how can i make a good confession
good confessions make it possible to be forgiven
“Yes, my devout children, how many more of the damned would there be, and how far fewer saints, if we had not this sacrament [confession]? Oh, how the saints in heaven thank our blessed Lord that He has instituted this sacrament [to help save them].”
–St. John Vienney
There are two ways we can confess our sins which can receive forgiveness:
- Confession straight to God
- Confession to God through the priest
Confessing straight to God is what we will do most of the time. Hopefully throughout our day, whenever we recognize ourselves sinning…and especially at night when we examine our conscience to see the offences we committed against God during our day.
However, even though many confess straight to God, sadly most of our sins are never forgiven since most still lack TRUE sorrow for them. The grace from God that we needed to be able to grow into true contrition (true sorrow) and accept His forgiveness was simply never obtained. But that doesn’t mean we don’t tell God we are sorry when we sin, even if it isn’t quite true; it means we must still work hard to increase our contrition…and grow towards “maturity [of faith]” (Hebrews 6:1), so one day we can accept His perfect forgiveness. To learn more please read, “What is True Sorrow.”
Now confessing to God through the priest, that St. John Vienney speaks about, is what we should do as often as possible (within moderation and our abilities) as great grace is sent through the power given from God through the priest (cf.John 20:23). Even if we don’t yet have true contrition for all of our sins, MUCH helping grace is delivered from the blessed priest in this sacrament to help us to increase our contrition and faith.
But sadly, many of us who approach God, looking of help from the priest to forgive us of our sins, in the sacrament of reconciliation, aren’t receiving forgiveness mostly since we don’t confess properly and still haven’t grown into having enough contrition for our sins either.
“Few confess with tears of repentance.” –St. John Vianney
Therefore, learning how to confess well is not only learning the mechanics of confession and how to examine our conscience (to learn our sins), but it also includes learning how to obtain true contrition for our offences against God.
If we die and are not forgiven of a single sin (mortal or venial) against God’s law, we reject Heaven for some wretched sin, since lacking contrition for sinning in any way against Divine Perfection is a mortal crime.
“He who departs this life guilty [not forgiven] of having violated God’s law is bound over as a convict to eternal chains and is tortured without end by unspeakable torments.”
–St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church
That is some scary stuff. The consequence of sin against Divine Perfection is just horrific. Therefore, lets learn how to confess well so we can accept God’s forgiving mercy and Live.
“He who says that he has repented of a sin ought not only to be pricked with compunction for his sin, but also to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. He who has been corrected in first faults, and received pardon, if he sins again prepares for himself a judgement of wrath worse than that former. He, who after the first and second admonition abides in his fault, ought to be brought before the person in authority, if haply after being rebuked by more he may be ashamed [to motivate him to change].” –St. Basil
More coming soon