One of the newer saints, St. Faustina, was granted many charisms by our Lord, who appeared to her. He told her to keep a diary. Here are her entries on the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). (red text are the words of our Lord).
Confession of sins in the Sacrament of Penance
|I would like to say three words to the soul that is determined to strive for sanctity and to derive fruit; that is to say, benefit from confession.
First word - complete sincerity and openness. Even the holiest and wisest confessor cannot forcibly pour into the soul what he desires if it is not sincere and open. An insincere , secretive soul risks great dangers in the spiritual life, and even the Lord Jesus Himself does not give Himself to such a soul on a higher level, because He knows it would derive no benefit from these special graces.
Second word - humility. A soul does not benefit as it should from the sacrament of confession if it is not humble. Pride keeps it in darkness. The soul neither knows how, nor is willing, to probe ..the depths of its own misery. It puts on a mask and avoids everything that might bring it recovery.
Third word - obedience. A disobedient soul will win no victory, even if the Lord Jesus himself, in person, were to hear its confession (113)
|(During a time of illness) Suddenly I felt sick, I gasped for breath, there was darkness before my eyes, my limbs grew numb - and there was a terrible suffocation. Even a moment of such suffocation is extremely long...There also comes a strange fear, in spite of trust. I wanted to receive the last sacraments, but it was extremely difficult to make a confession even though I desired to do so. ...Oh, may God keep every soul from delaying confession until the last hour! I understand the great power of the priest's words when they are poured out upon a sick person's soul. When I asked my spiritual father whether I was ready to stand before the Lord and whether I could be at peace, I received the reply, "You can be completely at peace, not only right now but after each weekly confession." Great is the divine grace that accompanies these words of the priest. The soul feels power and courage for battle. (321)|
|Write, speak of My mercy. Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy. There the greatest miracles take place [and] are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one's misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no [hope of ] restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God's mercy! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late. (1448)|
|I feel much better today. I was glad I would be able to meditate more during the Holy Hour. Then I heard a voice: You will not be in good health. Do not put off the Sacrament of Penance, because this displeases Me. Pay little attention to the murmurs of those around you. [Sr. Faustina then recounts her unexpected suffering which occurred soon after]. I now understand the Lord's warning. I decided to call any priest at all, the next day, and to open the secrets of my soul to him....for while I was praying for sinners and offering all my sufferings for them, the Evil spirit could not stand that. (1464)|
|Today the Lord said to me, Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls. (1602)|
|My daughter, just as you prepare in My presence, so also you make your confession before Me. The person of the priest is, for Me, only a screen. Never analyse what sort of a priest it is that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to Me, and I will fill it with My light. (1725)|