The How to Confess , becomes one of the questions that many people have come to ask, as well as what it is for and how it is done. So in the following article we will know everything related to How to Confess being a person with Catholic beliefs.
The Confession: A Step-by-Step Guide
In this article we are going to present you with a kind of guide to a good confession and to know how you can receive the sacrament of reconciliation with great benefit. It includes a brief explanation of the steps to be able to approach what confession is , the examinations of conscience and also some texts to meditate on what the greatness of forgiveness of sins is and what it is that God wants us to give.
Saint Josemaría used to call Confession the sacrament of joy, because through it we are able to recover the joy and peace that friendship with God brings us, a kind of gift that only sin he becomes capable of stealing the souls of Christians.
What is the Confession?
The sacrament of Reconciliation becomes a sacrament of healing. When a person goes to confession it is in order to heal himself, to be able to heal his soul, to heal his heart and something that he came to do and that does not work well. Confession is that a person attends the Catholic Church before a priest or father, in order to confess the sins that he has come to commit so that God forgives each one of them.
Pope Francis goes so far as to explain the following: The forgiveness of sins does not become something that we can give ourselves. I cannot say: I forgive my own sins. Forgiveness is requested, it is requested from another, and it is in Confession that we ask the Lord Jesus for forgiveness of sins. Forgiveness does not become the fruit of our efforts, but it is a gift, a kind of gift of the Holy Spirit.
How to confess well?
Everything in this life has to be taken very seriously and even more so when things are associated with God. For this reason, it is important to know how to confess well and that people must come to practice with great fidelity what the Church’s teachings are on the sacrament of Confession, at all times trusting that, through it, they come to be forgiven all our sins, and that we are helped not to fall back into them and peace of mind is restored to us again. A testimony tells the following:
It was a sunny and humid Thursday day in the São Paulo capital, close to the end of the year. The cathedral opened its doors to the faithful very early, as is customary. At 9 in the morning certain priests could be seen walking through all the side aisles of this great building in the direction of the confessionals, before which many of the faithful were already waiting for them.
Why are they queuing inside the church? She even asked a curious observer to one of the faithful. So this man replied: Let’s go to confession. Again the observer asks him: What is that? And the believer tells him: This row becomes for Confession, so that the priest attends to us.
The observer asks: Are you Catholic? The devotee answers: Yes… I heard about this a long time ago. Only in the First Communion. Curious, the observer asks him: So what is it about? So they answer him: Confession comes to serve so that God is the one who forgives us our sins. We kneel in that place, in the confessional, before the priest, and he is the one who forgives us in the name of God.
oh! And… Does God really get to forgive them? Of course it is! At all times there is true repentance. The observer says: I have made so many mistakes in my life… At that moment there was a long silence, while the visitor changed his expression and became abstracted from the things around him.
This observer had entered the cathedral simply out of mere curiosity and from that moment in his conversation with the faithful devotee he now felt invited to change his life. Because of what he says: It had been so long since I went to confession, more or less 30 or 40 years?, and I didn’t even know how to do it. Could it be that I can also put myself in the queue?
Anyone who came to see him was going to perceive the interior suffering of that unknown man, whom God was calling to conversion. The faithful devotee replied happily: Of course, stand in front of me. A decisive step had come to be taken in that man’s life that very day which led him to the path of salvation for his soul.
That same day he stood with the others waiting for his turn to arrive, however, he could not even speak, since tears flowed in torrents down his cheeks. “Do I want the death of the wicked?”
Many cases like that are not uncommon nowadays. How many and how many have made their First Communion and then, unfortunately, become carried away by the worries of life, have been carried away by all the attractive things in the world and have even completely forgotten all their duties towards God! !. They are still Catholic believers, of course, however, some Catholics whose faith has become like a kind of suffocated ember under the thick layer of ashes of their sins. And evil keeps in its memory a certain remnant of the first catechism lessons that they came to learn in the course of their childhood.
However, God does not forget them. At a certain specific moment, Jesus Christ paternally knocks at the door of their hearts and souls with a very affectionate invitation for them to make a good confession. How horrible would it be for a person, as a result of their serious sins, to be sentenced to eternal dungeons, where the reprobate are punished with estrangement from God, for which they have been created, and suffering the countless torments, without any kind of relief.
However, being extremely merciful, He never wishes for the sinner such a fate for what he says in his word: “Do I want the death of the wicked oracle of the Lord, and not that he turn from his conduct and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23). God wants to forgive us and for this he is the one who sets a condition: Confession of our sins becomes one of his ministries.
Is it complicated to confess?
It does not get to be so much, in the Catechism, the Church is the one that usually proposes about 4 steps to be able to achieve a good confession, which are the following:
- Examination of Conscience
- Contrition or Repentance (This is the one that includes the purpose of not sinning again).
- The confession
- Satisfaction (It’s the same as getting to do penance).
These are about 4 steps that a person can take in order to receive the great embrace of love that our God our Father wants to give us with this sacrament: “God is the one who awaits us, like the father of the parable, with his arms outstretched, even if we don’t deserve it. Our debt doesn’t matter. As in the case of the prodigal son, who only needs to open our hearts”.
Therefore, in the following we explain these 4 steps, which will help us to be able to live this type of sacrament of God’s mercy in all its greatness.
Examination of Conscience
The examination of conscience is one that consists of simply reflecting on everything that has come to distance us from God. According to the opinion of Pope Francis he asks: What advice would you give a penitent to make a good confession? To which he himself replies: Let him think about the truth of his life in front of the Almighty God, what he feels, what he thinks. May he know how to come to look honestly at himself and at his sin. And that he comes to feel like a sinner, that he stops being surprised, amazed by God”.
The examination of conscience is one that consists of reflecting on all those actions, on all the thoughts or words, that have been able to distance us from God, have offended others or even damage ourselves internally. It is time to begin to be honest with oneself and also with God, knowing that He is the main one who does not want to forgive our past sins so that they do not oppress us, but rather that we free ourselves from them in order to live as good children. his.
The most important thing is that you manage to enter your own heart and admit your own faults that you have committed. If you want, during confession you can even ask the priest to help you by proposing other questions.
Contrition and Resolution not to Sin Again
Contrition, or repentance, becomes a sorrow of the soul and also a rejection of our sins, which comes to include the resolution not to sin again. Contrition, or repentance, is a kind of gift from God: therefore, if it seems to you that you are still attached to sin that, for example, you do not see yourself with enough strength to abandon a type of vice, achieving forgive a person or even make amends for a damage caused, you can ask Him to work in your heart, so that you can reject evil.
At certain times, repentance comes with a type of intense feeling like pain or shame, which is what helps us to make amends. However, it is not essential to feel that kind of pain: the important thing is that we can understand that we have acted in a very bad way, in addition to having the desire to be able to improve as Christians and manage to make the resolution not to return. to concur in said faults.
“Contrition, according to what the Pope explains, becomes the portal of repentance, it is that kind of privileged path which leads to the heart of God, who welcomes us and also offers us another kind of opportunity, at all times that we let us open ourselves to what is the truth of penance and let us allow ourselves once and for all to be transformed by his mercy”.
There are many kinds of prayers that work to express contrition, such as the following:
My God, I repent with all my heart for all my sins and I hate them, because by sinning, I not only deserve the pain they cause, but mainly I offend you, supreme Good and worthy of love above all things. That is why I firmly propose, with the help of your grace, not to sin in the future and to flee from every occasion of sin. Amen.
A good confession comes to trying to tell all the sins committed to the priest in a clear, concrete, concise and also complete way. The confession is the one that consists of the accusation of all the sins of him made before which is made before a priest.
“Going to confession with a priest becomes a way of being able to place your life in the hands and also in the heart of another, who at that precise moment comes to act in the name and on behalf of the Lord Jesus. It is of great importance that you go to the confessional, that you place yourself in front of a priest who is the one who represents Jesus, that you kneel in front of Mother Church which is called to distribute God’s mercy.
There is a kind of objectivity in this type of gesture, in kneeling in front of the priest, which at that very moment is the type of process of grace that comes to him and heals him.” It is often said that a good confession has some “4 C’s” which are the following:
- Clara: You must point out what the specific fault was, without adding excuses.
- Concrete: You must say the precise act or thought, not use generic phrases.
- Concise: You must avoid giving unnecessary explanations or descriptions.
- Complete: No Grave Sin should be Silent, Always Overcoming Shame.
Knowing how to confess is usually a type of sacrament, whose celebration is one that includes some gestures and words on the part of the penitent and also the priest.
fulfill the penance
The priest is the one who indicates a kind of penance to be able to repair the damage caused. Satisfaction is the one that consists in the fulfillment of some acts of penance (they can be some prayers or some mortification, among others), that the confessor indicates to the penitent in order to repair the damage that has been caused by sin. It is also a kind of occasion to thank God for the forgiveness that has been received, and to succeed in renewing the resolution of never sinning again.
God Forgive Through the Priest
Confession becomes one of the most palpable signs of God’s goodness. Seriously offended by the fact that he comes to sin mortally, the Creator has great power to strike down the sinner with a kind of eternal sentence of damnation, and by doing so he would only practice an act of justice. With all that, the Lord left us that so-called sacrament through which he manages to forgive the penitent of all his sins, however serious and numerous they may be.
The episode of the Master’s first appearance to all his disciples after the Resurrection becomes well known. Out of great fear of being persecuted and also condemned, in the same way they themselves, were gathered in a room behind closed doors, when suddenly the Lord Jesus appeared to them.
And blowing on all of them, the Lord tells them: “Receive the Holy Spirit; Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; whoever you retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23). The sacrament of Confession had become instituted.
In this way, then, from the beginning of the Church, the faithful always sought the Apostles to be able to confess each of their faults and receive absolution from them. The power to forgive had been given by Christ to the Church, which is conferred on priests through the sacrament of Holy Orders. In this form it came to be passed from generation to generation throughout the many centuries up to the present day.
Requirements for a Good Confession
Of course, our God could get to forgive all sins in another way, however, he clearly left and expresses what his will is to get to do it through a priest in the sacrament of Reconciliation: ” Truly I tell you that whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18), was what the Lord Jesus told his Apostles.
How can we benefit from this sacrament?
God, who is most merciful, just as he is just. In order for us to make good use of what is such a wonderful resource, he wants us to submit to certain conditions without which confession would not only be of no use, but would also become harmful to the person’s soul.
What are the requirements of How to Confession? In short, the Catholic Church comes to teach that 5 things are usually essential for an excellent confession, which are the following:
- Doing a Good Examination of Conscience
- Have Sorrow of Sins
- Make the Purpose of Not Committing Them More
- confess them
- Completing the Penance Imposed by the Confessor
The pain of sins
The most important thing for the penitent to achieve God’s forgiveness is repentance, this means that he must feel great disgust for the fault he has committed and also have a firm will not to relapse again. in the same.
Naturally, it is not usually required to shed a few tears for the pain of sins, however, you must regret from the depths of your heart that you have offended God, more than if any other thing had happened to you. kind of misfortune to the person.
Without repentance, the Confession does not have any value. It is not usually possible to achieve God’s forgiveness without having to hate the mistake committed, without the kind of willingness to never repeat it. This kind of posture of the soul must come to extend to all mortal sins, without any kind of exception.
And in order to obtain forgiveness for all the faults in the Confession, only true repentance is enough for fear of all the punishments that can be brought about by the sin of attrition, although the best thing is to repent for having offended God. Repentance is also the one that encompasses trust in divine mercy, because the pain of sins without that kind of virtue could end up in a kind of despair.
Shall I Humbly Accuse Myself?
It is even said that on a certain occasion Saint Antoninus of Florence was found in a church and that he perceived that there was a type of demon very close to the line of Confession. Disgusted, the Holy Archbishop turned to the angel of evil and asked him: What are you doing here? To which he replied: Well, practicing a good deed. The archbishop tells him: But is that possible?
The unclean spirit answers: Yes, I have come to make a kind of return. Generally, Christians are ashamed of sinning and that is why I try to get it out of their spirit before they commit a bad deed, however, now that they are about to confess, it is convenient that I return it to them so that when stand before the confessor omit their faults.
A Bad Confession can lead a soul to condemn itself and that is what the devil wants. On certain occasions it may happen that people are tempted to keep quiet about their sins before the confessor or not to tell them properly. So that this does not happen, it is interesting that you always remember how to confess and how the accusation of sins should be in the sacrament of Confession.
Firstly, it is required, following the same principle of what is the examination of conscience, to tell the priest all those mortal sins that were committed after the last well made Confession. If someone hides a single serious sin on purpose, in addition to not being able to receive forgiveness for any of the sins, but ends up committing another, for offending something that is sacred, which was instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ himself. This means, it is Jesus himself who is being lied to at that moment. So that he does not miss any of the sins committed, he can come up with a list of sins to confess .
God forgives those who confess well
Everything in this life must come to be taken very seriously and even more so when things are associated with God. Therefore, we must come to practice with great fidelity what the various teachings of the Church have been regarding the sacrament of Confession, always confident that, through this, all our sins are forgiven, and that the person becomes helped not to fall into them again and peace of conscience is restored.
On one occasion, a great sinner was presented to Saint Anthony of Padua in order to confess. The poor man was so confused that he could hardly speak. He wept and also sobbed so vehemently that he could not express to the saint any of his faults. In order to help him, the confessor docilely suggested that he do an examination of conscience in writing to what he says:
Go write down your sins and then come back to confess them. The penitent followed the advice given by the priest. Later, he read in the confessional all his faults, just as he had come to write them. As soon as he finished the Confession, what a great miracle! The paper on which the sinner had carefully written down all his offenses became completely blank, because God and the Lord Jesus had forgiven his sins and cleansed him. the sheet.
The Effects of Reconciliation
The main one, as the name itself indicates, becomes that it reconciles us with God, this means, that it restores us, if we have lost it, to the Grace of God, which is nothing other than the participation of the Divine Life, which is communicated to man by the Sacrament of Baptism. The forgiveness of all sins, whether venial or mortal, also results in peace and also tranquility of conscience, which is accompanied by great and profound spiritual consolation. Knowing and also feeling forgiven by Our beloved loving Father becomes a true spiritual resurrection. It is like being born again, free at last from the weight of all sins.
Sin undermines or also totally breaks fraternal communion. It is not necessary to mention all the sins with which man comes to offend his neighbor: lies, hatred, grudges, insults, betrayals, slander, blows, murders… However, not only These types of sins are those that directly hurt others, they are also those that break fraternal communion: even those that directly offend God or those that are very personal, are those that have repercussions on the communion of saints, by undermining the sanctity of Church.
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