Why Go to Confession? (Part 1)
Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Bruno Forte
CHIETI, Italy, FEB. 18, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is the first part of the pastoral letter for 2005-2006 written by Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, a member of the International Theological Commission, on the theme "Reconciliation and the Beauty of God."
The rest of the letter will be published by Catholic Online over the next few days.
* * *
Why Go to Confession?
Copyright - Pauline Books & Media
Reconciliation and the Beauty of God
Together, let us try to understand what Confession is: If you really understand it, with your mind and heart, you will feel the need and the joy of experiencing this encounter, in which God, granting you his forgiveness through the ministry of the Church, creates a new heart in you, puts a new Spirit in you, so that you can live a life reconciled with Him, with yourself and with others, so that you also will be able to forgive and love, beyond any temptation to mistrust and weariness.
* * *
1. Why go to Confession?
Among the questions that my heart as Bishop asks, I choose one that I am often asked: Why must one go to Confession? It is a question that is posed again in many ways. Why go to a priest to tell one's sins and not do so directly to God, who knows and understands us much better than any human interlocutor?
And, in a more radical way, why speak of my affairs, especially of those that even I myself am ashamed of, to someone who is a sinner like me, and who perhaps assesses my experience in a completely different way than I do, or doesn't understand it at all? What does he know is a sin for me? And some add: Does sin really exist or is it only an invention of priests so that we will behave well?
I think I can answer this last question right away and without fear of being refuted: Sin exists, and not only is it wrong but it does evil. Suffice it to look at the daily scene of the world, where violence, wars, injustices, abuses, egoisms, jealousies and vengeance burst out (an example of this "war bulletin" is given to us today in the news in newspapers, radio, television and the Internet).
He who believes in the love of God, moreover, perceives that sin is love that falls back on itself ("amor curvus," closed love, the medievals said), ingratitude of the one who responds to love with indifference and rejection. This rejection has consequences not only in the one who lives it, but also in the whole society, to the point of producing conditionings and interlacements of egoisms and violence that become authentic "structures of sin" (think of social injustices, of the inequality between rich and poor countries, of the scandal of hunger in the world ...).
Precisely because of this, one must not hesitate to emphasize the enormity of the tragedy of sin and how the loss of the sense of sin -- very different from that sickness of soul that we call "guilt feeling" -- weakens the heart in the face of the spectacle of evil and the seductions of Satan, adversary who tries to separate us from God.
2. Experience of Forgiveness
Despite all this, however, I do not think I can say that the world is evil and that it is useless to do good. On the contrary, I am convinced that good exists and is much greater than evil, that life is beautiful and that to live correctly for love and with love is really worthwhile.
The profound reason that leads me to think this way is the experience of God's mercy that I feel in myself and that I see shine in so many humble people: It is an experience that I have lived many times, both giving forgiveness as minister of the Church, as well as receiving it. I have been going to confession regularly for years, several times a month, and with the joy of doing so.
The joy stems from feeling myself loved in a new way by God, every time that his forgiveness reaches me through the priest who gives it to me in his name. It is the joy I have seen often on the face of those coming to Confession: not the futile sense of relief of the one who has "emptied the sack" (Confession is not a psychological relief or a consoling meeting, at least not primarily), but the peace of feeling well "within" oneself, touched in the heart by a love that cures, that comes from above and transforms us.
To ask for forgiveness with conviction, to receive it with gratitude and to give it with generosity is a source of inestimable peace: Because of this, it is right and beautiful to go to Confession. I would like to share the reasons for this joy with all those whom I may reach with this letter.
Please visit Pauline Books & Media to purchase your copy.
Pauline Books & Media
50 Saint Pauls Avenue
Boston, MA 02130-3491 USA
tel: 617.522.8911 x 4424
The Daughters of St. Paul are women religious at the service of the Church whose mission is to spread the Gospel and uplift culture with the means of communication.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Confession, Mass, Forte, Forgive, Reconciliation
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Callista Gingrich is the next U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican
- Daily Reading for Thursday, October 19th, 2017 HD Video
- Museum of the Bible set to open in D.C., will be one of the city's ...
- Missionary priest kidnapped in Nigeria
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, October 18, 2017
- St. Luke: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, October 18, 2017
- Museum of the Bible to open in Washington D.C., here's what you want ...
- Virgin Mary appears to Hindu schoolchildren in India, miracles reported HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 HD
- Intro to Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth HD
- Trump ends taxpayer giveaway to insurance companies HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way