Student praises the gift of Catholic confessional

Kristina Wyman's picture
Lucas LaRoche

The season of Lent has many traditions associated with it in the Catholic Church. As a religious body, we fast, pray and deny ourselves so that we may “make these days holy by self-denial.” Too often, however, we participate in fast and abstinence during Lent out of custom, forgetting the importance of the Sacrament of Reconiliation during the process of preparation for Easter. Indeed, this Sacrament is vital to our lives as Christians in general, but it is often overlooked and seen as “archaic” and “embarrassing” to many Catholics.

This first raises the question “why do we confess our sins?” The answer is simply found in Scripture, and St. John writes in his epistle: “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity” (1 John 1:9). Simply: we confess our sins so that we can be forgiven.

Why then must a Catholic confess their sins to a priest? Why can we not confess our sins directly to God, or to any person of our choosing, and expect forgiveness and absolution like we expect in the confessional?

The answer to this question is found in Scripture as well. After the Resurrection of Jesus breathes out his Spirit on his Apostles and says, “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (John 20:23). Jesus speaks these words to his Apostles, who passed on this authority to the Church’s priests and bishops today. God wants us to use the ministry of priests, and seek His mercy in the confessional.
Too often, we think of going to Confession in the same way we thought of “going to the principal’s office,” but the opposite is true. While we may think we’re getting in trouble, God’s limitless mercy is made available to us in absolution, as well as the counsel of the Church’s wisdom in the person of the priest. Confession isn’t a place to get in trouble, but a free gift from God for you to experience His mercy.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to open your free gift.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (3 votes)