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The Epidemic and the Cure [The Sin of the World and the Sacrament of Reconciliation] (Confession)
CatholicExchange.com ^ | Robert R. Allard

Posted on 03/19/2008 10:31:12 AM PDT by Salvation

Robert R. Allard  
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The Epidemic and the Cure

March 17, 2008

Pope John Paul II often reminded us of the loss of a sense of sin and the need for a return to the practice of frequent confessions. The moral relativism that is causing much of this loss of a sense of sin in our world has also been characterized by our current Pope, Benedict XVI as the major evil facing the Catholic Church today.

The word "epidemic" is described by Webster's as "affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time and excessively prevalent". The word "epidemic" would seem to be the very best way to describe the crisis in the Catholic Church today.  There are most likely at least 75% of Catholics in the state of mortal (deadly) sin.

How do we come up with this figure? We know that only about 25% of Catholics attend Sunday Mass every week. The Catholic Church teaches that it is a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sundays without a good reason. With the introduction of Saturday vigil Masses, there is hardly any good reason to miss Sunday Mass at all. This crisis is unprecedented in Catholic history and we need an immediate cure.

Most epidemics usually leave behind many dead bodies. This epidemic is much worse because it leaves behind a death, not of the body, but of the soul, which will suffer the eternal consequences of the unending and most terrible flames of Hell.

If you think that 75% is a high figure, then consider how many of the Catholics who regularly attend Sunday Mass have not confessed mortal sins and are still receiving Jesus in Holy Communion every week too. A survey done in a parish in Florida revealed that only about 10% of regular church goers actually confess their serious sins every year as required by one of the precepts of the Catholic Church.

So what we have is an epidemic of incredible size and consequence. The worst type of epidemic, and, most assuredly, the worst in our history. Have we all fallen asleep? Think about Jesus. He is looking down on us, His Church, and seeing so little in the form of evangelization or even any care at all for His lost sheep. How can we just sit back and not do anything? What in the heck is wrong with us?

 This "apathy" has led to the closing of parishes. Here again let's look at Webster's for the meaning of "apathy": "lack of enthusiasm or energy; lack of interest in anything, or the absence of any wish to do anything" and "emotional emptiness; inability to feel normal or passionate human feelings or to respond emotionally".

Don't we care about our fellow man any more? Have we forgotten that Hell is real and that the flames are everlasting? Are we using all of our God-given talents?

The greatest love that we can give to our fellow men is to help them get home to Heaven. Jesus told us the parable of the talents. This parable illustrates our God-given talents and how we are to use them. Will God be judging us like the servant who buried his talent? Will God be referring to us as the wicked and lazy servant, sending us to into the darkness where there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth"?

Bishops and Priests have great responsibilities for shepherding God's people. It would be unfortunate for them if they would not use every means possible to save souls from the terrible epidemic, especially when they have been given the cure.

The Cure?

Given the cure? Yes. Surprised? Not me. St. Paul told us that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more! The Church has been right on top of the situation from day one. The Holy See has been guiding the Church through the Holy Spirit quite well, but we haven't been listening quite so well. Have you ever heard of Divine Mercy Sunday? Has your parish been faithfully celebrating it each and every year?

If your parish hasn't been celebrating it, then something is wrong! This new Feast of Mercy is God's gift to us to completely renew and revitalize our Church. If you think that this Feast of Mercy is a party for devotees, you have it all wrong. Jesus clearly indicated that the Feast of Mercy is a refuge and shelter especially for poor sinners. If your parish is just having special devotions, you are missing the point.

Jesus made a special promise for the total forgiveness of sins and punishment on that day for any soul that would go to Confession and receive Holy Communion. Pope John Paul II indicated that he had fulfilled the will of Christ by instituting this feast, placing it at the exact location on the liturgical calendar where Jesus wanted it, on the Sunday after Easter. Why would Jesus want it right after Easter?

It must be to get all the Easter-only and lukewarm Catholics back to the practice of their faith. Just think about it. The promise for the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment is just the enticement these lukewarm souls need to get to them to go to confession. We know that on Easter most churches are full to overflowing with souls that are in the state of mortal sin and they need a lot of encouragement.

This promise is exactly what they need as an added enticement to start coming back to church every Sunday. In 2002 Pope John Paul II issued a special plenary indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday with explicit duties for priests that they must tell everyone about it. This was a clear indication that the epidemic needed a good shot in the arm. The bishops and priests are our doctors, and we need the remedy.   

Bishops and Priests

It was disobedience that caused the epidemic and it is only through obedience that we will experience the cure. Bishops and priests have to offset the defiance of the many with super-obedience to quickly expedite the treatment. The Vatican has put all the rules in place and the bishops and priests have to humble themselves and follow exactly what they have been instructed to do for Divine Mercy Sunday.

One of the most important things is the proclamation of the plenary indulgence. The Vatican has asked that this be done "in the most suitable manner". What could possibly be more suitable, than on Easter when the churches are full of people who are in mortal sin? Canon Law indicates that it is the duty of priests to catechize the ignorant during homilies, and there could be no greater need than on Easter itself.

Bishops and priests should be doing everything in their power to evangelize and they should be motivating others to evangelize too. They have been given a great responsibility to save souls. If they are super-obedient to the Holy See, they will foster a great renewal. Jesus promised to always be there for us, and He is most especially guiding His Church with this incredible new Feast of Divine Mercy.

The epidemic is rampant mortal sin, the cure is confession. The enticement is the promise of the total forgiveness of sins and punishment. If Divine Mercy Sunday immediately follows Easter, then why not invite everyone to the feast, especially all those Easter-only Catholics while they are sitting there in the pews? What an awesome God we have to give us exactly what we need to restore His Church.  

Proclaim the Good News; tell everyone about Divine Mercy Sunday. Let the world know. Put it in the newspapers, radio, and TV. Make every possible effort to reach everyone. Don't bury your talents. Make Jesus happy and take away some of His pain. Jesus told Saint Faustina that the loss of each soul plunges Him into mortal sadness. If we really love Him, we will do everything we possibly can to help.

 

© Copyright 2008 Catholic Exchange

Robert R. Allard re-verted home to the Catholic Church after 25 years. He founded the Apostles of Divine Mercy and www.divinemercysunday.com website to help the Church to understand how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. Allard has been published in diverse Catholic publications and ppeared on EWTN talk shows and in various conferences.

Robert R. Allard, Director, Apostles of Divine Mercy 801 S.E. Forgal Street, Port St. Lucie, FL 34983 Phone 1-888-732-0722



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; lent; sacraments
For your information and discussion
1 posted on 03/19/2008 10:31:13 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

2 posted on 03/19/2008 10:34:08 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

The Sacrament of Penance and the Easter Duty
One of the duties of a Catholic is to fulfill the six Precepts of the Church, the positive laws which are "meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2041). Two of these precepts directly relate to the upcoming Easter season. The third precept is "You shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the Easter season." This is tied in with the second precept to "confess your sins at least once a year." If we want to receive Jesus worthily in Holy Communion during Easter, we need to cleanse our souls, especially of any mortal sin through the Sacrament of Penance. Most parishes offer extra confession times for Holy Week, but usually any priest is available on request to hear confession by appointment.

3 posted on 03/19/2008 10:34:52 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
These next three days (including today) are a great opportunity to go to Confession -- whether face to face or behind a screen.
4 posted on 03/19/2008 10:38:32 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Examination of Conscience

A Guide for Confession

How To Make a Good Confession (especially if you haven't gone in years)

Why Go to Confession? (Part 1) - Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Bruno Forte

Why Go to Confession? (Part 2) - Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Bruno Forte

Why Go to Confession? (Part 3) - Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Bruno Forte

Pulling Sin up by the Roots: The Need for Mortification

Reasons for Confession [Sacrament of Reconciliation]

Cardinal Stafford's Homily at Penitential Liturgy With an Examination of Conscience

How to Go to Confession

Fr. Z’s 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession

Learning to Confess

5 posted on 03/19/2008 10:39:10 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

As soon as you reach a point in your life (and faith) where going to Mass becomes a reward rather than a chore, you really look forward to it and deeply regret missing it.

Last week, we were treated to our Mass being celebrated by the Cardinal.


6 posted on 03/19/2008 10:50:16 AM PDT by Disturbin (Liberals: buying votes with your money)
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To: Salvation

At our parish, I usually have to wait quite a while to see a Father. I guess that is a good sign!


7 posted on 03/19/2008 10:54:30 AM PDT by Disturbin (Liberals: buying votes with your money)
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To: Disturbin

I hear you. I missed Palm Sunday Mass (wife in the ER all night) and really feel my week is off-kilter.

I missed the most important meal of my week and have a very empty feeling.


8 posted on 03/19/2008 10:57:37 AM PDT by CTK YKC
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To: CTK YKC

I have never heard of Divine Mercy Sunday. But then I have not been a Catholic very long. We always called the Sunday after Easter “Low Sunday.” I forget why. In the Episcopal church it included the Blessing of the Tartans, which was exciting if quite noisy.

“The Catholic Church teaches that it is a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sundays without a good reason.”

What would constitute a “good reason”? Other than being in the hospital, for example, or in a very small town in Rural Alabama where Baptist and Methodist were your only choices?


9 posted on 03/19/2008 11:10:00 AM PDT by Appleby
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To: Disturbin

Yes, a very good sign.

Two good signs of a thriving parish:

Long confessional lines and vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

(I think it also connects with having a 24/7 Adoration Chapel.)


10 posted on 03/19/2008 11:19:23 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Appleby

I will be posting about Divine Mercy Sunday soon. Hang tight! And blessings for a wonderful Easter celebration of the Resurrection!


11 posted on 03/19/2008 11:21:36 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All; John Robinson
Sometimes the new search works well! I found a lot of threads on recnciliation and confession

[Sacrament of]Confession

Make a Good Confession

Those in Mortal Sin Can't Go to Communion, Says Pope

Holy Week Recovers Celebration of Penance (at St. Peter's Basilica) - photos!

Reasons for Confession [Sacrament of Reconciliation]

Lesson 19: Confession (Part 1) BY FATHER ALTIER

Lesson 20: Confession (Part 2) BY FATHER ROBERT ALTIER

Serious about God? Then get serious about confession

St. Ephraim the Syrian: On Repentance

What happened to confession – Changing mores reflective of use

Repentance and Confession - Introduction [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

The Spiritual and Psychological Value of Frequent Confession

Pick a sin, any sin (Confession gone awry)

The Early Church Fathers on Confession / Reconciliation - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

Catholics called from the idiot box to confession

Benedict XVI Extols Sacrament of Penance - Says Priests Need to Make It a Priority

Confession’s Comeback

Priests say more Catholics returning to confession

Pope Hears Confessions of Youth

MESSAGE FOR ALL CATHOLICS (in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday - April 15)

Salvation: Just click and confess

CONFESSION AND CONFUSION

Get Thee To A Confessional! (beautiful insight for those who dread going to Confession)

Emerging Trends: The Return to the Confessional

Confessing to 'sins' is booming in America (Evangelicals and Protestants take up practice)

What You [Catholics] Need to Know: Penance (Reconciliation, Confession) [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

A Comeback for Confession

MORTAL SIN and HOLY CONFESSION - The Antidote of Death

Thinking Inside the Box: An Attitude for Confession

Confessional Advice

The Epidemic and the Cure [The Sin of the World and the Sacrament of Reconciliation] (Confession)

12 posted on 03/19/2008 11:23:34 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Confessions are between the sinner and God. There is no biblical justification for a middleman.


13 posted on 03/19/2008 11:32:04 AM PDT by AlaskaErik (I served and protected my country for 31 years. Democrats spent that time trying to destroy it.)
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To: Appleby

Good reason is intentionally left a bit open for each person to discern. For example, being in an area where one has to travel is a good reason to some and not others.

As long as good reason is not “dumbed down” to a level of scandal one needs to trust their conscience and advice from their spiritual advisor.

I am pretty hard on myself for what is a “good reason” to miss mass, but would not have as high expectations for others.


14 posted on 03/19/2008 11:38:07 AM PDT by CTK YKC
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To: AlaskaErik

Uhh, except for Jesus calling for it.


15 posted on 03/19/2008 11:43:35 AM PDT by CTK YKC
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To: CTK YKC

I have confessed missing Mass because I was camping at a motor race and there is no Catholic service available (usually just a non-denominational service); I can’t drive, so I can’t leave the grounds. Better safe than sorry, I figured. However, since I used to work for a newspaper and they NEVER close, almost all the weenie excuses are excluded. Once I went to work on skates because the streets were iced over. If I can go to work on skates, I can go to Mass on skis!


16 posted on 03/19/2008 1:15:57 PM PDT by Appleby
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To: Salvation

I can’t wait for the Divine Mercy ping.

I bookmarked last years, just in case.

My parish is having a special Divine Mercy mass on Sunday at 2:30p. This is in addition to all of the regular masses. We expect it will be packed.

Prayers for you this Holy week for all you do for us on FR.


17 posted on 03/19/2008 4:18:11 PM PDT by twin2
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To: Salvation
Good read.....we seem to have an epidemic of adultry lately here in NY.

Blessings of the Risen Christ with you this Easter!

18 posted on 03/19/2008 4:46:31 PM PDT by Gerish (Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.)
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To: Salvation; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

19 posted on 03/19/2008 6:48:14 PM PDT by narses (...the spirit of Trent is abroad once more.)
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To: Salvation

How To Go To Confession

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdNwS-2qYDk

Not a bad how to video.


20 posted on 03/19/2008 8:44:02 PM PDT by fishhound
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To: AlaskaErik
Here are the words of absolution -- perhaps you did not know that the prayer states that God forgives our sisn!

 
enter the Table of Contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church here
1449 The formula of absolution used in the Latin Church expresses the essential elements of this sacrament: the Father of mercies is the source of all forgiveness. He effects the reconciliation of sinners through the Passover of his Son and the gift of his Spirit, through the prayer and ministry of the Church:
God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and the resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and sent the Holy Spirit among us
for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


21 posted on 03/19/2008 10:37:07 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Gerish

I have noticed the epidemic in New York. Guess we all need to pray!


22 posted on 03/19/2008 10:39:04 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: fishhound

Thanks.


23 posted on 03/19/2008 10:39:30 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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