In my previous article I gave an answer the popular question which is been asked by non Catholics “Do Catholic Priests have the power to forgive sins “. Knowing that Catholic priests have the power to forgive sins, I will be explaining the next question “Must we confess our sins to a priest. ” in details.
St Paul said in book of Romans 12:5 ” We though many are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another”.
This means when we sin, we didn’t only sin against God, we also sinned against the community of Christ. 1corinthians 12:26 says ” If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, if one part is honored all the parts share its joy”.
Going to confession doesn’t just reconcile you with God, it also reconciles you with the church. Disclosing your sin, gives you power over the sin, concealing it helps it to grow.
The apostles were given the power to forgive or retain sins, but how will they know which one to retain or forgive if it’s not confessed. This is why James 5:16 says ” Confess your sins to one another so you may be healed”. James 5:14-15 said “Is anyone of you sick he should summon the priest to pray for him and if he has sinned, his sins will be forgiven “.
This shows that forgiveness of sins is tied to confession to a Priest, because only priests who have followed the apostolic succession (the apostles lineage of priest ordination) have the power to forgive sins. Thus the ordinary way Christ instituted that our sins can be forgiven is through confession.
There are extreme circumstances God can forgive sins outside of confession, if the person has perfect contrition for their sins, but these are extraordinary ways.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes it all it says “ When it rises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called Perfect (aka Contrition of Charity). Such contrition remits venial sins, it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confess as soon as possible “.
Why you should go to confession
- It’s the will of God in the bible that we confess our sins to one another. (James 5:16)
- It is the ordinary way that Christ instituted that our sins will be forgiven.
- We receive forgiveness and also grace to avoid sins.
- We are humbled by having to confess to a priest.
- There is built-in accountability.
- Our relationship with the mother church is reestablished.
- We receive advice from the priest.
- We can be comforted hearing the words of absolution.
- All our sins are cleansed.
- It gives you power to forgive others.
- It is free.
- You will be sure your sins are forgiven and not rely on feelings.
- Helps us to reason deep on how to improve our lives.
- It feels good emotionally.
- Helps us to realize we are all sinners and be patient with others.
- Always confidential – what is said in the confessional stays in the confessional.
- Your guilts will be cleansed.
- We will be prepared to receive the holy Eucharist.
- Forgiveness is necessary part of holiness.
- Our consciences will be better made.
- If we have committed mortal sins, then going to Confession will bring us back into the family of God – The Church as well as restores sanctifying grace in our souls!