This evening I was in the confessional for an hour and a half. We have the great problem in our parish of not enough priests and too many penitents.
Skip to comments.Why do Catholics have to confess their sins to a priest instead of praying straight to God? [Ecu]
Posted on 07/03/2008 10:06:26 AM PDT by NYer
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This evening I was in the confessional for an hour and a half. We have the great problem in our parish of not enough priests and too many penitents.
While hearing one confession I had this sudden impression of heaven opening up and there being great joy in that small room. Then I remembered the gospel verse about angels rejoicing over one soul who repents.
Surely this is so true. Repentance is when we make a quantum leap forward with God. When our heart cracks open a little bit with repentance, we suddenly make a way for grace to get in.
One resouce for the Sacrament that I've consulted from time to time recommends that the penitent make the Act of Contrition before going into the Confessional, so the Act of Contrition is renewed before the priests gives absolution.
So what happens to those who repent of their sins, ask for forgiveness, offer forgiveness to others who have wronged them, but refuse to let the issues go and don’t want to make amends?
Is that truly forgiving?
Never found a Bible in the pews of the RC Church either.
Only the priests are allowed to read, and interpret for us?
Catholics can and do pray directly to God, just like everyone else. Jesus hears every word and knows every thought and intention of the heart.
“Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain they are retained”
A partial indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who read sacred Scripture with the veneration due God's word and as a form of spiritual reading. The indulgence will be a plenary one when such reading is done for at least one-half hour [provided the other conditions are met].
The priests, or deacons, read the Gospel. That reading and the readings mentioned below usually form the basis of their homilies.
However, only LAY people read the lessons at mass from the old and new testaments - even if the pope himself is celebrating that mass. The laity is deeply involved in the celebration of the mass.
But we,too, pray directly to God and Christ daily(at least I do!). We also pray to saints to intervene for us. At this moment, I am wearing a St. Anthony’s medal. He was a remarkable man, and a superb example of how to live a sincere and thorough Christian life.
Do an hour of Eucharistic Adoration for peace of mind.
Yes! That is a great blessing!
“As in all things Catholic.......follow the money.”
That was un-called for and inappropriate!
What are the rules for the religion forums again? I can’t find them anywhere. Even if this thread is not one which is restricted, that comment was still un-called for.
If you have something against the Roman Catholic Church, then perhaps you should stop reading the threads.
If your moniker is true, would you be upset if someone said that about the Jews?
There are stories that some people had as penance standing in front of the church outside during the service perhaps for a year. I do not know what the sins were, but there were sometimes tough penances given -- from stories handed down. But then magic, homosexuality, paganism, killing (gladiators) was common in those times...
...a deep emptiness in your denial
You can find the R. forum rules by clicking on the R. Mod’s name (as in “Religion Moderator”). This is an “ecumenical thread”, and the post you responded to seems to be breaking the rules, as well as being laughably infantile.
As Pyro pointed out, the missalettes in each pew contain the verses from scripture that will be read on each Sunday. For Catholics and Orthodox, the Holy Bible is so important, that it is worthy of veneration. Prior to reading from the Gospel, the priest incenses it. When he has finished proclaiming the Gospel, he blesses the congregation with the Word of God
But, from your perspective, one of the best explanations I have ever heard, comes from Dr. Scott Hahn, a former Evangelical minister.
Hahn begins by describing the first mass he ever attended.
"There I stood, a man incognito, a Protestant minister in plainclothes, slipping into the back of a Catholic chapel in Milwaukee to witness my first Mass. Curiosity had driven me there, and I still didn't feel sure that it was healthy curiosity. Studying the writings of the earliest Christians, I'd found countless references to "the liturgy," "the Eucharist," "the sacrifice." For those first Christians, the Bible - the book I loved above all - was incomprehensible apart from the event that today's Catholics called "the Mass."
"I wanted to understand the early Christians; yet I'd had no experience of Liturgy. So I persuaded myself to go and see, as a sort of academic exercise, but vowing all along that I would neither kneel nor take part in idolatry."
I took my seat in the shadows, in a pew at the very back of that basement chapel. Before me were a goodly number of worshipers, men and women of all ages. Their genuflections impressed me, as did their apparent concentration in prayer. Then a bell rang, and they all stood as the priest emerged from a door beside the altar.
Unsure of myself, I remained seated. For years, as an evangelical Calvinist, I'd been trained to believe that the Mass was the ultimate sacrilege a human could commit. The Mass, I had been taught, was a ritual that purported to "resacrifice Jesus Christ." So I would remain an observer. I would stay seated, with my Bible open beside me.
As the Mass moved on, however, something hit me. My Bible wasn't just beside me. It was before me - in the words of the Mass! One line was from Isaiah, another from Psalms, another from Paul. The experience was overwhelming. I wanted to stop everything and shout, "Hey, can I explain what's happening from Scripture? This is great!" Still, I maintained my observer status. I remained on the sidelines until I heard the priest pronounce the words of consecration: "This is My body . . . This is the cup of My blood."
Then I felt all my doubt drain away. As I saw the priest raise that white host, I felt a prayer surge from my heart in a whisper: "My Lord and my God. That's really you!"
I was what you might call a basket case from that point. I couldn't imagine a greater excitement than what those words had worked upon me. Yet the experience was intensified just a moment later, when I heard the congregation recite: "Lamb of God . . . Lamb of God . . . Lamb of God," and the priest respond, "This is the Lamb of God . . ." as he raised the host. In less than a minute, the phrase "Lamb of God" had rung out four times. From long years of studying the Bible, I immediately knew where I was. I was in the Book of Revelation, where Jesus is called the Lamb no less than twenty-eight times in twenty-two chapters. I was at the marriage feast that John describes at the end of that very last book of the Bible. I was before the throne of heaven, where Jesus is hailed forever as the Lamb. I wasn't ready for this, though - I was at Mass!
A. In obedience to Christ."
Whose obedience to Christ?
In the scripture you cite, Jesus does not command people to confess to priests.
Just where is it, exactly, where Jesus says, "Don't confess your sins to me (or to my Father) directly. Instead, I command you to confess your sins to other human beings, ordained for that purpose. If you do that with a pure and contrite heart, you sins shall be forgiven"???
Which of Hahn’s books is that excerpt from? I haven’t read any of his books, but I relate to those emotions.
Sorry ... I'm not following you. Are you suggesting that people pay for remission of their sins?
Because a duly-ordained priest has received his authority directly from Christ, through Peter, down through each pope to bishop. When you receive absolution from a duly-ordained priest, you are in essence receiving absolution from Christ Himself -- same goes for all the Sacraments.
Believe/accept this or not, but this is the reason for Roman Catholics.
I suspect he’s referring to the old medieval and Renaissance practice of the Church selling plenary indulgences.
In John 20:21, before He grants them the authority to forgive sins, Jesus says to the apostles, "as the Father sent me, so I send you." As Christ was sent by the Father to forgive sins, so Christ sends the apostles and their successors forgive sins. In the next line, John 20:22, the Lord "breathes" on the apostles, and then gives them the power to forgive and retain sins. The only other moment in Scripture where God breathes on man is in Gen. 2:7, when the Lord "breathes" divine life into man. When this happens, a significant transformation takes place. Jesus then says in John 20:23 "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained." In order for the apostles to exercise this gift of forgiving sins, the penitents must orally confess their sins to them because the apostles are not mind readers. The text makes this very clear.
I notice a lot of that in Catholicism.
The missalettes are filled with Scripture.
You're talking about liturgical practice during services, aren't you? There's nothing preventing lay people from reading the Gospels for themselves....
The Breath of God creating the priesthood for His Church!
His Church that will not be destroyed or fall away from him. With the Holy Spirit who will guide the Church to always teach the Truth, and He will always be with us. The Church with the teaching authority and the authority given by Christ- to bind and loose in matters of faith. The Church of the apostles was definitely one: " One body and one Spirit: as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. (Eph. 4:4-6).
The Catholic view of the Church is the only one that is consistent with all of Scripture.
The view that the church is based on the Bible is supported nowhere in the Bible itself, and was created by men 1,500 years after the resurrection of Christ.
Are you a priest, NYer? That’s hoe I interpret your message.
Confession to a priest is a wonderful grace-filled act. Unfortunately most Catholics, myself included do not make use of the sacrament as often as we should. After I’ve been to confession, I have a deep feeling of closeness to God. It’s wonderful!
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If the confessional were for counseling, I’d have no problem with it.
I’d probably have no problem if it were made clear that forgiveness comes from God, but the minister is simply there to pray with the person and to point out the need to change one’s life.
You probably shouldn’t have any problem with it.
Probably not...in the long run that is not where I find disagreement with the RCC.
And the oak looks nothing like the acorn.
No but I am a Soldier of Christ!
That is close to Catholic understanding. However, the priest is a human being with authority to absolve or not absolve. If he decides to absolve, he will pray for and with the penitent for God’s forgiveness, and he has an assurance from Christ that it will be given.
A councel cannot do that. On the other hand, a priest may direct the penitent to enter professional counceling, or act himself in that role if he is professionally equipped.
So I guess that what you are saying is that since Christ "breathed authority (or power)" to forgive sins onto a group of human beings, He must have intended that penitants confess their sins to those human beings.
And I guess that you would also say that Christ thereby commanded all of His followers not to confess their sins directly to Christ (or to God the Father), but instead to this group of human beings that have the authority to forgive sins.
If I understand you correctly, you are saying that Christ, in John 20:21-23, is saying, "I command you, my followers, never to confess your sins to Me or to my Father who is in Heaven. You must, instead, confess your sins to this group of ordained human beings who have the authority and power to forgive sins -- and only to them. When you pray, never ever confess your sins to me or to my Father. Such prayers are of no value to you, and I will not hear them. Instead, you must confess to a human being."
I'm a little confused by that particular interpretation of John 20: 21-23.
It seems to me that in sort of contradicts Jesus' response to a question posed to him about how to pray. In his response, Jesus, when showing his disciples how to pray, says, "Forgive us our trespasses (or debts) as we forgive those who trespass against us (or our debtors).
Doesn't Jesus commend praying directly to "Our Father", and in that prayer, seeking forgiveness for sins?
No, in fact, an acorn does not look anything like an oak. And if I say the squirrel ate an acorn I don’t mean that he ate an oak tree.
The priest is there to hear the confession and guide the penitent - yet - but also to administer absolution, "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". There have been several saints who were granted the grace of being able to 'read souls' and even smell sin. Saint Faustina, a Polish nun to whom our Lord appeared, was told to write the following in a diary, on the topic of Confession. (red text is that of our Lord)
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)
Confession of sins in the Sacrament of Penance
The priest is like a screen with Christ as the listener and absolver.
What, again, is the real need for such a screen?
Is it that Jesus is unable to hear a confession from a penitant unless there is some sort of screen between Him and the penitant? Is Jesus too busy to hear a confession?
Or is it that the penitant is unable of knowing -- really knowing -- the he or she is forgiven unless a priest gives him or her such assurance?
Do correct my understanding of what was said.