Why I confess part 2
Even though you may feel like doing so, please do not mentally stone me for my views. I had an e mail the other day a critique of the blog I called “why I use the confessional” found at http://mikehurcum.blogspot.com/2006/07/why-use-confessional.html (?) . The objection was I used the words “Face to face” . The correspondent was beside herself with annoyance because I had broken a canon law, whereby confessions are not supposed to be face to face, but behind a fixed partition. I could go on and on taking umbrage, but in reality the Local Ordinary has the right to overrule and in our diocese it seems we can have as they call them reconciliation rooms.
Of course I would not be honest if I did not admit that I cannot defend parts of canon law for this reason. When all mention of altar relics was erased, I ceased to trust these laws when they started to change ancient habits especially those mentioned in scriptures. Books that defined the construction of the Church, Books that insisted on the separation of the altar from the people, then they removed altar rails and changed the instructions on the position of the priest, as the sacrificial minister, in respect to the people, and took out the Tabernacle, our Ark of the New Covenant. they allowed women on the Altar and gave permission for everyday folks to take the sacrifice in un-anointed hands. Why then should any of us obey those who gerrymander scriptures?
I confess weekly before Sunday mass and a priest said I was (not), nor was my son to go weekly. It was not necessary. This is a foolish statement, who can say that confessing this regularly does not give us a stronger grace to fight off temptations. Let alone any merits that might be available for being a good example. Who can deny us that right. After all is this not Catholic standard teaching that one of the values of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion is a gift of the grace that sanctifies. Just once I wish foolish people would ask for reasons why I do things they find time wasting and foolish.
Now as thoughts enter my head, it may be time to wonder therefore what do I expect from the sacrament. First what the first dissenter should know I truly consider and I have good reason to know of the correctness of my beliefs that I am “FACE TO FACE” with Jesus Himself in the Confessional. The priest is a human veil, as it were, over the persona of Jesus Christ, and no one has the right to criticize this a a tenet of my faith. Mostly they behave this way because very few have a faith strong enough to believe and act this demanding fact and many priests in the Church today do not show any deep love for the penitent. Let me cause you all more controversy in your life, both to priest and laity. I think that one reason very few go to confession is they are in some way scared to go. Now there are some who have not used the Sacramental Rite as given to the priesthood by Jesus for years. I know of some from personal conversations that have not gone for 30 years. I was away for twenty or so. The reaction from one or two of these were not completely of their own volition. There seemed to be a dark shadow in their mind that kept them away. The shadow was some kind of fear. Another time a nearly adolescent girl was instructed by her mother, who probably had a good reason, to go to confessional. The young woman to be was a good friend of the priest. The young woman to be was terribly scared and for what ever reason the mother asked me to persuade her daughter. I asked why she was frightened since Christ already knew what she had done and the priest had heard confessions that were more than likely to be scarier than hers at this time, “Go on in”. I thank and bless God if she did.
From my personal viewpoint there could be another view and it is perhaps many realize that priest does not love them. Surely there is one time for us all, including priests, where our parish priest should be able to demonstrate his pastoral love for us and that is in the Sacrament of Confession. If we do not feel any compassion and love, if we feel we receive a boring, lackadaisical, mechanical, next one in line treatment, especially as a young child, who would want to go back ever? If a Priest who stands before his parishioners daily and never reminds them that he cannot do his vocation justice if he never sees them in the confessional and it is a sorry life he is leading without their trust, he can then be satisfied that it was not any lack of effort on his part that caused their perfect judgment by Christ to be frightening. He will not as Christ said have to give reasons for the loss of any soul.
I have other stories about confessions as sometimes I have been asked for help in the use of the Holy Rite of Reconciliation and Penance they are all quite interesting, but they have happened for me and others. Never the less our duty is to use the sacrament and therefor purify our sacrifice. The Old Testament is quite specific about the penalties for imperfect offerings and the Council of Trent tells us that it is well nigh impossible for us to make a perfect act of contrition unless a terrible danger that cannot be avoided is coming down the tracks and is not going to miss. In any case not to take advantage of Christ’s passion and death for which He died for the power to forgive sins is dreadful disrespect for what He did. Remember He shed His Precious Blood for our everlasting salvation.
Again as ever, copy this and give it to your parish priest and ask him to comment on its veracity.
Labels: confess reconcilation priest canon law