IMPORTANT TRUTH5 ABOUT CONFESSION
This is from the Baltimore Catechism No 3, Fr Connell's of the C.U.of A. His revised version.
Most persons outside the Catholic Church think that it is a very difficult thing to go to confession. The truth is that confession is one of the most consoling features of the Catholic religion. Catholics go to confession with the conviction that they are really telling their sins to God. The priest is present as God's representative, to give advice and encouragement, to settle doubts of conscience, to guide the penitent's future conduct, above all to forgive sins in the name of Christ Himself. Never, under any circumstances, even to save his own life, may he reveal a single sin of the penitent.
Sometimes we hear (Catholic) people say that it is enough to confess our sins to God, without having to tell them to another human being. To these persons we answer that since God Himself has commanded us to confess our sins to the priest, as His representative, we must obey God if we wish to receive the pardon of our sins.
With all these considerations before them, Catholics should not find it difficult to make a worthy confession, especially in view of the fact tab they are always free to confess to a priest who does not know them. Surely, it is moat unreasonable to conceal a mortal sin in confession. Such an act renders the confession useless. The sinner leaves the confessional still burdened with dl the sins with which he entered and in addition with a new sin of sacrilege. He has the obligation of telling all the sins again; and if he has the misfortune of leaving this world without receiving the forgiveness of his transgressions, the sin which he was afraid to reveal to one person in private will be revealed to the whole world to his shame at the last judgment.
In the early centuries it was not unusual for Christians to make their confession publicly, before the entire congregation. Moreover, a very severe penance was often imposed in those times, sometimes lasting for several years. Nowadays the Church is far more lenient. The modern penance is generally a few prayers that can be said in a short time. Hence, we see the necessity of supplying for our debt of temporal punishment by works of self-denial over and above the sacramental penance. We need not practice the extraordinary deeds of mortification performed by the great saints; even the smallest deeds of self-denial, when we are in the state of grace, possess satisfactory value toward atoning for our debt of temporal punishment. And we can perform such works of satisfaction not only for ourselves but also for others, whether living or dead.
When a person realizes that he has been guilty of many sins and doubtless has a great debt of temporal punishment to pay, it is always better for him to make as much satisfaction as he can in the present life instead of deferring it to purgatory. For our satisfactory works in the present life, unlike our sufferings in purgatory, not only pay our debt of temporal punishment but also merit greater glory for us in heaven.
On a personal note, if we do not need a priest to forgive our sins, why did God institute the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation in the Church with, "Whose sins you forgive they are forgiven?" To deny this commandment, this edict of Christ is disgusting on anyone's part. It shows a complete lack of intellect and places the ego of one's mind above Christ's Love for us and God's need for every one to be saved. Just how important are any of us in God's scheme, His will for our salvation? Some in a very obtuse pattern say "Jesus Christ, we do not need You or the signs, mysteries and works You did for our eternal life".
Of course I hope no one ever thinks this way even though their ways indicate and entertain such terrible thoughts. Imagine if you will the dreadful interview that will take place at the end of our life. If there is no Catholic Priest available close in time or place or the awful immediacy of death due to war or accidents they a true and perfect act of contrition will suffice as the Church teaches.