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Posts Tagged ‘Confession’


Dear reader

Reminding you of God’s gift to us through receiving the Sacraments regularly in our life. We receive food for our souls – Grace which sustains us in our life struggles.

Do you try to include attending Holy Mass and receiving the Sacrament of Confession and Holy Communion, Eucharistic Adoration – regularly – in your weekly timetable?

I must admit it was and still is a daily and weekly reschedule to make sure I do participate in the Life of the Church and receive the Sacraments. Some days I might miss out due to a last minute change in my diary but I try and make up for it the rest of the week. Putting God as your No.1 priority in your life will change your life immensely – for your good, for your peace, for a greater understanding of life, the Holy Spirit will inspire you, Jesus will speak to you directly, comfort you when you need comfort and guidance. This is every single day of your life – we cannot guarantee what tomorrow brings. We need God’s Grace to sustain us for that next moment in our lives when we are faced with a challenge and we won’t know who to turn to for help. Every baptized Christian needs to receive the Sacraments by participating in the Life of Christ and the Church, to help us in this life on earth and prepare us for our eternal home.

Here is a great video clip entitled Power and Grace, produced by Ascension Press, to help you on your way:

 

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confessional-officeFirst week of the month, is a time when we observe 1st Saturday Devotion to Our Blessed Mother to attend Holy Mass, Holy Communion, Confession (attend Confession any day of this week) and spend 15 minutes meditating on the Rosary for the intentions of the needs of the church today.

Today I was at church and it was quiet, with hardly anybody in the Confessional queue – a good time to go I thought. Plus the Holy Spirit was nudging me for some time, but my human nature made me feel a bit lazy!  Suddenly I saw a priest enter the church and go towards the confessional. Aha I thought, that is my cue! I thought, if a priest goes to Confession, what about me! So off I went to join the small queue. I have on occasions joined many people in the Confessional queue, all brothers and sisters in Christ, nuns and priests, side by side in the queue, and it is a humbling experience to realise that we are all on this spiritual journey towards our Eternal Home and we all have occasion to sin – daily, minute by minute. We all need this great Sacrament of Forgiveness and Grace to repent, to change, to try with God’s help to overcome our weaknesses, no matter how small or big. This world has temptations all around us to draw us into a life of sin and despair. We cannot escape the temptations of sin, unless we are strengthened with God’s help alone, by frequent repentance and conscious effort to overcome that weakness.

I would like to bring to your mind that many of us today think we don’t need to go to Confession, that we are living a daily life of doing daily chores and we think we are living a good moral life. After all the requirement of the catholic church is to go to Confession and Holy Communion (at least) once a year at Easter, although we need to attend Holy Mass every Sunday.  Intentionally missing Holy Mass on every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation is a Mortal sin and our soul is in spiritual danger. Or we might think, our sins are too great, we are afraid to confess it. These are doubts coming into our minds to stop us from going to this great Sacrament and being free of sin! Do not listen to this! Many people who do not believe in this, carry on their lives day after day, soon they realise they are stuck in the same life patterns which they cannot escape, they try everything – seeking professional counselling help, courses, programs. (I am not saying they do not work, they do work). Who holds the key to the human heart, created by God? No one can get into the mind and heart of any human being, except God Himself. God alone can help mend the broken human heart.

Have no fear, the priest in the Confessional is very patient and gentle and understanding to hear us out. And before you know it, in a few minutes, you are granted Absolution of the Church and you are free! Check your local churches for Confession times on Google search (if you are on the net) or check with your local Archdiocese for the nearest church. You are not alone! I have been hearing from our priests at Mass saying to people ‘come and talk to us’.

The Confessional is the Seat of Mercy – Jesus revealed to St Faustina, the apostle of Divine Mercy, that He is there in the Confessional through the priest, listening to us. We receive the Penance the priest asks of us and God’s Mercy washes our souls clean and Grace poured into our souls to strengthen us for our spiritual journey.

Jesus gave the Sacrament of Penance to the 12 Apostles on Pentecost when He breathed on them and Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so also I am sending you.” When He had said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.”… St John 20:22.

Do not wait or doubt, go now to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and find Jesus the Divine Mercy waiting there!  Jesus says ‘Come to me all you who labour and heavily burdened and I will give you rest’.

~ God Bless you today and always!

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Confession


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99 Questions to complete your examination of conscience …

Here are 99 questions to prayerfully consider before going to confession:

“I am the Lord, your God.  You shall have no other gods besides me.”

1. Have I doubted or denied God’s existence?
2. Have I been ungrateful to God for His benefits?
3. Am I open to God’s will?
4. Do I rely solely on myself and not on God?
5. Have I abandoned the Catholic Faith?
6. Have I joined a non-Catholic church or anti-Catholic group?
7. Have I refused to believe any truths of the Faith or any teachings of the Church?
8. Did I fail to profess or defend the Faith?
9. Have I failed to go to confession at least once a year?
10. Have I been faithful to my daily prayers?
11. Have I practiced any superstitions?
12. Am I unwilling to turn away from everything that makes my soul unworthy?

“You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.”

13. Have I sworn by God’s name carelessly, in anger, or surprise?
14. Do I speak irreverently of holy persons, places or things?
15. Have I cursed myself of others?
16. Did I use profanity?
17. Have I called down evil upon anyone or anything?
18. Did I get angry with God?
19. Have I angered others so as to make them curse?
20. Have I broken a vow made to God?
21. Have I murmured or complained about God?

“Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.”

22. Did I miss Mass on a Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation?
23. Did I arrive to Mass late or leave early?
24. Did I receive Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin?
25. Have I been irreverent during the Most Blessed Sacrament?
26. Have I been willfully distracted during Mass?
27. Do I allow myself to be distracted during Mass?
28. Have I done unnecessary work on Sunday?

“Honor your father and your mother.”

29. Have I disobeyed, insulted, or shown disrespect to my parents or legitimate superiors?
30. Did I neglect my duties to my husband, wife, children or parents?
31. Did I neglect to give good religious example to my family?
32. Am I disrespectful, impolite, or discourteous toward my family?
33. Have I failed to meet my children’s physical, spiritual, emotional, and educational needs?
34. Have I disobeyed the lawful demands of my superiors, teachers, or employer?
35. Did I fail to actively take an interest in the religious education and formation of my children?
36. Did I cause anyone to leave the faith?
37. Did I cause tension and fights in my family?
38. Did I care for my aged and infirm relatives?

“You shall not kill.”

39. Did I kill or physically injure anyone?
40. Did I have an abortion, or advise someone else to have an abortion?
41. Do I use artificial contraceptive or birth control prevention?
42. Have I entertained thoughts of suicide, desired to commit suicide or attempted suicide?
43. Have I been a part of euthanasia or assisted suicide?
44. Have I placed others in harms way, by driving or texting inappropriately?
45. Have I failed to help someone in danger or in need?
46. Did I drink or smoke excessively or abuse prescribed drugs?
47. Have I wished evil on anyone?
48. Do I deliberately harbor unkind and revengeful thoughts about others?
49. Have I taken revenge?
50. Have I used harsh or abusive language toward others?
51. Have I spread gloom through my words and actions?
52. Is there anyone with whom I refuse to speak, or against whom I bear a grudge?
53. Have I taken pleasure in anyone’s misfortunes?
54. Have I led others into sin?

“You shall not commit adultery” and “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife”

55. Did I commit impure acts with another – fornication (premarital sex) or adultery (sex with a married person)?
56. Did I commit impure acts by myself (masturbation)?
57. Do I engage in homosexual acts?
58. Have I refused my spouse the marriage right without good reason?
59. Am I dating someone who is civilly divorced but still bound by a valid marriage?
60. Did I marry or advise anyone to marry outside the Catholic Church?
61. Have I willfully entertained impure thoughts or desires?
62. Did I respect all members of the opposite sex, or have I objectified them?
63. Have I read, listened to, viewed, or spoken impure things?
64. Have I worn tight or otherwise revealing and immodest clothing?
65. Have I avoided occasions of impurity?

“You shall not steal.”

66. Have I stolen money or property?
67. Have I cheated?
68. Have I failed to make restitution for what I stole?
69. Have I intentionally damaged property?
70. Have I accepted or bought stolen property?
71. Have I helped someone steal?
72. Am I dishonest in my business dealings?
73. Have I failed to make restitution for my stealing, cheating and frauds?
74. Do I gamble excessively?
75. Have I borrowed without permission?
76. Have I failed to return things borrowed?
77. Did I waste time at work, school or at home?
78. Have I cheated my employer of an honest day’s work?
79. Have I cheated my employees of their wages?
80. Have I refused or neglected to help anyone in urgent need?

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

81. Have I lied deliberately?
82. Have I deliberately misled or deceived anyone?
83. Did I gossip or reveal others’ faults or sins?
84. Have I failed to keep promises or oaths?
85. Have I signed false documents?
86. Have I failed to prevent the defamation of another’s character?
87. Have I revealed secrets and betrayed trust?
88. Do I make false judgments and harbor false suspicions?
89. Have a failed to forgive someone or held a grudge?
90. Have I failed to apologize or make amends?
91. Did I fail to keep secret what should be confidential?
92. Have I disclosed another’s sins without serious reason?

“You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

93. Am I greedy or selfish?
94. Am I envious of someone’s possessions, talents, or blessings?
95. Do I indulge in self-pity?
96. Am I proud, vain, or desire to be praise?
97. Have I exaggerated my success?
98. Have I minimized or explained my failures?
99. Have I measured my charity by what others have given, rather than my ability to give?

Going to confession can be overwhelming and uncomfortable. This list of questions is extensive and can be daunting. It can be hard to say out loud the things in our lives that we have done wrong. Rather than looking down upon your failings, let the sorrow for sin help you overcome them. Look upon this sacrament as an opportunity to make full reparation for your sins, and restore your soul’s relationship with God. If you are reluctant to go to confession remember God’s mercy and compassion. “Though your sins be like scarlet, they shall become white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall become white as wool.” (Isiah 1:18)

Remember, Christ came into the world to save sinners.

https://www.catholiccompany.com/blog/99-questions-to-complete-your-examination-of-conscience#.VOtmq4N0daU.facebook

 

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The Sacrament of Penance is a miracle of grace, no less for priest than for penitent. Nowhere and in no function, it seems to me, does the priest represent our Lord in His Divine character so literally as in this Holy Sacrament. It is indeed a wonder how two souls, entire strangers to each other, can at once be knit into holy bonds of friendship, so close, so sincere, so sacred.

– Servant of God Isaac Hecker (1819-1888), founder of the Paulist

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By Fr Mike Schmitz

I was once riding in a shuttle-bus with a number of older folks on the way from an airport. They noticed that I was a priest and started asking questions about it.

“Do you do all of the priest stuff?”

“Yep.”

“Even the Confession thing?”

“Yeah. All the time.”

One older lady gasped, “Well, I think that that would be the worst. It would be so depressing; hearing all about people’s sins.”

I told them that it was the exact opposite. There is almost no greater place to be than with someone when they are coming back to God. I said, “It would depressing if I had to watch someone leave God; I get to be with them when they come back to Him.” The Confessional is a place where people let God’s love win. The Confessional is the most joyful, humbling, and inspiring place in the world.
WHAT DO I SEE DURING CONFESSION?
I think there are three things. First, I see the costly mercy of God in action. I get to regularly come face to face with the overwhelming, life-transforming power of God’s love. I get to see God’s love up-close and it reminds me of how good God is.

Not many folks get to see the way in which God’s sacrifice on the Cross is constantly breaking into people’s lives and melting the hardest hearts. Jesus consoles those who are grieving their sins . . . and strengthens those who find themselves wanting to give up on God or on life.

As a priest, I get to see this thing happen every day.”

http://lifeteen.com/my-side-of-the-confessional-what-is-it-like-for-a-priest/

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What a wonderful Saviour and friend we have in Jesus! The more I think about His horrendous sufferings and death on the Cross, the more I become repentant. Our God became man to live like us, endure all human suffering for us, to save us from sin and give us Eternal Life. Why wouldn’t we want to give our lives for Him! And He meets us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that we can unburden our souls to Him, the author of life and He will give us comfort and Grace to live a better life of faith.

Here are some helpful guides to help you approach the Confessional.  Ask Our Lady to help you make a Good Confession. Just say ‘Our Lady and Jesus help me make a Good Confession’. That is all. The priest will help you and guide you. Sometimes you will find a printed sheet of paper in front of you at the confessional. Explain to the priest that its your first time and he will help you. Don’t be put off by negative thoughts, as that is the evil one putting you off. Receive this marvellous gift of Grace from Jesus where He cleanses your soul and gives you new Life. The more you go to this wonderful Sacrament, the more you will be free of guilt and sin and live a new Life in Jesus.

http://www.thelightisonforyou.org/confession/

http://www.catholic.org/prayers/confession.php

During Confession

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.”

After Confession

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.

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:

  1. Have God and the pursuit of sanctity in Christ been the goal of my life? Have I denied my faith? Have I placed my trust in false teachings or substitutes for God? Did I despair of God’s mercy?
  2. Have I avoided the profane use of God’s name in my speech? Have I broken a solemn vow or promise?
  3. Have I honored every Sunday by avoiding unnecessary work, celebrating the Mass (also holydays)? Was I inattentive at, or unnecessarily late for Mass, or did I leave early? Have I neglected prayer for a long time?
  4. Have I shown Christlike respect to parents, spouse, and family members, legitimate authorities? Have I been attentive to the religious education and formation of my children?
  5. Have I cared for the bodily health and safety of myself and all others? Did I abuse drugs or alcohol? Have I supported in any way abortion, “mercy killing,” or suicide?
  6. Was I impatient, angry, envious, proud, jealous, revengeful, lazy? Have I forgiven others?
  7. Have I been just in my responsibilities to employer and employees? Have I discriminated against others because of race or other reasons?
  8. Have I been chaste in thought and word? Have I used sex only within marriage and while open to procreating life? Have I given myself sexual gratification? Did I deliberately look at impure TV, pictures, reading?
  9. Have I stolen anything from another, from my employer, from government? If so, am I ready to repay it? Did I fulfill my contracts? Did I rashly gamble, depriving my family of necessities?
  10. Have I spoken ill of any other person? Have I always told the truth? Have I kept secrets and confidences?
  11. Have I permitted sexual thoughts about someone to whom I am not married?
  12. Have I desired what belongs to other people? Have I wished ill on another?
  13. Have I been faithful to sacramental living (Holy Communion and Penance)?
  14. Have I helped make my parish community stronger and holier? Have I contributed to the support of the Church?
  15. Have I done penance by abstaining and fasting on obligatory days? Have I fasted before receiving communion?
  16. Have I been mindful of the poor? Do I accept God’s will for me?


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