Confession Heals the Soul
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another… that you may be healed.” James 5:16
Confession/Reconciliation was one of the many hurdles I had to jump in order to become fully Catholic and is a mandatory in becoming one. It was, in my RCIA class, one of the final “hurdles” to jump before being Confirmed in the Church. Whereas most RCIA classes were an hour on Sunday, the class on Reconciliation was an entire Saturday lead directly by our priest. I was still extremely hesitant about telling a priest, out loud, the sins of my heart.
What I found was a cleansing grace that exceeded all expectations and left a remarkable impact upon me as I had never experienced as a Protestant and still brings to me an uplifting, healing grace that almost no other Sacrament does. Even if my contrition has begun with tears at the beginning (especially the first time – and not just for me which should exemplify the power of the Sacrament) it also often ends with a peace that “surpasses all understanding” or even verbal expression.
I will just say that I think the strangest thing I have heard about the Sacrament of Confession is from people who say, “Catholics have it easy. You just go confess to a Priest, get your sins forgiven, and then you can just go do it again.” First of all, if someone has never sat in front of a priest (or anyone for that matter) with the intention of confessing their innermost sins, (whether behind the screen or face-to-face) then to make that sort of claim is absolutely absurd! Secondly, as the following article explains, any Catholic who confesses with an insincere heart or no intention of true repentance is guilty of profaning the Sacrament and thus heaps more sin upon themselves.
This article was brought to my attention in a posted link on my Church’s Facebook page. It has an excellent explanation and breakdown of what Confession is, what it means, the grace that comes from it, and the Scripture that supports it. http://www.ancient-future.net/reconciliation.html