“Forgive me father for I have sinned and it has been a long, long time since my last confession”. Remember these words? If you are Catholic you certainly must, they were drilled into us in order to prepare us for our First Communion. How many of us still go? This Wayward Catholic hasn’t been in a long time.I wrote previously about the excuses for leaving the Church, this was one of them. Why does a person need to confess his sins to a priest, after all, if God already knows everything I’m covered aren’t I? Think back to when you were a kid and you “confessed” what were your sins? You were fresh to your little sister, you called someone a bad name or you didn’t brush your teeth. That was about the extent of it. Basically for most of us it seemed like a waste of time. But that was then and this is now.
As I have reexamined my faith, I have learned two things about confession and why it is good to go.
First Jesus tells us to, and since Jesus is God, we really should listen to him. Second it does one a lot of good to confess, it truly is good for the soul and if you think about it, it will stop you from sinning again.
I always thought confession was a waste of time. God knew what I was doing; he knew when I sinned so I didn’t need to go. Not only did God know, but I also knew as well. I knew when I was sinning, what good would it do to rehash them by going to confession? Which is exactly the point.
I look back at my life and I truly think if had I went to confession more often I probably would have sinned less. Not necessarily because of the penance I would have to perform as much as for the fact that I would be reminding myself of what a bad guy I really was. Sooner or later I would have gotten sick of hearing my sins and would have stopped.
Okay that isn’t necessarily true, had I continued going to confession would have meant I would have continued going to church, which would have translated into knowledge and wisdom. Until recently I had never read the Bible, I didn’t know what or why Catholics believe as they do, and I had n peace inside. I was lucky, I had a strong family with parents who instilled in us a good work ethic and moral compass. Church would have reinforced these and strengthened them.
It’s interesting how after the first sin, the next one gets easier, then the next is even easier, and on and on. I think had I gone to confession on a regular basis, as well as church, I wouldn’t have continued to sin and my life would have been significantly different. Maybe my sinning was necessary to bring me to the place I am at now, I can’t say, but there are times I wish I could go back. But I can’t, all any of us can do is move forward.
So while it is true God does know everything we do, it is good for us to go and confess so we know what we have done as well. And of course for us Catholics, going to confession, doing penance and repenting our sins leads to an ever better end, we can then accept the Eucharistic Sacrament. And that is truly the most blessed gift of all.
Do you have any excuses why you have left the Church? Please feel free to share them in the comment section.