Confession Resurrects You
Last time, we talked about the effects of Baptism and how sanctifying grace, which is the indwelling of God Almighty, is restored through the first Sacrament. This month, we'll discuss God's solution to the problem of our tendency to sin.
As we discussed previously, some sins are mortal — they kill the supernatural life in our soul. They tell God that He is not welcome in our hearts, and He, being a gentleman, departs. With Him goes eternal life. We die inside and fall.
Does being baptized guarantee that we will never commit mortal sin again? No, as you can see by taking a look at the history of Christianity. Baptized Christians have committed great and terrible sins throughout the history of the faith. But God knows that we are fallen human beings, suffering the effects of original sin (darkened intellects, weakened wills, and disordered desires). God knows the human heart (see Jn 2:24-25). So He gave the Church a great gift: the Sacrament of Confession:
[Jesus] said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained" (Jn 20:21-23).
Jesus shared with the Apostles His divine power to forgive sins and restore our souls to life (see Lk 5:20-25; Mk 2:5-12; Mt 9:2-8). Catholic biblical theologian Dr. Scott Hahn calls the forgiveness of sins and restoration of sanctifying grace a greater miracle than the resurrection of Lazarus from physical death, because Lazarus was merely restored to a temporary life in the world (see Jn 11). When our souls are raised from spiritual death, however, they regain a share in eternal life.
Confession, then, is the means through which we, the prodigal sons and daughters, say to God, "'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against You; I no longer deserve to be called Your son' (Lk 15:21). Lord, You are truly God, worthy of all obedience and love. I have sinned against You, as You well know, in these ways. I am sorry. Please forgive me. You are welcome again within my heart, within my soul."
And the Lord responds, as He always will until the day of judgment, "[L]et us celebrate with a feast, because this son of Mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found ... your brother was dead and has come to life again" (Lk 15:23-24, 32).
Next month, we'll talk about the importance of Holy Communion in nourishing the life of the soul.
For more on Confession, see Fr. Donald Calloway's Under the Mantle (Product Code TH-UTM) Chapter 4, Fr. Michael Gaitley's The 'One Thing' Is Three (Product Code: TH-ONE) pages 85-101, and Vinny Flynn's 7 Secrets of Confession (TH-7SOC). To order, visit shopmercy.org.
Spirituality of the Immaculate Heart
Mary Pondered in Her Heart
The Heart of The Matter
Temples of the Holy Spirit
From Sons to Slaves
Baptism Saves You
Confession Resurrects You
Eucharist Nourishes You
Confirmation Ignites You
Through Darkness Into Light
Mary, Mother of Christians
Salt. Light. Hope.