Pope Francis: ‘Be Courageous, and Go to Confession’

Oh my, is this wonderful, or not?

“Don’t be afraid of confession,” Pope Francis stressed. “When someone is in line for confession, he feels all these things, even shame; but then, when he finishes confessing, he leaves (feeling) free, great, beautiful, forgiven, clean, happy.”

Pope Francis: ‘Be Courageous, and Go to Confession’

The Holy Father spoke of the healing available in the sacrament of reconciliation at his Feb. 19 audience: ‘Forgiveness is not a result of our efforts, but is a gift. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who showers us with mercy and grace that pours forth unceasingly from the open heart of Christ, crucified and risen.’

by CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY 02/19/2014

VATICAN CITY — During his Wednesday audience on Feb. 19, Pope Francis encouraged the pilgrims filling St. Peter’s Square to receive the sacrament of reconciliation.
“Everyone say to himself: ‘When was the last time I went to confession?’ And if it has been a long time, don’t lose another day. Go, the priest will be good. And Jesus, (will be) there, and Jesus is better than the priests. Jesus receives you: He will receive you with so much love.”
“Be courageous, and go to confession,” urged the Pope.
Acknowledging a popular objection to the sacrament, Pope Francis noted, “Someone can say, ‘I confess my sins only to God.’ Yes, you can say to God, ‘Forgive me,’ and say your sins. But our sins are also against our brothers, against the Church. This is is why it is necessary to ask forgiveness of the Church and of our brothers, in the person of the priest.”
“While the celebration of the sacrament is personal, it is rooted in the universality of the Church,” which “accompanies us on the path of conversion,” he explained.
“Forgiveness is not something we can give ourselves,” cautioned the Pope. “One asks forgiveness; one asks it of another person, and in confession, we ask forgiveness from Jesus.”
“Forgiveness is not a result of our efforts, but is a gift. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who showers us with mercy and grace that pours forth unceasingly from the open heart of Christ, crucified and risen.”
The Pope went on to recognize that many people feel ashamed at the idea of confessing their sins and might say, “But Father, I am embarrased.”
“Even embarrassment is good. It’s healthy to have a bit of shame. … It does us good, because it makes us more humble.”
“Don’t be afraid of confession,” Pope Francis stressed. “When someone is in line for confession, he feels all these things, even shame; but then, when he finishes confessing, he leaves (feeling) free, great, beautiful, forgiven, clean, happy.”
“The sacrament of reconciliation is a sacrament of healing,” he pointed out.
“When I go to confession, it’s for healing: healing the soul, healing the heart, because of something that I did to make it unwell.”
The Pope pointed to the biblical story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man, which expresses the “profound link” between “forgiveness and healing,” since “the Lord Jesus is revealed at the same time as the physician of soul and body.”
He also recounted the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who sought his father’s forgiveness and was welcomed home with open arms.
“But I say to you,” he stressed to the many pilgrims, “every time we go to confession, God embraces us.”

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Comments

  • Jim Bowman  On 02/19/2014 at 1:14 pm

    Reblogged this on Diary of a Catholic Reader.

  • George Kocan  On 02/19/2014 at 2:52 pm

    I do not think that the Pope had American Catholics in mind. Very few go to confession, from what I have seen. That is because American Catholics are fundamentally good people. They have lost the capacity for sin. When I visited Poland a few years ago, I saw long lines for confession–at least an hour’s wait. Obviously, Polish people need confession. They sin a lot, not like American people.

    • Jim Bowman  On 02/19/2014 at 7:54 pm

      in the late ’70s or early ’80s, I wrote in Natl. Catholic Reporter about the unsung miracle of Vatican 2: it had abolished mortal sin. This I knew from seeing everyone go to communion.

  • Edward Sinclair  On 02/19/2014 at 4:11 pm

    It is written that we only have to confess our sin to The FATHER which is in heaven, and NOT to a FALSE father which is in earth.

    • George Kocan  On 02/19/2014 at 4:26 pm

      Yeah, you can interpret the Bible anyway you want.

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