On sacraments in General
The Holy Sacrament of Confession
The Holy Eucharist
The Anointing of the sick
Table of contents for this sacrament
A confession is an admittal, or revealing of something unknown to another, a statement of belief, or of a hidden, truth or an admittal or revealing of guilt, and/or the taking of responsibility for this guilt.
~~~As a sacrament
c.f. our information on sacraments (Latin- Sacramentum- meaning pledge, from Latin sacrare- consecration, Church Latin, mystery, to make a pledge, or make something holy, from ancient Green mysterion- mystery- something which is more than it appears.)
~~~~The sacrament of confession
The sacred sign, through which forgiveness flows
in fulfilment of Jesus’, the Founder of Catholicism’s words about the power of the truth- “The Truth Will Set You Free”. With many notes on this sacrament in the Early Christian writings (C.F. Augustine, Didache, Ignatius, etc), we can understand its exacting form, nature, and requirements. The bible, and the teachings of the apostles (Gospel of Luke chapter 1 verse 4), clearly manifest the nature, and utter necessity of confession in the church, the constant reviewal of conscience, and a fear to disappoint God.
~~~~As Jesus states that sin enslaves those who obey it
(Gospel of John chapter 8 verse 34), therefore, it is the duty of the human person to help free his neighbour from sin, but firstly to clean himself of his own sin by confession, so as to be more useful in his work (Gospel of Matthew chapter 7 verses 3 to 5)
~~~~The sacrament is essentially a healing of the soul
The human soul is eviternal, meaning that unlike animal souls, and plant souls, human beings only have the soul they have now for all eternity, while the body will be made greater, the life of a man, which is his soul is single, and once and for all (Hebrews chapter 9 verse 27).
~~~~To disregard the body,
is sinful because the body and soul, together form one inseparable unit (c.f. Summa Theologica).
~~~~The souls of animals and plants are
not eviternal, but temporary, so long as they require life. This does not discount the recreation of the entire animal after the end of the world, nor the creation of a new manifestation of what we love inside of animals, nor some other amazing hidden truth.
~~~~The soul, like the body,
which itself, being carnal and not eviternal unlike the soul, isn’t yet eviternal, however the soul, like the body, also can be harmed, even mortally wounded, the priest, however flawed himself, as long as he conducts the true sacrament, must be sought in matters of the soul, and spiritual, as a doctor is sought for the sake of the body, with great zeal, when one has been wounded.
~Jesus, as the early Christians assure us: institutes confession
in the Gospel of John chapter 20 verse 23, and in Matthew chapter 16 (Often noted by theologians is that in Hebrew, Peter’s name means Rock, and that people were not often called Rock, but further, the Apostles are definitely given the Authority of the Rabbi’s c.f. New Jerusalem Bible, Standard Edition), where he gives the apostles and their successors (Acts chapter 1 verses 15 to 26) the right to “absolve sin” (John chapter 20 verse 20-23), but this only can be said to occur, when there is a real sorrow for sin in the sinner, as “Without sorrow, there is no forgiveness for sin” (C.F. Trent sesson XlV, chapter 4), and also this repentance is always by the working of the Holy Spirit- denying this is condemned by Trent (C.F. 1908 edition- The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 4 article entitled: Contrition); Further, forgiveness only occurs with either what is termed the “desire” for the sacrament or else the actual sacrament (C.f.Trent session VII: Degree on sacraments in general).
an early Apocryphal source mentions that Christians must confess their sins in the Church, or else could not “Come near for their prayer with an evil conscience” (C.F. Didache Chapter IV verse 14). It is, however understood that with the action of perfect contrition, which instantly frees the man of, and brings about forgiveness of sins, so far as the sacrament is later sought, or would have been sought, given ability therein (CCC 1452), communion can sometimes be accepted before the sacrament of penance.
With dire need, and relative certainty of perfect contrition,
the sinner may be admitted to communion, before the physical, so far as he resolves to confess his sins when possible, as the forgiveness in confession is directly linked to contrition, whereby when a person resolves to confess, they receive a ghostly confession, which will be replaced when confession occurs, or become the ghost it is otherwise.
~There is no forgiveness through confession, except through contrition-
Which is essentially both a sorrow, and a determination- a grief at the evil of one’s sin, either in it’s result (imperfect contrition), or some other purpose, or of and emerging from the pure horror of offending God (perfect contrition), and with this sorrow, it involves a firm desire to obey God in all things (C.F. CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Contrition; Psalm 50;Luke chapter 13 verse 5;Matthew chapter 12 verse 41;Psalm chapter 6 verse 7;Luke chapter 18 verse 13). As Jesus says- the immoral woman at the dinner he went to at a Pharisee’s house, was forgiven for she loved much (Luke chapter 7 verse 47). This does not mean that without desire or actual admittance to baptism (if unbaptised) or the sacrament can be said to forgive (
session VII condemns the view that the sacrament or its desire is not needed). Trent
~Also the action of the tax collector, in Luke chapter 18 verse 13, along with Israel’s enemies in Jonah chapter 3 verses 5 to 10, also show how pleasing contrition is to God, and how it is a proper form for the Christian to take, in that it is the state required of the heart for forgiveness.
is sorrow over sin due to the very fact of offending God, while imperfect contrition is the sorrow at one’s own damnation via sin.
~~In confession, one
must determine to avoid occasions of sin, and determine to never sin again by their conscious will, including venial sins;
this is needed
in order to gain forgiveness, which is not afforded if a penitent knowingly chooses to not repent of another sin while confessing a sin to gain forgiveness.
~~Those who willingly and in this, those who knowingly refuse the forgiveness
of the Holy Roman Church, and those who for false reasons are within the flock (Luke chapter 11 verse 39 to 42), commit the Unforgivable Sin, which is finalized as this at death, if the subject of it still refuses to seek forgiveness (c.f. Augustine : on the Donatists: Letter 185 (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff)- to Boniface). It is not unforgivable until one has not repented and has lost their last breath in sinful pride. This is evident in I John chapter 4 verses 1 to 3 (, especially verse 3). Aquinas calls this final impenitence, and one of the sins against the Holy Spirit.
~Confession is done through
a mediator- the validly ordained priest with apostolic authority, that is- through the church (Romans 10).
~~ Valid, but illegitimate confession
is conducted by certain other churches, but must not be accepted, by Catholics, apart from danger of death, and lack of Catholic confessors.
~~A list of churches with valid sacraments
may be obtained by the
, although for confession, one must look for religious religions actually termed Churches by the Catholic church, and said to possess valid passing down of apostolic authority. Vatican
~~A Catholic, except in dire need, where non-catholic valid groups may be approached,
may only take the sacraments of confession, baptism, communion, confirmation, holy orders, or anointing of the sick, in a Catholic church (eastern or western), sanctioned as legitimate and valid, by Rome, however marriage between a catholic and another party may in certain circumstances be conducted in non-catholic churches, or by non-catholic ministers, but only in the specific and sole case as it is with the canonical approval of the local ordinary, otherwise, in the implementing of such “invalid” marriage vows, marital relations are considered sexual immorality, a mortal sin.
~~~A blessing of an invalid marriage
may be obtained with ease from the local ordinary, so long as it is consensual and possible.
~~~The Pauline Privilege allows for annulment
in the case that an unbaptised person leaves a Christian spouse.
~~~Marriages by non-Catholics outside the church
Is considered valid unless there is reason in a case to consider otherwise.
~~~Marriage is never valid, when,
at the performing of the ceremony, it is revealed, or secretly known that one or both parties are physically unable to perform the act of consummating the union physically.
Or when a Catholic purposely chooses to marry without the consent, and divine acting of the church, or when one is already in a valid and sacramental marriage with another person.
~~~Non physical impediments are known as
This is the essence, that sanity- the proportionate seeking, and protecting of truth,
and existence, by mimicry of God is never sin, but natural, wherein, as long as truth is proportionately manifest, and not denied in action, and so long as what is done is in proportion, and in line with morality, and necessity, an action is not sinful, likewise, any action which is insane, is always matter of sin, even when it is not the sort which is guilt ensuing, or to be counted as wrong action, against it’s channel’s conscience, and soul’s place, and any sin is and is as the acting of a sort of insanity (C.f. Augustine Letter 185 (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff)- On the Donatists- reference to insanity, and actions to counteract such as merciful).
A action must be sinful, i.e. have sinful matter, must be consensual, i.e. have the knowledge of the sinner, that something of what they are doing is wrong, and an actual choice to go ahead with the action, and finally must have a degree of knowledge, and in this likely the acting of logic, or conscience, which must be rejected, in pursuit of a sinful action, either in weakness (sin against the Father), or in lack of knowledge (sin against the Son), or in deliberate choice of evil over good, for the sake of the evil (Sin against the Holy Spirit Hebrews chapter 10 verse 26).
~~Without any of these three, the matter in question,
ceases to place a mark on the penitent’s soul, however actions which cause sinful matter, and are consensual, and knowledgeable, are themselves sinful, and may need confession, also- the church is the group who must judge guilt (I Corinthians chapter 6), simply because a person decides to believe a sinful action is right, does not excuse them from guilt, but increases it, as the sin of Spiritual Sadness (sloth), and as the sin of lying, i.e. if the sin is mortal, this self deception, may itself be mortal sin.
~~~This is equally so, when a person chooses to call something correct in action sinful,
in fact, if the acting of God is judged as evil, this is a particularially dangerous insanity manifest. The judgement of the church by any authority, or of her doctrine by any outsider (I Corinthians chapter 6; Chapter 2 verse 15; Gospel of John chapter 8 verses 12 to 30), carries no weight against her, nor does it come without the destruction of her judges (Psalm 93).
The bible states the need for actions (Gospel of Matthew chapter 25 verses 31 to 46), in order to gain salvation,
and that the manner of these actions needs prudence (I Corinthians chapter 11 verse 31;Gospel of John chapter 7 verse 24; 3rd Letter of John; Letter to the Hebrews chapter 10 verses 1 to 10), least it result in higher judgement, and accumulation of wrongs without any forgiveness (Matthew chapter 25). Further, it is mercy (Epistle of James chapter 2 verses 13 and 26) , that triumphs over judgement, signified in prayer by placing the right thumb over the left, and faith without this does not bring salvation or any worth (I Corinthians 13), in fact, nit is the lifestyle of mercy, charity, obedience, and love (I John chapter 3 verses 5 to 9; and especially verse 10) which saves, and no faith separate form godliness can save (Epistle of James chapter 2).
~Latin route is- Venia
which means forgiveness, these are small indisgretions, which are forgiven in penance, communion, purgatory, or other places, which dispose the person more towards sin, and are very much viewed with a serious view by God, even as no amount of them can ever turn into mortal sin (c.f. Summa Theologica).
~~Venial sins are
serious in God’s eyes, but do not themselves cause the death of God’s gift of Charity-
the friendship between man and God, based on communication between man and God, (a friendship which is often called “Love”, as seen in I Corinthians 13 (See Douay Rheims),) which is required for a soul to enter heaven.
~~~Venial sins themselves never become mortal,
but weaken the soul sufficiently, so as to encourage mortal sin.
~Mortal sin may be divided into two categories,
grave matter and grave sin.
~Grave sin and Mortal sin are two terms for the same things,
“deadly” (as in“soul destroying”, some bible translations call this “deadly” sin, not to be confused with Capital Sin) sin, or serious sin, as mentioned in the bible in I John chapter 5 verses 16, 17. (c.f. Hebrews chapter 10 verse 39, however “Grave Sin” is often used as a politically correct way of referring either to Mortal sin, or to grave matter, which is technically not sin, but the matter of the sin (the action separated from the choice, and knowledge (whether intuitive, or gained, which make something sin).
~~Mortal sin is sin which destroys charity,
and the knowing, willing refusal to confess this sin onto death results in eternal condemnation, with the exception of those, who given circumstance, knowledge, and choice, would confess such sins in a contrite manner.
~Grave matter is
any action, which with full consent and knowledge of how wrong such is, would become mortal sin.
~~Grave matter should also be confessed where this is conductive to faith.
~~Grave matter can be the result of venial sin,
or else entirely free of guilt, none the less, confessing it should often aid in the ability to better obey Christ, as confession frees people from the slavery to sin (The Truth will set you free, Jesus Christ of Nazareth).
~The deadly sins are the capital sins, as the capital sins are also often referred to as the deadly sins, wherefore their meaning and essence is the same, and the words are interchangeable for the same concept.
~Not all capital sins are mortal sins.
~~There are seven deadly sins, which are sins which result in other sins, and are called the source or parent sins, of all sin.
~~Confessors often either use the seven capital sins, or Ten Commandments as rubrics for confession.
~~Every sin and human moral failing falls within one or several of these sins.
~~The capital sins are:
Lust (disproportionate sexual action or desire);
Greed, or Avarice (The inordinate desire for wealth, either in possessions, or in popularity, or other concepts);
Pride- the original sin- a hatred of God’s authority or of God and a love of self, or of one’s opinion or actions over God’s will;
Envy- is the belief that unjust harm to another will uplift one’s self. Desire that an evil person be punished, or lose position, is not envy but justice;
Gluttony- is the disproportionate love or hatred of food, or indulgence of pleasure;
Anger also called wrath- the punishing, or harming of another beyond what sanity and justice permit; sloth- also sadness- the unhappiness at a spiritual good.
~Any person, circumstance, habit, or other thing, which causes a person to be sufficiently weakened so as to endanger the committing of sin. Catholics are obligated to avoid these.
~ Often this issue is raised- the bible clearly says: “5 For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy Chapter 2, Douay Rheims; c.f. Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus), but it then adds onto this: “Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times,” (second half of same verse), and the context is in “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher and an apostle” (verse 7) and again “1 I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men:” (verse 1), showing a difference in meaning, and so- it is clear that one need understand the meaning of such.
~Living entity, which acts as a means, or medium of contact between two parties.
~Living medium through which events occur, or are transferred, else one in or through which occurrences or events of note, exist or come to be.
~In the case of Christ- who is the living means in which salvation is conducted and the medium of redemption via his existing and sacrifice at the cross. As seen in I Timothy chapter 2, and Luke chapter 10 verse 22, this cannot refer to the only means of intercession, or grace between man and the Father, or the bible would not call this the role of the Holy Paraclete (Jude chapter 1 verse 20;Gospel of Luke chapter 10 verse 21; Gospel of Mark chapter 3 verses 20 to 30; Acts chapter 1 verse 2 and 16; chapter 4 verse 8 and 25 and 31; chapter 8 verse 15 and 17; chapter 11 verses 15 to 16 and 24; chapter 13 verse 2 and 4 and 9 and 52 ; Ephesians chapter 1 verse 13,); nor would there be the need of preaching the gospel as in Romans 10.
As regards the usual meaning of mediator, Romans chapter 10, Numbers Chapter 22; Apocalypse/Revelation Chapter 8; Judges chapter 13 Verse 13; Luke chapter 1 verses 10 to 25, 26 to 79 Luke Chapter 2 verse 9 to 20, Hebrews chapter 13 verse 2; Hebrews chapter 10 verse 14 all show that God often uses mediums to act upon people’s lives, to disperse knowledge, and to allow communication, to say nothing of Saint Peter and the angel who freed him from prison (Acts of the Apostles, chapter 12 verse 11). Those who were in the house (verse 15) further show evidence of much connection between people and angels in early Christianity.
Now, if getting another to pray for one’s self is bad, then saint Paul is sinful here (Ephesians chapter 6 verse 19), also- the Christian sees praying for others as good, and befitting their task (Gospel of Luke chapter 6 verse 27, Ephesians 6 verse 18,Romans chapter 10 verse 1), in fact, Balaam says : “I pray you to stay here” (paraphrase- Numbers chapter 22 verse 19), and people are never rebuked for asking prayer of those who are righteous, or talking to angels- Jesus himself speaks with two saints who are at the time “dead”- Moses and Elijah (Gospel of Matthew chapter 17 verse 3). God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living, Jesus himself testifies this, when he talks of the God of Abraham and Isaac in the present tense (Gospel of Mark chapter 12 in verse 27). He further calls those who consider the saints to be dead “greatly mislead” (NAB), having himself spoken with the living saints after their passing.
As regards God using mediums to transfer forgiveness, clearly- he says to baptise people (Gospel of Matthew 28 verses 16 to 20;), so as to allow the forgiveness of sins, therein transferring forgiveness by a medium, or allowing honour to be given those deserving of it, in accords the Decalogue, is never sinful (Romans 13).
Jesus clearly states that angels and saints, and all who serve him are clearly alive (Gospel of Luke chapter 20 verse 38; Matthew chapter 22 verse 32; Mark chapter 12 verse 27), he even speaks with some saints (Gospel of St. Luke chapter 9 verses18 and 28 to 30), and Angels are sent as mediators between Christ and God of grace, in healing his wounds (Matthew chapter 4 verse 11; Psalm 91 verse 11). In fact, not only are these alive, but they serve God more fully after death for their perfection (Psalm 91 verse 11; Hebrews chapter 1 verse 7; Revelation/Apocalypse chapters 7 and 8 and 13 and 19)).
Now there are people who say that man cannot forgive sin which is not against him, in fact, the Pharisees in Jesus time mimic many modern persons who say this is wrong (In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 9 verses 2 and 3) where Jesus says- (paraphrase) “take courage… your sins are forgiven”, note he even calls the person his “child”, and we know from another (Gospel of Mark Chapter 2 verse 7; c.f. Gospel of Luke chapter 9 verse 1 (connection between forgiveness and healing is mentioned in The Gospel of Mark chapter 2 and The Gospel of Matthew chapter 9)) account why they thought this- “Only God can forgive sins.”
Now, these very Pharisees were Jewish men, who knew that God had mercy on men who gave sacrifice, or alms to the needy, or else fasted out of contrition, yet they still said- “This is heresy” when Jesus says that the acts of faith displayed, along with his aid was adequate (Gospel of John chapter 20 verse 23). Now, these are all acts of love and obedience, as Jesus himself note “Those who are forgiven much, love much” (Paraphrase of The Gospel of Luke 7 verse 47), and again in James we see “Mercy triumphs over Judgement” (Epistle of James chapter 2 verse 13). Jesus himself says- That those who are merciful, will obtain mercy (Gospel of Matthew chapter 5 verse 7), as the law under him is harsher than under Moses (Gospel of Matthew chapter 5 verses 17 to 48).
One may mention further verses, but clearly it is always action which saves, as I Corinthians 13 verse 2 and I Peter 3 verse 21 adds to.
The issue lies in John (Third letter of the Apostle John) stating that housing an enemy of the faith is sharing in his crime, and in Christ ordering the people to treat some offenders of his law like tax collectors- people who collected money for their oppressors.
What people think is a good remedy for sin often is nothing good (Hebrews chapter 10 verse 4), and the ways of the wise (I Corinthians chapter 4 verse 10 and 18 to 21;chapter 1 verse 17 to 31; I John chapter 5 verse 2- obedience and forgiveness; II Corinthians chapter 11 verse 13) in our world, are foolish to the Almighty.
And so, while it is acts of charity, and goodness are to bring forgiveness, charity being what in old English, and church language is referred to as penance, and contrition, at the same time, we cannot judge that any act is sufficient- in fact, acts which some choose, at cost (Galatians chapter 3) are further offences against truth, and while we may be sorry- God, in this world (Romans chapter 10) works through mediators, more than that- there is only one mediator for the forgiveness of sins, Christ Jesus, which is why he has to pass this on (The Gospel of John chapter 20 verse 23), in that only (Acts of the Apostles chapter 5 verse 4; Acts of the apostles chapter 15) God himself can forgive sins against or of another (The Gospel of Mark Chapter 2 verse 7), which we do not deny as true of the Pharisees’ interpretation of divine law.
That said, it is Jesus himself who acts in every priest in confession (and in the hearts of the forgiven via “desire” of the sacraments and the church), so that the knowledge is not that of the priest, nor is the hearing, and absolving of the sin that of the priest alone, even as like Judas, there are misguided priests, yet it is not the priest, but the Holy Spirit who forgives sin (The Gospel of John chapter 20 verse 23), and it is this action, in which contrition is made, that forgiveness is given through a medium of grace. Penance is then given to ward of the temporal punishment still required against the people (c.f. curse on children of King David), and through God’s way, not ours. It is noted, that as this is a work of the Holy Spirit, the nature, and authority of the minister is vital (Acts of the Apostles chapter 8 verses 14 to 25)
Now there are some who think that works of mercy themselves are adequate apart from confession, but then Jesus would not have said through John (I John 5 verse 16, 17) that personal prayer cannot save those who are in deadly sin. Only Obedience, sorrow for sin, and a humble obedience, through choosing God’s structure over one’s pride (), “coming into the light” (c.f. Gospel of John chapter 3 verses 20-22) can save such people from their sins, this or “desire” of the sacrament.
In fact, according to Augustine (On the followers of Donatis- Letter 185 (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff)- to Boniface), of and on those who therein, or in any knowing, consensual way- willingly refusing forgiveness by the One Catholic Church under Saint Peter’s successor, until death, he says of this, if done until death is the unforgivable sin against the Holy Ghost (I John chapter 4 verses 1 to 3, especially verse 3; Gospel of John chapter 20 verse 23).
Such sin will never be forgiven when the day comes, if no forgiveness from the church is sought, or else contrition, in “desire” of this forgiveness sought in the case of those unknowing, or unable- by those who are for no fault of their own separated from
(Lumen Gentium XVI). It is of course not the only sin against the holy Spirit, deliberately choosing evil over good, or to reject that needed for virtue, or saying evil things against the Holy Spirit, or her works, or such things are also sins against the Divine Paraclete, as lying to the priest in confession also is (Acts of the Apostles chapter 5 verse 4), however, by the omnipotence, and all-powerful grace of God, these may be forgiven by the normal channels, so far as the person is alive, when they repent. Rome
One must of course note that in the Gospel of Mark (Chapter 3 verse 28 and 29; c.f. Gospel of Matthew chapter 12 verse 32), where this wording (of verse 29 and Gospel of Matthew chapter 12 verse 32), Jesus firstly mentions (verse 28; c.f. Gospel of Matthew chapter 12 verse 32) that every blasphemy that people utter may be forgiven, showing that this is not merely the working of words, which is condemned, but an actual internal form of vice and habits, manifest in word, as shown in his direct words- in verses 33 to 37, where he talks about actions coming from the dispositions of the person’s soul (“heart” is the word used by Jesus).
Confession is the coming into the light of truth (Gospel of John chapter 3 verses 20 to 22; Ephesians chapter 5 verses 8 to 20; Luke chapter 11 verse 39 to 42), and dying like wheat, before God, in the destruction of the flesh by the spirit (Romans chapter 8 verse 13). In this, the devil himself, and his hierarchy (Colossians chapter 2 verse 15; Romans chapter 8 verse 37) try to prevent this sacrament of life, or to cause sacrilege (Acts chapter 5- lying to the Holy Spirit; Aids of God c.f. Romans chapter 8 ) within this Holy Truth. Confession, so far as it is true contrition (Gospel of John chapter 3 verses 20 to 22) is the ultimate dividing chasm between those who obey God (I John chapter 3 verses 3,7-9; especially verse10), and the enemies of Holy Christ (Galatians chapter 5 verses 13 to 26). As such, it is hard, just as any battle between the soldiers of light and darkness is, especially as it requires the surrender of one’s darkness (Romans chapter 8 verse 13) and the acceptance of light (Gospel of John chapter 3 verses 20 to 22), which is so pushed away in our darkened form, so as even to appear utterly evil. Thus, pride, and all the great sins collude, for the sake of embarrassment in self love, to prevent the penitent from being saved by this agent of divine mercy (II Corinthians chapter 3 verse 17; I John chapter 4 verse 3, 4, Acts chapter 2 verse 27; I John 1 verses 8 to 10; Proverbs chapter 2 verse 21; Isaiah chapter 42 verse 7).
Confession, contrition, and penitent living is therein, next after Baptism, and repentance, vital in the Christian walk,
~~The priest must never be wrongly judgemental
~~~in confession, nor on pain of excommunication,
may he, outside of confession in any manner whatsoever, or even in penance given, in any way betray even unrepented, or planned future sins told to him in confession, whether or not in the confessional, so far as the ritual is being carried out within the proper form.
~~He should encourage penitent sinners towards true sorrow
over sin, and encourage any signs of holiness within, and be absolutely cautious (James chapter 3 verse) when sinners confess sins which are not in his opinion sinful (Romans 14), praying to God for guidance, and following the prompting of the Spirit present with him, in dealing with such matters, with courage, compassion, and sanity. In this he must know, that wrong judgement can destroy the faith of his brother (Romans chapter 14 verse 10 to 23; I Corinthians chapter 8 verse 11 to 13; Matthew chapter 12 verse 7), and that he must be soft, yet firm in dealing with this issue, and not judgemental, or quick to diagnose mental problems, but rather prayerful for the spirit to give solution through the truth and logic of his soul (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus chapter 1 verse 1). A priest must remain within his job, and a Psychologist within his job (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus chapter 38), each using their own means to aid as best they can, one the soul, and sanity, the other the psyche. A soft, logical proving, when needed, or a gentle, kind consoling and gaining of trust should be encouraged, so as to rid the penitent of anxiety, which anger alone will not solve, but only harm (James chapter 1 verse 20).
Where necessary, a relevant, and kind and properly placed professional may be advised, in correct, non-judgemental manner, or the reading of books, or articles, or the use of a good spiritual director, and/or education on the extent and nature of sin may be needed.
~~~The most deadly thing is to judge a person for valid righteousness,
and so caution is to be used, but also wisdom, training, and intuition in the Lord, by the priest in such a situation. Generally, both priest and penitent should be honest, and charitable, and cautious.
A priest may not be permitted to speak contrary to the morality, and doctrine of the church, this is an abuse of power, which warrants judgement (James chapter 3 verse 1) and must not be taken to heart by the penitent.
Further, solicitation, or the abuse of the sacrament
which in any way is to cause evil is sinful, solicitation, the demanding of sexual favours should be reported to the church by the victim: however false reports or those deemed false bear a punishment of interdict, or suspension if a cleric, while simony, the asking of favours for the spiritual value of the sacrament is also strictly evil, mortally so, and forbidden of the pastors of souls. Purposely revealing sins in confession, bears the excommunication, automatically: of a priest choosing to reveal the sins of his penitent: the penitent is free to reveal every moment of his confession to those he pleases: but often advised against this. Indirectly revealing a person’s sins as confessed in confession: gains the priest who does so, whatever penalty fits his crime.
~A penitent Catholic can either confess in a Confessional, or else where a priest is available and justly able to conduct the right
~Choosing, as is the norm to confess in a confessional, the penitent can confess behind a screen, or face to face, depending on availability and preference.
~While in necessity of danger of death, or with ecclesiastic permission, a priest may hear confessions outside of the confessional; though never outside of the seal of confession: in general: it is an important necessity that the confession occur within the confessional.
~It is not advised that one confess face to face: as this can increase abuses, or the chance of one being associated with one’s sins: penitents have at times found that this results in the priest refusing to speak to them, or snubbing, or “punishing” them in some malicious manner in general life.
~One should avoid confessing, if possible: to a relative, friend or family member.
~Before confessing regularly, a Catholic must have conducted their ceremonial First Confession, as the church specifies, however- in danger of death- the church allows for immediate confession for all members of appropriate age, having been baptised.
~~The unbaptised may not attend confession until they are baptised.
sometimes permits other sacramental Christians to attend confession in dire need, or in some circumstances in a Catholic church. Holy Church
~One may confess as often as one chooses, however- a Catholic is obligated by Excathedra statements and commands of the church to confess at least once a year, in order to be saved.
~The saints are noted for confessing even daily, and some demanded their households confess weekly (C.F Butlers Lives of Saints volume III).
~On regular confession, problems themselves are often removed in grace, vice is conquered, and sins that one did not know are sinful become noticed.
~It is advisable to select a specific saint to pray to before, and after confession, and every night, while thinking of all possible sins.
~Of note is the idea of Scrupulosity,
mentioned in the bible in Romans 14, by
it is the inordinate belief in one’s own sinfulness. Good advice for the scrupulous is that desire for confession, is also forgiving, in that confession weekly, bimonthly, or monthly, or with regular pattern fulfils the requirement, and allows one to be in a state of forgiveness and safety in God, in that one would confess, on the next date if dying (of course one should always try to get their last rites and other requirements if in utter certainty of one’s impending death). saint Paul-
~ scrupulous persons need to investigate feelings of sinfulness, looking into whether or not they had knowledge of what they were doing, as “one who sleeps does not sin”: i.e. unless one is incapacitated by one’s own fault: one only carries the guilt of sin, also: a good knowledge of the seven deadly sins, and definitions of sins from the Catechism: may help: as all sins fall within the seven deadly sins.
~~Hatred of normal sin is natural, and not scrupulosity,
which is the accusing of the self, of sins one has not committed, or the belief in sinfulness in that which is not sinful.
~~Scrupulosity and a healthy hatred of sin should not be confused, the saints, as mentioned often confessed daily, and
in dealing with these persons, with such powerful desire to not be condemned, suggested not making their time harder, or doing scandal against these souls (Romans 14), but rather advises affection and love. Saint Paul
~~~Logic, and a good spiritual advisor, can each be a soul saver for the scrupulous,
formulae as to the meaning and requirements, and declarations of what and where sin is actual; can truly aid these persons. One should be careful when dealing with these persons, so as not to cause them to leave the church as the founder of Protestantism (Martin Luther) famously did- neither being to harsh as regards defining them as scrupulous, and in this becoming overly judgemental, and cruel, nor to soft in dismissing correct discernments of sin.
~start with the phrase-
“Bless me father for I have sinned”
~~the priest will bless you, state
the time period since your last confession, and restrictions if any placed on you by the priesthood, and when the priest is satisfied, begin to state your sins.
is the chief requirement on the baptised faithful in the confessional, along with true sorrow for sin.
~~~at the priest’s request, or if he does not do so by the end, say an act of contrition
such as: “Dear God, my loving source, truth, love, and Father forgive these and all my sins, I am deeply sorry that I offended you in these, and desire and request humbly that you reunite me with Holy Mother church, your church, and fully with yourself.” This is vitally to be done with attempts within at true sorrow, without which there is no forgiveness (c.f.
~~~~Finally, the priest will assign you penance- acts of charity such as prayer, or thoughts-
do these actions, preferably immediately (to keep them fresh in memory), and resolve to feel sorrowful at one’s sins, as this sorrow in confession brings forgiveness, and in doing your penance, and the act of contrition, focus on this sadness at sin, and on the love of God.
~One should be modest, sorrowful, exacting, and prompt about sins, if asked to clarify; one should clearly state the facts, circumstance, and relevant details of what has been asked of you.
~The seven capital sins and Ten Commandments, or beatitudes are good rubrics
on how to phrase sin, however confessing, ensuring one neither excludes sin, not confesses that which is not sin should be a goal of confessing, however honesty, correct procedure, and true repentance is the manner in which the purpose of the rite is to be achieved in confession.
~accusing one’s self of sins one has not committed is sinful,
as is purposely not confessing a mortal sin (which is sacrilege, and a mortal sin itself), forgetting mortal sins, however is not sinful, as is honestly believing something as sin, but the advice of the church should be sought on these matters, and often of the priest or a spiritual director.
~~Confession- “I have perhaps/maybe committed up to” state number “of the sin” state parent sin.
~~~Be prepared to explain further in sins,
but rather remain slightly vague as to unnecessary specifics- say what the priest needs to know as regards whether your will was affected, if you were of sound mind at the time, and other things which will allow him to discern guilt.
~~~The names of other offenders
need not be mentioned to the priest.
~~The priest is to be obeyed in every just penance,
however unjust commands are not to be obeyed, and wrong commands are to be reported, some on pains of excommunication, or further mortal sin.
~~~Priests have been known to give bad advice (like the case of Judas, this does not discount their power as doctors of the soul as seen in The Gospel of John chapter 11 verse 51),
or state that grievous offences are not sinful due to poor mental faculty, heretical tendencies, or undue influences- ultimately; your action in confession, and choice of actions and the validity of given is left to the individual conscience, especially with the fact that both Arias and Luther were ordained ministers. This conscience must be formed in church teaching, and not contradict the Magisterium, Scripture, or Tradition, in order to be safely followed, but often the Holy Spirit warns the soul of things to come, or allows us to know what is moral, and in the majority of cases, the priest is more than qualified for his job, it is when one sees the advice as utterly wrong, that one must seek the guidance of credible sources with great speed and will-power, cautious not to insult God by doing what is sinful.
~~~However, the church strongly advises the following of all reasonable advice,
especially to those who find themselves conscious of sins that are not real, in this, often the priest, who is said to act in the person of God, as Judge, Advisor, and Forgiver, must try to aid the penitent, perhaps with logical guidance as top what constitutes sin, or with compassion, and the work of his training, and the guidance of the Spirit of God.
~~~~Normal penance should be followed-
such as prayers, as with logical advice, yet not sinful action, or advice to treat grave matter as venial, as many penitents have complained of in recent times, with liberal influences creeping into the Holy Orders, in such cases, external advice should likely be sought of a good and Catholic spiritual adviser, loyal to the teachings of the Sacred Magiserium (infallible teachings of the church).
is the confessing of past sins in general, and can be helpful.
~~~~~~A good prayer life, and cautious attitude about sin,
and action can help many who suffer from vice. This is the divine method given to overcome evil, that is- the use of sacraments, sacramentals, truth, and goodness. The more powerful the truth and proportion to divine truth, and proportion in sane logic, of an action, the more powerful it is against the forces of chaos within our world.
~~~~~~~It is advisable to accompany your investigation into your actions,
~~~~~~~with constant prayer to your Patron Saint or Saints,
or those saints who know best your life, and best empathise, in praying to them, there are ways to get better results
~~~~~~~ firstly ask God to hear the saint’s intercession for you, and honour the saint- this is the reason that God allows saints to answer prayers he personally does not touch without their asking- in that they may be honoured.
~~~~~~~When you pray, include powerful truth amoung your requests, and try to remain within set, respectful, and utterly humble participation, with your entire mind, body and soul partaking in the prayer to God, by the aid of a saint.
~~~~~~~Hear, and trust the saint, as things begin to occur, but test everything to ensure that this is truly what the saint and God desire, and especially ask for the saint’s will in your life.
~~~~~~~Finish the prayer with thanks, and further honour to your Patron saint- this is to dispose God to better answer you, and also to honour your Patron.
~~~~~~~There are further, also other ways to discern sin, such as reading scripture, the Catechism, and canon law, speaking with friends about topics, where your views may be wrong, and especially in praying for the salvation of your own self and others, and in studying the lives of the saints, who best understood the divine Gospel, and all divine revelations which they encountered.
~In no matter whatsoever, nor even in the changing of routine, on pain of automatic excommunication, a priest may neither by habit, nor by action, nor signal, nor word, nor in the demanding of a form in this of penance, reveal the secrets revealed to him in confession, as these belong not to the mediator but to God (c.f. Summa Theologica).
~In the case of inability to speak, or poor memory, a penitent may right down his sins, to read them to the priest in the case of those who can speak, but have bad memories, or in order to be read by the priest in the case of those who cannot speak.
~~The paper containing these offences must be destroyed immediately; so as to leave no record of what is confidential between the penitent and his Redeemer- Christ.
~If one speaks another language than the priest, he should use signs as best he can to show his sins to the priest,
~~Another option is the use of an interpreter who should swear secrecy as to the sins revealed to the confessor.