Skip to comments.Pope: Shame is a true Christian virtue
Posted on 04/29/2013 4:18:02 AM PDT by markomalley
The Confessional is not a dry cleaners where our sins are automatically washed away and Jesus is not waiting there to beat us up, but to forgive us with the tenderness of a father for our sins. Moreover, being ashamed of our sins is not only natural, its a virtue that helps prepare us for God's forgiveness. This was the central message of Pope Francis homily Monday morning during Mass celebrated with staff from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) and religious present in Casa Santa Marta. Emer McCarthy reports:
Commenting on the First Letter of St. John, which states " God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all," Francis Pope pointed out that "we all have darkness in our lives," moments "where everything, even our consciousness, is in the dark, but this - he pointed out - does not mean we walk in darkness:
"Walking in darkness means being overly pleased with ourselves, believing that we do not need salvation. That is darkness! When we continue on this road of darkness, it is not easy to turn back. Therefore, John continues, because this way of thinking made him reflect: 'If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us'. Look to your sins, to our sins, we are all sinners, all of us ... This is the starting point. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful, He is so just He forgives us our sins, cleansing us from all unrighteousness The Lord who is so good, so faithful, so just that He forgives. "
"When the Lord forgives us, He does justice" - continued the Pope - first to himself, "because He came to save and forgive", welcoming us with the tenderness of a Father for his children: "The Lord is tender towards those who fear, to those who come to Him "and with tenderness," He always understand us. He wants to gift us the peace that only He gives. " "This is what happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation" even though "many times we think that going to confession is like going to the dry cleaner" to clean the dirt from our clothes:
"But Jesus in the confessional is not a dry cleaner: it is an encounter with Jesus, but with this Jesus who waits for us, who waits for us just as we are. But, Lord, look ... this is how I am, we are often ashamed to tell the truth: 'I did this, I thought this'. But shame is a true Christian virtue, and even human ... the ability to be ashamed: I do not know if there is a similar saying in Italian, but in our country to those who are never ashamed are called sin vergüenza: this means the unashamed ', because they are people who do not have the ability to be ashamed and to be ashamed is a virtue of the humble, of the man and the woman who are humble. "
Pope Francis continued: we must have trust, because when we sin we have an advocate with the Father, "Jesus Christ the righteous." And He "supports us before the Father" and defends us in front of our weaknesses. But you need to stand in front of the Lord "with our truth of sinners", "with confidence, even with joy, without masquerading... We must never masquerade before God." And shame is a virtue: "blessed shame." "This is the virtue that Jesus asks of us: humility and meekness".
"Humility and meekness are like the frame of a Christian life. A Christian must always be so, humble and meek. And Jesus waits for us to forgive us. We can ask Him a question: Is going to confession like to a torture session? No! It is going to praise God, because I, a sinner , have been saved by Him. And is He waiting for me to beat me? No, with tenderness to forgive me. And if tomorrow I do the same? Go again, and go and go and go .... He always waits for us. This tenderness of the Lord, this humility, this meekness .... "
This confidence, concluded Pope Francis "gives us room to breathe." "The Lord give us this grace, the courage to always go to Him with the truth, because the truth is light and not the darkness of half-truths or lies before God. It give us this grace! So be it. "
I couldnt agree more. The absence of shame is why we are where we are as a country and a church.
The Pope is right on this one, but it is that shame that is stopping so many people from going to penance.
Its a bit of a catch 22 for the Church.
That interpretation is a bit of a surprise, but it does fit in the context of the rest of the letter.
As further proof, consider that while Dem’s have no shame, they are quite happy to shine the light on conservatives who fall short of conservative values.
I think it is more fear than shame. I certainly see that in the teens I work with if they rarely go to confession. The teens that regularly go seem to look forward to it. In both cases though, they all have a real joy when they exit the confessional.
Shame has largely left the country.
So has outrage over moral wrongs.
The red face of shame is proof that the conscience is still operational.
Without shame most are utterly unaware that they need Penance. Truly a vicious circle.
oh no try to convince any of today’s psychologists of this TRUTH
True Reconciliation story.... When I was in college, a friend went to Reconciliation and got yelled at by the priest because she, like me, hadn’t been in years. (Both of us are recovering Catholics). She walked away from the confessional without finishing it. She nor I ever thought twice about doing that again.
I have no problem about asking God for forgiveness. He already knows how screwed up I am. I do have an issue with the being judged by a priest part. Most priests fall far short of the high standards set by Papa Bergoglio.
It takes a lot of humility AND courage to admit one’s faults in front of someone else.
But what a blessing it is!
And the graces received — sometimes I am speechless or in tears.
That would be a great tagline!~
**I have no problem about asking God for forgiveness.**
Do go back — you never know if God really answers you and forgives your sins. In Confession you do. Just make an appointment with a priest to talk with him in his office.
Let me tell you a story.
There were two guys working in an office; both were Catholic. The first guy went to church regularly and kept asking his friend in the next cubicle to go with him.
He asked and asked and asked.
Finally the second guy said he would att Mass with his friend.
When they got to the Church the first guy noticed that the priest was hearing confessions, and he urged his friend to go to Confession — but he refused.
The first guy went to Confession anyway. After Mass they were in an auto accident and both were killed.
God met the second guy and flased his life in front of him showing him all the Sundays he hadn’t attended Mass and all his other mortal sins — then he sent him away.
The first guy came up to God and asked him if his life was going to flash in front of him too. God’s words to him: “I don’t remember any sins. Come into heaven with me, son.”
Perhaps there is a program for Catholics returning to the Church in your area. That’s another route to take.
|1449 The formula of absolution used in the Latin Church expresses the essential elements of this sacrament: the Father of mercies is the source of all forgiveness. He effects the reconciliation of sinners through the Passover of his Son and the gift of his Spirit, through the prayer and ministry of the Church:
The idea of reconciliation and confession came up in Mad Men during the second season. Peggy, who is the young secretary turns ad exec., has a child out of wedlock at trend of the first season. She doesn’t even know she is pregnant during the season. (Or she suspects it and tries to ignore it.). Lots of the story during the season is a young priest basically trying to shame her into going to Confession. (He finds out about it during her older sister’s Confession and basically breaks the seal.). Since this is the early 1960s, there is obviously great shame and ostracization associated with what happened to Peggy. She doesn’t end up going to confession, but she does end up telling the baby’s father, a young married exec. in the firm, about the baby and the fact that she had given it up for adoption. This gives her more peace than a Church confession ever would ad the season closes with her absolving herself ala Reconciliation.
I have a hard time believing that righteous people of other religions aren’t forgiven their sins because they don’t celebrate what is solely a Catholic sacrament and is centered on Catholicism weird desire for public shame. It would be sad to me if God told a victim of the Shoah that they weren’t completely absolved of their sins. Not really the merciful God that I am looking for.
I do have an issue with the being judged by a priest part.
But you do have a problem with the Sacrament instituted by God Himself, confession.
Better start working on the defense you'll attempt to mount during your particular judgment.
And then you will understand why people have left the Catholic Church in the first place. A friend and I were talking over the weekend about whether we know any practicing Catholics who are also really holy people. We couldn’t think of any off the top of our head. We could think of devout Jewish friends and Christian Evangelical friends who were good ambassadors to their faiths. But the devout Catholics we know tend to come off preachy and judgmental.
The priests are even worse. I never met one who I would feel comfortable going to if I was having a crisis. When I was growing up, the priests were not warm and cuddly figures. And you always felt judged and condemend around them. (And I am only 31 years old so this was the 1990s.). Even more recently, the local pastor at my Church couldn’t even bother to talk with my father when my grandmother died. He was too busy. My dad still goes to Mass regularly but my grandpa is currently on hospice and I doubt he would go to his local priest again. The same crabby priests are still there; the joke with my parents is that they haven’t gotten the memo from upper management yet.
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