Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Making a Good Confession: There's Help

"Making a good confession?" Lent is coming up. Fast: February 17.

Which means that it's confession time for Catholics. Practicing Catholics have to "go to Confession," as we say here in America, once a year. Minimum. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1457) We should take advantage of the sacrament of Reconciliation more often than that, of course.

Confession: Lots of Names, One Sacrament

The sacrament of Reconciliation is also called the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of confession. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1423,1424)

During More Than 19 Centuries, A Few Details Changed

As centuries passed, procedures for the sacrament of Reconciliation changed. (Catechism, 1447) The basic structure of the sacrament hasn't. Just as it was in the first century, we've got two essential elements. They're both essential, by the way:
  • The acts of man
      Man, who undergoes conversion
      • Through the actions of the Holy Spirit
    • Contrition
    • Confession
    • Satisfaction
  • God's action
    • Through the intervention of the Church
      • Through the Bishop and his
        • Priests
      • Forgives sins
        • In the name of Jesus Christ
      • Determines the manner of satisfaction
      • Prays for the sinner
      • Does penance with him
There's more, as usual. (1448) Use of the personal pronoun "him" to indicate an unspecified or generic person, and "Man" to describe all humanity, isn't what the dominant culture of America likes just now. It is, however, how the English language works, and at present many Catholic documents - including the catechism - use standard English. Not the politically-correct version that Americans have to use, if they want to advance socially and economically.

If you think that's demeaning women, I suggest that you take it up with Mary, Queen of Angels, or pray to St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church. Or find tapes of Mother Angelica's remarks. (She's the nun who founded EWTN)

About the priest? Yeah: Confession to a priest is important. Very importang (1456)

Sacrament of Reconciliation: There's Help

I started "going to Confession" when I became a Catholic. Decades later, it's still not easy.

But, there's help.

Printed 'how-2' advice and procedures have been around for generations.

Now, the Archdiocese has launched a website - The Light Is On For - to help people prepare for the sacrament of Reconciliation.

There's a page titled "How to Make a Good Confession, and a series of downloadable pdf files.

What I read wasn't startling and new: but that's not surprising. I hope to be around when the Church hits the 2,000 year mark. After all that time God is still God and human beings are still human. I wouldn't hold my breath, waiting for a big change in the basics.
A tip of the hat to newadvent, on Twitter, for the heads-up on the new website.

1 comment:

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...


I recognize Japanese: and I do not tolerate spam. Particularly porn spam. Americans are not all decadent, ignorant fools.

Sorry, everybody else: but I've been dealing with a great deal of Japanese and Chinese spam for porn sites lately. Perhaps this will help.

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.