When I was growing up, Saturday night looked liked this. After dinner we watch an old TV series called Combat. Right after Combat, we went to confession. After confession, we hurried home to watch Sea Hunt.
We went to confession every two weeks, all of us, Mom, Dad, my brother and me.
What happened? How did people loose their sense of sin? How did people loose their understanding that sin is not a private event? Sin, even in its smallest form is public. When you inflict pain, even upon yourself, you inflict pain on everyone who is in communion with Christ.
How did we ever forget that only a priest could forgive serious sin, mortal sin? You know, in the early days of Christianity, if a person wanted to confess their sins, they stood up here in front of everyone. That didn’t last long. It was the Irish monks who cut a hole in their monastery wall and allowed people to confess to priest as a representative both of the People of God and of Christ. The silence of the monk, which we now call the seal of confession, gave complete anonymity to the sacrament.
I worry now, as one who sits there in the middle about you going to confession. I don’t see any children at all. I am afraid they will loose their faith in the sacraments and have no way to Jesus. I wonder whether or not I am living in a parish of all saints or is everyone going to other parishes for confession?
I am afraid that you are loosing an understanding of confession as a sacrament of resurrection. Jesus, when He rose from the dead, walked through the door of the Upper Room and said, “Whatever sins you forgive, are forgiven them.” Confession is the sign of resurrection, of new life, of hope for salvation!
I am asking you this week, to consider your confessional practice; the confessional practice of your children.
When we think about the lost sheep, we have to acknowledge there is some movement, some willingness on the part of the sheep to be lifted up by the Shepherd. This is Confession, our willingness to abandon our pride and be willing to be lifted up by the Shepherd and be brought back to the fold.
Think about it please and do something for the love of Jesus.