The Sacrament of Reconciliation (or Confession) should be a regular part of our Catholic lives. It is through this Sacrament that we work to become more virtuous with the help of God’s grace. Sin is a trap that the Devil uses to let us paint ourselves into his corner. We sin a little bit, and become a little more immune to shame, and a little more callous to sin. We sin some more, and the space that separates us from God seems to get a bit wider each time. Sin begets sin, and suddenly we convince ourselves that we are powerless to change, or even that we are damned anyway, so why stop now? Our human nature is remarkably consistent. We insist on freedom, which we alone among God’s earthly creatures have, and then we use that freedom to lock ourselves into vices.
As Catholics, we understand the spiritual life to be something like the training of an athlete, but the pole vault champion has to knock down a lot of poles in training as he learns to defy gravity and throw himself towards heaven. Likewise, we Catholics sin. We fall. We fail. But we get up and try again. We have hope that God does not want to see us weak and sinful. We have faith that the Lord calls us to excel as human beings, and that He will help us when we admit that we need His help.
Every Catholic should go to confession every year (we would argue multiple times a year). Some very good Catholics go to confession every two or three weeks, because good Catholics know when they are sinning. Attached you’ll find a brochure on going to confession that is also available in our parish Narthex. It points out some Biblical passages that might help you prepare for confession before you come. It also has an Act of Contrition for those who are still memorizing it.
Know that besides the regular times for confession, our priests do make appointments with those who want to schedule times during the week. Our parish also has two Parish-wide Penance Services, one during Advent and one during Lent.
Hey, listen, we all sin. That means we all need to be going to confession. So reflect now on the words of St. John:
If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrong doing. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (I John 1:8-10)