reflect on the progress we have made since our last confession in dealing with weaknesses, faults, temptations, and past sins. Hopefully, we see improvement in our spiritual well-being. However, when we have gone out of kilter or gone out of bounds Gods masterpiece, we have sinned. We must recognize venial sins those lighter sins which weaken our relationship with the Lord from the mortal sins those sins which sever our relationship with the Lord and kill the presence of sanctifying grace in our souls. Here we remember the words of Jesus, Everyone who practices evil hates the light; he does not come near it for fear his deeds will be exposed. But he who acts in truth comes unto the light, to make clear that his deeds are done in God (Jn 3:20-21).
Given this examination of conscience, we have contrition for our sins. While we are sorry for sin because we do fear the fires of Hell and the loss of Heaven, and the just punishments of God, we are sorry most of all because our sins offend God whom we should love above all things. The love for God moves us to repent of sin and seek reconciliation. All of the great saints regularly examined their consciences and made frequent use of the Sacrament of Penance (Even our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, confesses his sins weekly, as did Mother Teresa). One must ask, Why? What sins did these saints possibly commit? They loved the Lord so much that even the slightest omission or commission moves them to confession. They do not want even the slightest sin to separate them from the love of God. For love of God, we too are sorry for our sins.
Sorrow for sin moves us to have a firm amendment not to sin again. We probably will sin again, but we try not to do so. We do not plan on leaving the confessional and committing the same sins again.
We then confess our sins. When we enter the confessional in most Churches, we have the option of remaining anonymous or facing the priest. Whichever option a person chooses, always remember that whatever is said during the confession in held in secret by the priest.
Remember also that we confess to the priest for three reasons. First, the priest has the authority of the apostles by virtue of his ordination. On the night of the resurrection, Jesus said, Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive mens sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold in bound, they are held bound (Jn 20:22-23). The priest is the minister of the sacrament acting as the person of Christ.
Second, he is the spiritual Father. Just as we see a doctor for healing when we are physically sick, we see a priest when our soul is sick and needs healing.
Third, the priest represents the Church and the people we have sinned against. In the early days of the Church, people publicly confessed sin at the beginning of Mass and were absolved. Much to our relief, for centuries now we have had private confession.
We proceed by making the sign of the cross and saying, Bless me father for I have sinned. One could also simply begin, In the name of the Father.... We should then state when we made our last confession; It has been (so long) since my last confession.
We then confess our sins. We must be specific. Sometimes people say, I broke the sixth commandment, which covers everything from a lustful thought to rape and adultery. We do not need to provide the full-blown story, just the basics to enable the priest to help. We need to give some quantification missing Mass once is different from several times which is different from all the time. When we are finished confessing our sins, we state, I am sorry for these and all my sins. With this information, the priest may counsel us. He also assigns a penance for the healing of the hurt caused by sin and the strengthening of our soul against future temptation. He then asks us to say an act of contrition, which is generally the traditional prayer, Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. I detest all of my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who are all good and deserving of all of my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.
Finally, the priest imparts absolution. Ponder the beautiful words: God the Father of mercies through the death and resurrection of His son, has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This formula emphasizes our merciful Heavenly Father, the saving mystery of our Lords passion, death, and resurrection, and the healing ministry of the Holy Spirit through the Church.
The priest then dismisses us, saying, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, to which we respond, His mercy endures forever. (Many priests may simply say, May God bless you.) We then leave the confessional to do the assigned Penance.
The Sacrament of Penance is a beautiful sacrament through which we are reconciled to God, ourselves, and our neighbors. Remember the words of St. Paul, God is rich in mercy; because of His great love for us, He brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin (Eph 2:4). As we draw closer to Easter, take time for making a good confession.
Saunders, Rev. William. "Making a Good Confession." Arlington Catholic Herald.
The basic requirement for a good confession is to have the intention of returning to God like the "prodigal son" and to acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before the priest.
Sin in my Life
Modern society has lost a sense of sin. As a Catholic follower of Christ, I must make an effort to recognize sin in my daily actions, words and omissions.
The Gospels show how important is the forgiveness of our sins. Lives of saints prove that the person who grows in holiness has a stronger sense of sin, sorrow for sins, and a need for the Sacrament of Penance or Confession.
The Differences in Sins
As a result of Original Sin, human nature is weakened. Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, takes away Original Sin, and turns us back toward God. The consequences of this weakness and the inclination to evil persist, and we often commit personal or actual sin.
Actual sin is sin which people commit. There are two kinds of actual sin, mortal and venial.
Mortal sin is a deadly offense against God, so horrible that it destroys the life of grace in the soul. Three simultaneous conditions must be fulfilled for a mortal sin: 1) the act must be something very serious; 2) the person must have sufficient understanding of what is being done; 3) the person must have sufficient freedom of the will.
If you need helpespecially if you have been away for some timesimply ask the priest and he will help you by "walking" you through the steps to make a good confession.
Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act of Penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God and which is reborn with repentance. The resolution to avoid committing these sins in the future (amendment) is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic. This does not mean that a promise never to fall again into sin is necessary. A resolution to try to avoid the near occasions of sin suffices for true repentance. God's grace in cooperation with the intention to rectify your life will give you the strength to resist and overcome temptation in the future.
Examination of Conscience
Before going to Confession you should make a review of mortal and venial sins since your last sacramental confession, and should express sorrow for sins, hatred for sins and a firm resolution not to sin again.
A helpful pattern for examination of conscience is to review the Commandments of God and the Precepts of the Church:
After examining your conscience and telling God of your sorrow, go into the confessional. You may kneel at the screen or sit to talk face-to-face with the priest.
Begin your confession with the sign of the cross, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. My last confession was _________ weeks (months, years) ago."
The priest may read a passage from holy Scripture.
Say the sins that you remember. Start with the one(s) that is most difficult to say. (In order to make a good confession the faithful must confess all mortal sins, according to kind and number.) After confessing all the sins you remember since your last good confession, you may conclude by saying, "I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life."
Listen to the words of the priest. He will assign you some penance. Doing the penance will diminish the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven. When invited, express some prayer of sorrow or Act of Contrition such as:
An Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.
At the End of Confession
Listen to the words of absolution, the sacramental forgiveness of the Church through the ordained priest.
As you listen to the words of forgiveness you may make the sign of the cross with the priest. If he closes by saying, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good," answer, "For His mercy endures forever."
Give thanks to God for forgiving you again. If you recall some serious sin you forgot to tell, rest assured that it has been forgiven with the others, but be sure to confess it in your next Confession.
Do your assigned Penance.
Resolve to return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation often. We Catholics are fortunate to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is the ordinary way for us to have our sins forgiven. This sacrament is a powerful help to get rid of our weaknesses, grow in holiness, and lead a balanced and virtuous life.
I like starting this quote a little earlier, to put it into full context: Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
There is only one other time in the Bible when God breathed on man when God breathed life into Adam. This is truly a remarkable event, Christ creating the priesthood for his Church.
Just sitting down with a good priest is about all you need. He’ll guide you thru it. I encourage you to face-to-face reconciliation. God IS merciful!
Pope: There's an Answer to Empty Confessionals [Catholic Caucus]
Pope alarmed by decline in confessions
Part 2 of 10: Sacrament of Penance, Churchs symbols help explain penance [Catholic Caucus]
Part 1 of 10: Sacrament of Penance, Jesus placed great value on forgiveness [Catholic Caucus]
Confession Questions From the Pew [Catholic Caucus] Introduction to 10 Part Series
Part 1 of 10: Sacrament of Penance, Jesus placed great value on forgiveness [Catholic Caucus]
Beginning Catholic: The Sacrament of Reconciliation: Rising Again to New Life [Ecumenical]
Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest?
Why do Catholics have to confess their sins to a priest instead of praying straight to God? [Ecu]
When did confession to a priest start? [Ecumenical]
Confession, Confession Everywhere (Cardinal Says Youth Day Is Reviving the Sacrament)
In One Church, Confession Makes a Comeback (Catholic Caucus)
Priests should encourage recovery of Sacrament of Reconciliation
A Gift That is Always in Season (Sacrament of Penance) Catholic Caucus
Make a Good Confession
Those in Mortal Sin Can't Go to Communion, Says Pope
Holy Week Recovers Celebration of Penance (at St. Peter's Basilica) - photos!
Reasons for Confession [Sacrament of Reconciliation]
Lesson 19: Confession (Part 1) BY FATHER ALTIER
Lesson 20: Confession (Part 2) BY FATHER ROBERT ALTIER
Serious about God? Then get serious about confession
St. Ephraim the Syrian: On Repentance
What happened to confession Changing mores reflective of use
Repentance and Confession - Introduction [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Spiritual and Psychological Value of Frequent Confession
Pick a sin, any sin (Confession gone awry)
The Early Church Fathers on Confession / Reconciliation - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Catholics called from the idiot box to confession
Benedict XVI Extols Sacrament of Penance - Says Priests Need to Make It a Priority
Priests say more Catholics returning to confession
Pope Hears Confessions of Youth
MESSAGE FOR ALL CATHOLICS (in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday - April 15)
Salvation: Just click and confess
CONFESSION AND CONFUSION
Get Thee To A Confessional! (beautiful insight for those who dread going to Confession)
Emerging Trends: The Return to the Confessional
Confessing to 'sins' is booming in America (Evangelicals and Protestants take up practice)
What You [Catholics] Need to Know: Penance (Reconciliation, Confession) [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
A Comeback for Confession
MORTAL SIN and HOLY CONFESSION - The Antidote of Death
Thinking Inside the Box: An Attitude for Confession
The Epidemic and the Cure [The Sin of the World and the Sacrament of Reconciliation] (Confession)
Why Go to Confession? (Part 1) - Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Bruno Forte
Why Go to Confession? (Part 2) - Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Bruno Forte
How To Make a Good Confession (especially if you haven't gone in years)
Why Go to Confession? (Part 3) - Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Bruno Forte
Pulling Sin up by the Roots: The Need for Mortification
Reasons for Confession [Sacrament of Reconciliation]
Cardinal Stafford's Homily at Penitential Liturgy With an Examination of Conscience
How to Go to Confession
Fr. Zs 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession
Learning to Confess
I am tired of confessing stuff. They put prayers of confession up on the screen and I haven’t done any of it. I have tried to live according to the requirements of Christ and I am sick of pretending differently. I remember making stuff up as a kid that I could “confess” to the priest. stupid.
Went to confession last night. I wish I would remember how good it makes me feel afterwards. Always light as a feather!
When I was a child, I did the same thing. It is challenging as adults to grow beyond that and into an adult examination of conscience. A good examination can be based on the 10 Commandments or the Prayer to Our Father. Perhaps this one is more appropriate.
Prayer Before Examination of Conscience
I am perfectly sensible, O my God, that I have in many ways offended Thy divine majesty, and provoked Thy wrath by my sins; and that if I obtain not pardon I shall be cast out of thy sight forever. I desire, therefore, at present to call myself to an account, and look into all the sins whereby I have displeased Thee; but O my God, how miserably shall I deceive myself if Thou assist me not in this work by Thy heavenly light. Grant me, therefore, at present, Thy grace, whereby I may discover all my imperfections, see all my failings, and duly call to mind all my sins: for I know that nothing is hidden from Thy sight. But I confess myself in the dark as to my own failings: my passions blind me, self-love flatters me, presumption deludes me, and though I have many sins which stare me in the face, and cannot be hidden, yet how many, too, are there quite concealed from me! But discover even those to me, O Lord! enlighten my darkness, cure my blindness, and remove every veil that hides my sins from me, that I may be no longer a secret to myself, nor a stranger to my own failings, not ever flatter myself with the thoughts of having repented, an at the same time nourish folly and vice within my breast. Come, Holy Ghost, and by a beam of Thy divine light illumine my understanding, that I may have a perfect view of all my sins and iniquities, and that, sincerely repenting of them, I may know Thee, and be again received into Thy favor. A Method of Examination of Conscience, according to the threefold Duty we owe:
(I) To God. - (II) To our Neighbor. - (III) To ourselves.
I . In Relation to God:
1. Have you omitted morning or evening prayer, or neglected to make your daily examination of conscience? Have you prayed negligently, and with willful distraction?
2. Have you spent your time, especially on Sundays and holidays, not in sluggishly lying abed, or in any sort of idle entertainment, but in reading, praying, or other pious exercises; and taken care that those under your charge have done the like, and not wanted the instructions necessary for their condition, nor time for prayer, or to prepare for the sacraments?
3. Have you spoken irreverently of God and holy things? Have you taken his name in vain, or told untruths?
4. Have you omitted your duty through human respect, interest, compliance, etc. ?
5. Have you been zealous for God's honor, for justice, virtue and truth, and reproved such as act otherwise?
6. Have you resigned your will to God in troubles necessities, sickness, etc. ?
7. Have you faithfully resisted thoughts of infidelity, distrust, presumption, impurity, etc. ?
II In Relation to Your Neighbor
1. Have you disobeyed your superiors, murmured against their commands, or spoken of them contemptuously?
2. Have you been troubled, peevish, or impatient, when told of your faults, and not corrected them? Have you scorned the good advice of others, or censured their proceedings?
3. Have you offended any one by injurious threatening words or actions?
4. Or lessened their reputation by any sort of detractions; or in any matter of importance?
5. Or spread any report, true or false, that exposed your neighbor to contempt, or made him undervalued?
6. Have you been carrying stories backward and forward, created discord and misunderstanding between neighbors?
7. Have you been forward(1) or peevish towards any one in your carriage, speech, or conversation?
8. Or taken pleasure to vex, mortify, or provoke them to swear, curse, or any ways offend God?
9. Have you mocked or reproached them for their corporal or spiritual imperfections?
10. Have you been excessive in reprehending those under your care, or been wanting in giving them just reproof?
11. Have you borne with their oversights and imperfections, and given them good counsel?
12. Have you been solicitous for such as are under your charge, and provided for their souls and bodies?
III In Relation to Yourself.
1. Have you been obstinate in following your own will, or in defending your own opinion, in things either indifferent, dangerous or scandalous?
2. Have you taken pleasure in hearing yourself praised, or yielded to thoughts of vanity?
3. Have you indulged yourself in overmuch ease, or any ways yielded to sensuality?
4. Has your conversation been edifying and moderate; or have you been forward(1), proud, or troublesome to others?
5. Have you spent overmuch time in play, or useless employments, and thereby omitted, or put off your devotions to unseasonable times?
If such as confess often fall into any of the more grievous sins not here mentioned, their own memory will easily suggest them, since it is impossible for a tender soul to forget any mortal offense, which must of necessity afflict her; and therefore it may not be necessary for them to turn over the following table of sins, which is chiefly intended for general confessions.
An Examination for Confession
The First Commandment is Broken
First, by Sins against Faith.
1. To be ignorant of the principal mysteries of Christianity; of the Creed, of the Commandments of God and his Church, or of the Sacraments.
2. To give God's honor to any created being or thing whatsoever; to pay divine worship, or to ascribe God's exclusive powers or attributes, to any being except God himself.
3. Willfully to doubt, or obstinately to err, in any point of faith, our of human respect, interest, fear etc.
4. To favor heretics or wicked men, in supporting or approving their opinions or actions.
5. To endanger our faith by reading their books with pleasure.
6. To examine divine mysteries with curiosity, and secrets of Providence by pure human reason.
7. To condemn or deride holy things.
8. To abuse the words of the holy scripture, by perverting them to a wicked or profane sense, making them subservient to jests, or other ill purposes.
9. To desire to know things to come, which belong to God alone, or things past or present, which are hid from us, and for this end to employ unlawful means, as fortune tellers, or other superstitious inventions.
10. To give credit to dreams, or make superstitious observations; to employ prayers or sacred names to ill uses; to use charms etc.
Secondly, by Sins against Hope.
1. By distrusting the mercies of God, and despairing of the pardon of our sins.
2. By presuming on God's goodness, without the least concern of amendment.
3. By deferring our conversion or repentance till the end of life.
4. By exposing ourselves to the danger of offending God either by company, reading, or otherwise, which is called tempting God.
5. By exposing ourselves, without necessity, to some corporal danger; as sickness, wounds or death.
6. By neglecting the remedies which God has appointed in these dangers, as physic for the body, or prayer and the sacraments for the soul.
Thirdly, by Sins against Charity.
1. By not loving God above all things, but rather choosing willfully to offend him, than suffer any loss of honor, riches, etc.
2. By preferring the love of man before the love of God; or offending him through fear of being jeered or slighted.
3. By omitting our duty through shame, or human respect.
4. By thinking seldom of God, or being ashamed to speak of him; or by not hearkening to his inspirations, by forgetting his benefits, or neglecting to give him thanks.
Fourthly, by Sin against Religion.
1. By not adoring God, or praying to him but seldom.
2. By praying without attention, and with willful distractions.
3. By a want of respect to God in time of prayer; or by talking or being present in holy places without a becoming modesty and gravity in our looks, words and actions.
Fifthly, by Sins against the Care we ought to have of our Salvation.
1. By a love of idleness.
2. By being too solicitous in temporal concerns, and neglecting the means of salvation.
3. By deferring amendment of life, or immediately desisting, after having begun it.
4. By neglecting the means of salvation; as the sacraments, prayer, good works, or performing them without devotion.
The Second Commandment is Broken.
1. By taking the name of God in vain.
2. By swearing to what one knows or doubts to be false.
3. By swearing to what is unjust, or prejudicial to others.
4. By swearing without necessity, though the thing itself be true and just.
5. By blaspheming God or holy things.
6. By cursing one's self or others, or taking pleasure in hearing others swear or curse; or by provoking them to it.
7. By not reprehending them when one could and ought.
8. By making a vow to do what is impossible to fulfill; or to do what is evil and displeasing to God; or to do what one never intends to perform.
9. By breaking lawful vows, or deferring to fulfill them without just cause.
The Third Commandment is Broken.
1. By doing servile works on Sunday, or causing others to do the like without necessity.
2. By employing a considerable part of Sundays or holidays in temporal affairs, as is often the case with merchants, advocates, solicitors, etc.
3. By omitting to hear Mass, or not hearing it with due attention and reverence.
4. By spending Sundays and holidays in idleness, gaming, dancing, feasting, and other recreations.
5. By not dedicating a considerable part of those days to reading and praying, and by not taking care that those under your charge to the like.
The Fourth Commandment is Broken.
I. By children:
1. Not paying due respect to their parents, or by despising them either in their hearts or actions.
2. By not loving them, but wishing their death, or some misfortune; or by forsaking them in their necessities.
3. By not cheerfully obeying them; or by obeying them in things unlawful.
4. By slighting their representations, and resisting their corrections.
5. By putting them into a passion, and not taking care to pacify them.
6. By not executing their last will and testament, or by delaying to do so.
II. By parents not discharging their duty towards their children.
1. In not loving them, and supplying their corporal necessities.
2. In not being careful of their salvation.
3. In not correcting them when it is necessary; in flattering their passions, or indulging their evil inclinations.
4. In treating them with too much severity.
5. In not setting them good example.
6. In forcing them in the choice of their state in life.
The Fifth Commandment is Broken.
1. By anger, quarreling, or threatening, or by injurious or reproachful words, or actions against our neighbors.
2. By revenge, or deliberate thoughts or desires of revenge.
3. By provoking, striking, challenging, wounding, or being the cause of another's death.
4. By bearing malice, refusing to salute or speak to any neighbor out of hatred or aversion, or refusing to be reconciled to him.
The Sixth Commandment is Broken.
I. By the hearing.
1. In willingly giving ear to immodest words, discourses, songs, etc.
II. By the sight.
1. In looking on immodest objects,
2. In reading or keeping immodest books; lending them to others; or neglecting to suppress them when we may.
III. By the tongue.
1. In speaking immodest words.
2. In relating improper stories or wicked actions of ourselves or others.
IV. By the touch.
1. In using indecent actions.
V. By thoughts.
1. By entertaining impure thoughts willfully and with delight.
VI. By immodest actions.
1. In committing the sin of impurity; and whether effected by soliciting, seducing with promises, or forcing; whether it be fornication, adultery, or incest.
2. In sins against nature.
The Seventh Commandment is Broken.
1. By taking another's goods, and to what value.
2. By retaining what we know belongs to another.
3. By denying our debts, or willfully delaying payment, to the prejudice of our neighbors.
4. By making unjust bargains or contracts, into which every trade or profession ought to make a strict inquiry.
5. By causing any damage to our neighbors.
6. By putting off false and counterfeit money.
7. By desiring another's property.
8. By not giving alms when necessity requires.
9. By not paying dues to our pastors, or by not contributing to the decent support of religious worship.
10. By simony.
The Eighth Commandment is Broken.
1. By witnessing what is false, or defending a false accusation, as in lawyers and solicitors; or condemning the innocent, or discharging the guilty, as judges and arbitrators.
2. By detraction, either in laying something false to another's charge, or reporting for truth what is merely doubtful; or in revealing something as yet secret and unknown, though true, to the prejudice of some third person; with a declaration, whether it be done out of levity and indiscretion, or out of malice or ill-will; whether in the presence of many, or in a matter of importance.
3. By lying, or speaking what we judge to be otherwise than we say; whether out of custom, or to the considerable prejudice of others.
4. By hypocrisy, which is a lie in action.
The Ninth and Tenth are Broken.
By all unlawful and willful desires of impurity and theft; which have been already mentioned in the sixth and seventh commandment.
The Precepts of the Church.
I. To keep certain appointed days holy, with the obligation of hearing Mass, and resting from servile works.
II. To observe the days of abstinence and fasting.
III. To confess our sins to our pastors, at least once a year.
IV. To receive the blessed Sacrament at Easter, or thereabouts.
V. To contribute to the support of our pastors.
VI. To obey the laws of the Church concerning Matrimony.
VII. To participate in the Church's mission of Evangelization of Souls. (2)
The Seven Deadly Sins.
The Sin of Pride consists:
1. In entertaining too great and opinion of ourselves, or in valuing ourselves above our deserts.
2. In publishing what we think good in ourselves, that we may be esteemed by others.
3. In arrogance, by attributing to ourselves the good we have not.
4. In presumption and ambition, by confiding too much in our own strength, conceiving ourselves capable of accomplishing things above our abilities, and in rashly attempting them.
5. In contempt of others, on account of the good opinions we have of ourselves, and when this contempt is manifested by words or actions or by being severe and exacting on inferiors.
6. In want of submission to our superiors, by disobeying them, blaming their conduct, or murmuring against them.
7. In not acknowledging our faults; or when, in confessing the facts, we maintain we have done well, or at least allege false excuses.
8. In contempt of admonitions and corrections.
9. In discord.
10. In hypocrisy.
11. In curiosity, which inclines us to know things prejudicial to our salvation.
12. By ingratitude for God's benefits.
(The sins of covetousness, luxury, and sloth, have been already examined in the first, sixth, and seventh commandments. )
The Sin of Gluttony
In eating or drinking to excess, as far as they are prejudicial, either to our health or our reason, or any ways scandalous, or of ill example to others.
The Sin of Envy.
1. Trouble at the good success of our neighbor, or when we endeavor to do him an unkindness, or speak often against him, or create an ill opinion of him in the mind of another.
2. When we rejoice at our neighbor's harm.
The Sin of Anger.
1. Not to endure any thing contrary to our inclinations.
2. To suffer ourselves to be hurried away by the emotions of wrath against those that give us any trouble.
3. To proceed to quarrels, injurious language, oaths, curses, threats; to take revenge, or to desire and wish to be in a capacity of exercising it.
4. To refuse to pardon injuries, or to be reconciled to our enemies, or to such of our neighbors with whom we have had some misunderstanding, or falling out.
A Prayer for Obtaining Contrition.
I have now here before me, O Lord, a sad prospect of the manifold offenses whereby I have displeased thy divine Majesty, and which I am assured will appear in judgment against me if, by repentance and a hearty sorrow, my soul be not prepared to receive thy pardon. But this sorrow and this repentance, O Lord, must be the free gift of thy mercy, without which all my endeavors will be in vain, and I shall be forever miserable. Have pity, therefore, on me, O merciful Father, and pour forth into my heart thy grace, whereby I may sincerely repent of all my sins; grant me true contrition, that I may bewail my base ingratitude, and grieve from my heart for having offended so good a God. Permit me not to be deluded by a false sorrow, as I fear I have been too often, through my own weakness and neglect; but let it now be thy gift, descending from thee, the Father of Lights, that so my repentance may be accompanied by an amendment and a change of life, that being thus acquitted from the guilt of my sins, I may once more be received into the number of thy servants. Amen.
[Source and Author Unknown] _____________________________________
(1) "forward": 1. not easily controlled; stubbornly willful; contrary 2. adverse; unfavorable.
(2) This last is an expansion of the traditional six, made fairly recently by the bishops at an annual meeting of the NCCB.
it occurred to me today, that when someone claims they don’t need a priest for confession ... ask them if they believe in self-administered baptism and why not.
Eternity is forever.
Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXVII, para. 4:There are only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained. (Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 11:20, 23; 1 Cor. 4:1; Heb. 5:4)
2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith, Ch 28 (Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper):1. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of positive and sovereign institution, appointed by the Lord Jesus, the only lawgiver, to be continued in his church to the end of the world.(Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:26)
2. These holy appointments are to be administered by those only who are qualified and thereunto called, according to the commission of Christ.(Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 4:1)
The Belgic Confession, Article 33:We believe that our good God, mindful of our crudeness and weakness, has ordained sacraments for us to seal his promises in us, to pledge his good will and grace toward us, and also to nourish and sustain our faith.
He has added these to the Word of the gospel to represent better to our external senses both what he enables us to understand by his Word and what he does inwardly in our hearts, confirming in us the salvation he imparts to us.
For they are visible signs and seals of something internal and invisible, by means of which God works in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. So they are not empty and hollow signs to fool and deceive us, for their truth is Jesus Christ, without whom they would be nothing.
Moreover, we are satisfied with the number of sacraments that Christ our Master has ordained for us. There are only two: the sacrament of baptism and the Holy Supper of Jesus Christ.
Further, we believe that there is no mediator between God and man but the Man Jesus Christ, and that we have personal access through the authority of Christ to confess our sins to God. Beyond that, there is still the disagreement over the need for penance between the Protestants and the RCC. I'm sure that FR Religion forum is ripe with these debates (if you care to explore).
So do we. The sacrament of confession doesn't replace going to God and telling him you're sorry, in fact, if you haven't done it already, it's right there in the middle of the sacrament.
The issue is, what else did Jesus provide for us?
It's interesting to me that evangelicals now talk about having "accountability partners". They've come full circle -- an "accountability partner" is a big part of what a confessor does.
I think my idea of self-administered baptism might catch on with the “sinner’s prayer” preachers. The ones who save people with the “sinner’s prayer”. They could turn the gospel into 2 steps (instead of one).
1. Say prayer
2. Go home and baptize yourself.
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