Friday, March 30, 2012

The Power of Confession!!!!

As we prepare for Palm Sunday and Holy Week, a small reflection from the Cybertronian.  As Catholics, we are blessed to have it all.  The full deposit of Faith has been handed to us from the Apostles.  The Scriptures, the Sacraments and the Blessed Mother!  Yet, do we fully appreciate our gift as Catholics?  To quote from Spiderman, (my nerd side comin' out)  'With great power comes great responsibility!' - Uncle Ben... (Fr Jason Piper reflected upon that recently..)  Our protestant brethren, evengelical, pentecostal, baptist, western branch of reformed Presbylutheran,.(Rev. Timothy Lovejoy from the Simpsons) can sometimes make us as Catholics look foolish in how they live their lives.  They DO more with LESS!! 

Sadly one of the most devastating effects upon the last 50 years of Catholicism has been the near extinction of the sacrament of Reconciliation.  Confession, besides the Eucharist, is an incredible gift that Jesus left us, so why the silence?  Every Mass, we witness the same thing, throngs upon throngs of people going to Communion, to receive Jesus, body, blood, soul and Divinity under the appearance of bread and wine.  At the same time, confessions are almost non-existant.  We need to recover this incredible grace.  Speaking from experience, I first went back to Confession about 7 yrs ago.  I was scared and ashamed, my ego (the enemy perhaps?) was playing tricks on me, thinking to myself, well 'I don't need a buffer!'  It'll be me and Jesus,.He knows my sins!  Sadly this is the prevailing attitude of many Catholics since the 1960s.  Newsflash!  Vatican II did not do away with the sacrament of Reconciliation!  We still need to be in a proper way disposed before receiving the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine.  Scripture reads;

Gospel of St John, 20, 21-24  -

-He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.  Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.  Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.  The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.-

 Still in Scripture, we also see a distinction between mortal and venial sins.  The Church(Orthodox Church too) has been saying this for 2000 years,  yet sadly some of our protestant brethren don't believe this.  Some anglican do, yet it has been completely disregarded during the 'revivalist dispensationalist theology crowd.'  Once again we refer to Scripture;

1 John 5:16-17-

- He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask.  All iniquity is sin. And there is a sin unto death.-

In the early Church, the penitants would confess and be absolved publically.  Since then, the Church through the ages have the practice of individual confession.  The priest, whose authority is not his known but Christ's absolves the penitant in the name of Jesus.  Besides that, he as a man, is bound by the confessional seal, under the threat of excommunication!  It's just you and Jesus, the priest will offer some counsel, but the absolution comes from Christ.  Now your probably telling yourself, yeah, but I know Jesus forgives me,..(and you are right!)  However, as human beings, we are creatures of sense, and the Church makes use of the senses to bring about the message of Christ.  In a way, you can call it an extention of the Incarnation.  Imagine apologizing to your mother, and her just staring at you silently?  Now imagine the same scenerio, and she says to you, 'I forgive you' with a smile.  You can't beat it!!!  Any Catholic who hasn't received this unbelievable Grace, I challenge you to try it out,. I mean what have you got to lose?

Before I conclude especially on the topic of Reconciliation, I would like to turn everyone's attention to a Rosary dedicated especially for the reunification of Priestly Society of Saint Pius X with the Holy See.  From what I gather, the SSPX will be issuing a positive reply to Cardinal Levada of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Bishop Fellay of the SSPX is encouraging everyone to pray the Rosary that God'will may be done, (think of Jesus in the garden...).  To add to that though, let us pray Christ's prayer to the Father, that we may be one!  Oremus! see here

 Saint Pio de Pietralcina,.........Ora pro nobis!

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