The only reason that Jesus came was to deal with sin. The sacrament for dealing with this is confession.
That then, is the topic for this talk: the universal need for confession, as welcome as a rattlesnake in the Church today.
Bishop’s role today is to help us access the mercy of Jesus, to become fully alive.
Consider two kings: David and Herod. Both committed adultery, both committed murder, both did more … and were then confronted. David repented, came back (wrote Psalm 51), and was restored to life. Herod did not.
Why do we find it so hard to go to confession?
One reason is that we want control over what is right and wrong, and so we make up our own rules. We live in a society that says that God does not exist. We act as society acts, then we go to church on Sunday.
Doesn’t think that it’s the people’s fault. The Cur ‘d Ars went into a similar situation, but he began fasting, praying and all sorts of serious sacrifice … eventually he was hearing confession 16 hours a day.
From the CCC, according to the Church’s command, each of the faithful are obligated to confess sins at least once a year…
People who continue to receive Communion with serious sin in their soul will eventually leave the Church, because the sacraments aren’t doing anything for them. But the actual underlying reason is the un-repented serious sin on their souls.
Consider the mercy that Peter and the rest of the Apostles received after abandoning Jesus during his Passion … after that they would do anything for Jesus.
Sin is the fruit of pride, and that is precisely why we struggle with confession.
The theme song in hell is “I did it my way” … in heaven, “Not my will, but your will be done”. To those headed to hell, God says “thy will be done”.
Humility enables us to acknowledge our offenses. Think simply of David and his repentance (Psalm 51).
We don’t want to admit that sin is bigger than we are … but it is.
We don’t want to admit that we need divine help, and that we are struggling with more than simply the physical.
St. Paul tells that we struggle against the “principalities and powers…”
Forgiveness is enormously powerful. People never came to Jesus asking for forgiveness because they were bound in their sins. The woman at the well, Zecchias in the tree, and so on and so forth.
Bishop Hermann told a great story about a big conflict in which he was involved, and how God changed his heart by prodding him to forgive the other guy first, which then led to total conversion for them both.
That could never have happened as long as Bishop Hermann held on to his spirit of resentment, his spirit of un-forgiveness that he held onto so tightly initially.
Then told several powerful stories about forgiveness and the subsequent healings and conversions that followed.
The gift of forgiveness is just that … a gift.
The name, the power and name of Jesus is more powerful than even our own compulsions and addictions.
When we kick an addiction, then we need to replace that with the exact opposite – prayer, such as the Sorrowful Mysteries.
So often in all of these were are dealing than more than simply flesh and blood.
When you have a real resentment against somebody, then have a “prayer party” for them … ask God to bless them immensely.
When we say no to sin, yes to forgiveness, and ask God for his mercy we are downloading power from on high … one of the most energizing experiences possible.
Address these issues don’t become victims of habits … rather, become victorious through prayer, repentance, and conversion.
This will always be the foundation for change in relationships … never coincidence, the direct result of divine grace.
Power of Frequent Confession
Going to confession out of routine is no good. Must ask for God’s help to make a good confession.
Unconfessed sin condemn, weakens us.
Opens the door to the Holy Spirit. Repentance turns us into evangelizers, attracts others.
To prepare for confession, pray to the Holy Spirit to convict us to lead and guide us. Conviction is very different than condemnation. He will lead us to the holiness of God, which will convict us while we feel lover – that leads us to repentance.
Do an examination of concience, start with an inventory of relationships.
Let the mercy of Jesus take the pain, accept us, convert us and bring us to him.
We need genuine sorrow for our sins, in humility.
Strongly recommends weekly confession, particularly when struggling / dealing with addictions. A way of loving ourselves, allowing God to love us.
Develop a firm purpose of amendment. Without this, we can’t go further in our relationship with God and others.
Remember what Mary told the servants at the wedding feast at Cana … “do whatever he tells you”.
That is the same for us.