Forgiveness of Sins / C

“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

As you know, this passage has been used by the Catholic Church to justify the sacrament of penance (confession) … Council of Trent. Though I’m a catholic, I’ve only bee to confession (or reconcilliation, as it’s often called now) one time. My personal feeling is that forgiveness of sins is something that can be worked out between Jeus/God and oneself.

Still, there is somethingcompelling about the rite of confession … it’s been the subject of works of art, literature, film. One of my favorite movies :-), I Confess (1953) directed by Hithcock and starring Montgomery Clift, tells the tale of a catholic priest who hears the confession of a murderer … he never reveals the identity of the killer or even that he knows of him, though he himself goes on trial for the murder. The idea that there is someone with whom you can share your darkest innermost thoughts/deeds, without fear of such info going any farther, is not only attractive, but carries the possibility of profound healing.


5 responses

  1. Crystal, thanks for your post. I realize that it’s now possible for a ‘good’ Catholic to avoid weekly or monthly confession. My daughter in law is an active member of a Catholic Church, but I don’t think she’s “been to confession” for years. I have a very different concept of confession than do the Catholics; for me its a generic term:”The only sermons worth preaching are confessional ones.”A confessional group is a community that spend time together telling one another who they are (confessing)– and, to continue the figure, forgiving one another. Healing! very healing! The only group worth belonging to. Confession means to tell your story, say who you are, drop all the pretence (or at least as much of it as you can), and reveal your true nature to the members of your group.That (invariably) leads to love, forgiveness, affirmation, healing, growth.As far as I’m concerned that is the true church.

  2. Well, I’m not sure I’d qualify as a good catholic but when I did go to church, many of the people I knew there avoided confession. I think you’re right … the hope is that one can be transparent, to God and to other people 🙂

  3. confession:for one reason i think this is one good way of bringing out what’s within you, and makes you feel better after…..

  4. Hi Eden :-). Yes, that’s ideally how it should be, I think.

  5. Crystal, I’m glad you mention the quality of healing that comes with shared sincere and open honesty. I think this is what Larry and eden are alluding to, also. As Larry stated, this manner of confession opens the possiblity of profound “love, forgiveness, affirmation, healing, growth.” And one treasure in this is it not only happens within you, but within those you share with!

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