St Francis Q&A

Friday, March 07, 2008

Parish Penance Service

Stations of the Cross, tonight, 7 pm, followed by Eucharistic Adoration. All who wish to remember Christ’s passion and then to adore Him in the Eucharist are invited!
This Monday night, (3/10), we will have our Parish Penance Service, Monday (3/10), 7:30 pm, SAA Church. We’ll have several priests here to offer confessions. I recently made a post about Confession, saying that it was a tremendous experience of freedom, joy, peace, etc. One anonymous blogger remarked that, “A common theme on this blog is that the sacraments are not about feelings”. Amen, Anon, and thank you! The “short-term gains” about which I wrote go deeper than mere emotions.

Nevertheless, I didn’t mean to imply that having those experiences are the primary reasons for going to Confession. They aren’t. The primary reason is for the Grace. The secondary reason is for the forgiveness of our sins. If we experience on some level how awesome the “eternal reward” (Arch. Wuerl) received in Confession is, great! If not, we still go for the Grace and forgiveness of sins. Those are the focal points. That is what will get us to Heaven. But, I truly believe that Heaven starts on Earth, and that every regular penitent will have some kind of experience of Heaven (freedom, peace, joy, etc.) through Confession before they die.

Here are some other views from the recent post about Confession:

Mindy: Furthermore, confession isn't about how we feel (okay- maybe the peace/joy are momentary bonuses) but the reward you get from confession is eternal, and that's much cooler.

Anon: Confession has no emotional or psychological effect on me either. Wait -- before you jump, let me say that I know that that is not what Confession is about. A common theme on this blog is that the sacraments are not about feelings. So I cringe when I hear people say that going to Confession leaves them "feeling" free, happy, like a weight was lifted off their shoulders. Father Greg talks of "short term gains" such as freedom, peace, and joy. It may do that for some people, but for many and I think most, receiving the sacraments brings no emotional, psychological, or even spiritual benefit. They receive them out of belief that it is required by the Church and somehow brings God's grace even though it is imperceptible to them. If it brought short-term freedom, peace, and joy to everyone, there would always be a line…

Daisy: I love going to confession, too.

Anon: I’m taking this Lenten mini-course (for those who think they can’t commit to how ever many months Bible Study is offered here, or at any parish, they are really great short term study classes during Advent & Lent). After the first discussion, The Light is On for You was brought up, and one brave soul said what so many have thought, including myself in other times, ‘I can confess directly to God; He knows my sins already. Confession was invented by men.’

There was a time when it seemed to me that confession to be a bit voyeuristic, and I didn’t go except during Advent and Lent (and usually on the very last day possible). When this man said this, I was thinking- if he doesn’t think he needs confession, does he think he doesn’t need the other sacraments either? I mean, if you go that route, why be baptized? You can proclaim Christ as your savior at any time? Why even go to church? You can worship God at home. It’s a slippery slope when we claim not to need/want this or that from God. Of course, I kept my mouth shut- I’m new to the group and didn’t want to say anything. But someone else offered their own insight about the sacrament being designed by Jesus himself- not by mere men. Someone else read from the Gospel of John relating the importance of the forgiveness of sins. Whenever confession is brought up- people definitely tend to perk up!


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