We must confess our sins!

Confession

Scripture makes a distinction between two types of sin: mortal sin and venial sin (see 1 Jn 5:16-17). Mortal sin is, as its name implies, the more deadly of the two, for it chokes off God’s life in the soul. Mortal sin kills us spiritually. Mortal sin always involves “grave matter” — the most important things in life. Even nonbelievers will often recognize the gravity of these offences. Thus, for example, murder is a mortal sin, and it is universally recognized as a crime; the same goes for grand theft, perjury, and adultery. Other grave matter, however, can be seen only with the eyes of faith. Thus, for example, it is a mortal sin to miss Mass on a Sunday.

Every time we go to the sacrament of penance, we must confess any and all mortal sins committed since our last confession. We must clearly state the types of mortal sin we’ve committed and the number of times we’ve committed them. If we hold back any mortal sins, then we have not made a valid confession. Indeed, to deliberately withhold confessing a mortal sin is itself a mortal sin. Since a sacrament is an oath before God, such nondisclosure represents a sort of perjury.

We are not strictly required to confess our venial sins — the catechism calls them “everyday faults” — but the Church, the saints, and the mystics have always recommended this (see CCC, 1458).

It’s important to remember, in our confession, that we’re not telling God anything he doesn’t already know. He knows our sins better than we do. He knew Adam’s sin when he invited Adam to confess. He knew Cain’s when he invited Cain to confess. He wants us to confess not for his good, but for ours, because he knows that confession is a necessary step in our process of healing toward holiness.

Confession is necessary, but there are some very limited circumstances in which a priest may dispense with confession and grant absolution anyway. In times of dire emergency, when a number of people are in immediate danger of death — in the heat of battle, or if a plane is about to crash — a priest may pronounce a “general absolution”. Even this requires that penitents must be sorry for their sins, though it dispenses with their need to confess their sins. Even then, the penitent, if he should survive, must go as soon as possible to make an ordinary sacramental confession.

This Excerpt is taken from the book ‘Lord, Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession by Scott Hahn. For more information, click me 🙂

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From unceasing thinking to unceasing prayer

Bread for the Journey

Our minds are always active. We analyse, reflect, daydream or dream. There is not a moment during the day or night when we are not thinking. You might say our thinking is “unceasing”. Sometimes we wish we could stop thinking for a while; that would save us from many worries, guilt feelings and fears.

Our ability to think is our greatest gift, but it is also the source of our greatest pain. Do we have to become victims of our unceasing thoughts? No, we can convert our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer by making our inner monologue into a continuing dialogue with our God, who is the source of all love.

Let’s break our isolation and realize that Someone who dwells in the centre of our beings wants to listen with love to all that occupies and preoccupies our minds.

This excerpt is taken from the book ‘ Bread for the Journey’ by Henri J.M. Nouwen. For more information: Click Me 🙂

Saint of the Day: St. Berthold

St_Berthold_du_Mont_Carmel

Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite Order. He was born in Limoges, France, and proved a brilliant student at the University of Paris. Ordained a priest, Berthold joined his brother, Aymeric, the Latin patriarch of Antioch, in Turkey, on the Crusades.

During this time he had a vision of Christ denouncing the evil ways of the soldiers. At the time, there were a number of hermits from the West scattered throughout Palestine.

Some accounts hold that in 1185 he came to Mount Carmel, built a small chapel there, and gathered a community of hermits who would live at his side in imitation of the prophet Elijah.

This community has been thought to have given rise to the Order of Carmelites, but this is not supported by evidence and is discounted by historians of the Order. Berthold lived out his days on Mount Carmel, ruling the community he had founded for forty-five years until his death in 1195
Source: Catholic.org, Wikipedia

Saint of the Day: St. Margaret Clitherow

MargaretClitherow

St. Margaret Clitherow, a woman of great beauty and zeal was born in Middleton, England, in 1555, to protestant parents. She married a well to do grazer John Clitherow, with whom she had 2 children. Her charming personality and cleaver mind led her to harbor fugitive priests. Due to this she was imprisoned by hostile authorities.

She was constantly tested and forced to denounce her faith however Margaret was relentless and stood firm in what she believed in. After multiple attempts to make her deny God, she was finally sentenced to death on March 25 1856. Her death sentence was to be carried out in a gruesome manner by getting her pressed top death.

The extent of her holiness and faith in God can be seen when she writes a letter to her friend saying “The sheriffs have said that I am going to die this coming Friday; and I feel the weakness of my flesh which is troubled at this news, but my spirit rejoices greatly. For the love of God, pray for me and ask all good people to do likewise.” Her feast day is celebrated on March 26th.

Verse of the Day: Matthew 6:24

No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money Matthew 6-24

One of my favorite verses from the Holy Bible. So often in life we focus on the pursuit of  money and neglect  God. We may not do it on purpose but it is a reality that we cannot ignore. Our thoughts and actions might revolve around the pursuit of materialistic things and at the end of the day, there is a feeling of emptiness.

While it is important to work on your business or daily needs in life,  we should always remember who our creator is. Jesus so rightly says that ” No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”.

The need of the hour is to give your best at what you do but always be focused on God and not get lost in the material temptations of the world.