Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Two things

Here's two quick tidbits of information meant to help you grow spiritually:

This, according to St. Alphonsus, when you feel remorse for a sin that has already been confessed, it is a sure sign it has been forgiven. Let it go.

This, according to my priest, (a great confessor!) Always confess one mortal sin from your past each time you go to confession. Even though it has already been confessed and forgiven, doing so helps you to become humble.

11 comments:

Marilena said...

good advice.

Shirley said...

I did get to go to confession with him yesterday. You're right, he's a good confessor.

Owen said...

I could be missing something and not to take away from a beautiful confessor but those two pieces of advice seem counter intuitive.

I am most to read and receive today the words of St. Alphonsus. Thank you for posting them.

paramedicgirl said...

Owen, I never thought of it like that, but I see how you can think that when the two are posted together. I think St Alphonsus is saying that when we feel a great deal of remorse for our sins, we can be sure that the remorse we are feeling is a grace from God to let us know He heard our cries of sorrow and He has forgiven us.

On the other hand, to keep us humble, we should always confess a mortal sin from our past as a reminder of how much grace God has given us and how merciful He has been towards us.

A conflict on thesurface, maybe, but a deep connection, nonetheless.

Anita Moore said...

I can see Owen's point, too. I think a person who suffers a lot from scruples (which, by the way, St. Alphonsus is a patron against scruples) probably ought to run that second piece of advice by his confessor before acting on it.

paramedicgirl said...

Anita, it kinda goes like this: At the end of your confession when you say, "And I am sorry for all my past sins", this particular priest will say, "It is good for humility to state one mortal sin from your past." Then after you do so, he will say, "Be thankful for the mercy and grace of God that has brought you thus far." or something to that effect.

In no way is there any suggestion that your past sins need to be re-confessed. I think it is a beautiful practice that reminds me of the publican who said O God, be merciful to me a sinner

To acknowledge that God has granted you such mercy, and through His grace has brought you to a higher level of spiritual perfection, even though you are indeed a sinner not worthy of His mercy, is humbling indeed.

Anita Moore said...

Well okay then. :) I guess that's not calculated to arouse scruples.

Heard an interesting story about Padre Pio and a penitent who had scruples. The person either came to confession repeatedly over a short period or re-confessed the same sin over and over, I forget which. Padre Pio told the person that if he did it again, he (Padre Pio) would smack him. The guy gave in to his scruple and did it again, only to a different priest. As soon as he did it, he felt a smack across his face.

Owen said...

@Anitia
Brings a whole new perspective to in persona Christi !

paramedicgirl said...

Anita, that is a wonderful story of Padre Pio! Such a great saint!

Owen and Anita, when I went to confession yesterday and I mentioned how sorry I was for my past sins, naming which one in particular I was very sorry for, the priest said that this habit brings grace from God to never repeat that sin again, and also helps remove the temporal punishment due to that sin, as well as keeping us humble.

So there ya go, there are three things attributed to this practice. And isn't it "coincidental" that he should tell me these three things right when you guys were questioning it?

The grace of God at work!

Owen said...

Yesterday...this was the same or a different priest from the one you mentioned initially?

In terms of questioning I am not disputing the value of such a practice for some only that it may not be helpful for everyone, which I think we covered somewhere in this thread already. :)

For anyone with a penchant for beating oneself up it's a fine line between the accumulation of unnecessary guilt and finding greater humility by the mention of previously absolved and unrepeated sin. It is always humbling to understand that one is standing in the grace of God as one reflects our own absolved sin and upon his ineffable mercy.

To be able to say, I am and always will be sorry for having committed "X" sin without at the same time reawakening now unnecessary guilt and therefore again living as a slave to fear of just judgment is a profound grace. If this is what mentioning a past sin in Confession is, and you are able to do that, it seems good advice and, I would think, a serviceable deterrent to committing that sin again.

I am an old Christian but still a new Catholic. God is good.

Terry Nelson said...

With all due respect it is usually a good rule not to discuss the personal advice a confessor imparts to us. On the other hand - anything St. Alphonsus said should be communicated freely!