Catholic apologetics confession

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    It is in Christ and through His blood that we have been redeemed and our sins forgiven.' (Ephesians 1:7)

    Picture Jesus hanging on the cross, blood coming out of His nailed hands and feet, blood dripping down His face from His thorn-crowned head, blood seeping out His shredded back after having been whipped and scourged. One drop of the blood of Jesus can wash away every sin that has, or will be committed. One drop of the blood of Jesus can wash away wars, nuclear bombing, holocausts, abortion, hatred, and racial prejudice. The only thing that can keep our sins from being forgiven is our refusal to repent and confess them.

    Being a Catholic is an honor for our faith is filled with many graces through the sacraments.

    We only need to gaze upon the cross and we know what gifts are bestowed upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.
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  • Heavenly Father,

    We gather together in your name to discuss one of your most precious sacraments. That being the sacrament of reconciliation otherwise know as Confession. Holy Spirit Create in us a clean heart and renew a life spirit within us. Holy Mary mother of God, be with us as we speak about the great sacrifice that your Son gave us so that by his death and resurrection that we can find salvation through him and this most holy sacrament. May all the we do be for the Glory of God. Amen.

    Amen
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  • Heavenly Father,We gather together in your name to discuss one of your most precious sacraments. That being the sacrament of reconciliation otherwise know as Confession. Holy Spirit Create in us a clean heart and renew a life spirit within us. Holy Mary mother of God, be with us as we speak about the great sacrifice that your Son gave us so that by his death and resurrection that we can find salvation through him and this most holy sacrament. May all the we do be for the Glory of God. Amen.Amen
  • "It is in Christ and through His blood that we have been redeemed and our sins forgiven." (Ephesians 1:7)Picture Jesus hanging on the cross, blood coming out of His nailed hands and feet, blood dripping down His face from His thorn-crowned head, blood seeping out His shredded back after having been whipped and scourged. One drop of the blood of Jesus can wash away every sin that has, or will be committed. One drop of the blood of Jesus can wash away wars, nuclear bombing, holocausts, abortion, hatred, and racial prejudice. The only thing that can keep our sins from being forgiven is our refusal to repent and confess them. Being a Catholic is an honor for our faith is filled with many graces through the sacraments. We only need to gaze upon the cross and we know what gifts are bestowed upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.
  • The Catholic Church insists upon one thing… Penitence. Beyond that, the Church will have nothing but tenderness for the sinner, she know that we are dust. Ronald Knox from the Book of Catholics. Perhaps the most common objection to confession is based on a misunderstanding; many non-Catholics feel that the power to forgive sins exists in the priest as a human being and that Catholics are not asking for or receiving forgiveness from God. The teaching of the Catholic Church is that it is God who forgives the sins via the sacrament. The priest is acting in alter Christi (that is, as Christ) to forgive the sins.
  • Virtually all Protestants deny that Christ Gave His Disciples the power to forgive sins. To discuss the sacrament of confession, well you need to know John 20:19-23.“On the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were for fears of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them , “Peace be with you” and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filed with joy when the saw the Lord, and he said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.” After saying this he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit, For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those who sins you retain,, they are retained” thus the apostles received the gift of the Holy Spirit and it was bestowed upon them to have the ability to forgive sins just as Jesus did. And through Apostolic Succession this gifts is passed on to the catholic priests, bishops, and cardinals of the world.
  • Ask Protestants to think about these powerful symbols and how they signify an awesome life-giving power given to the Disciples. Protestants say that they confess their sins to God while Catholics confess their sins only to priests. WRONG! Catholics always confess their sins before God. They do it directly as well as though His ministers because that is what God requires, as clearly taught in scriptureJesus bestowed on the disciples the power to forgive sins. Significant because of the connection with the Resurrection with Spiritual by breathing on the Apostles.The only other time God breathed on anyone was when He breathed life into the first human being in Gen 2:7Jesus gave the disciples the authority to forgive, and not to forgive.A priest has to hear the sin in order to know whether to forgive them or hold them bound. The power to forgive was 2-fold, to forgive or not to forgive so thus the apostles did not know of the sins of the confessor unless they were first told the sin by the sinner. This implies confession. Secondly, their authority was not merely to proclaim that God had already forgiven sins or that he would forgive sins if there was proper repentance. Christ said, “Go out and sin no more!” Some protestants would presume that if you sin you are freely forgiven by God’s grace. But what were those words that Jesus proclaimed? “Go out and sin no more!”If God had already forgiven all of man’s sins or will forgive them all, past or future, on a single act of repentance, then it makes little sense to tell the apostles that they have the power to “retain sins”, since forgiveness would be an all or nothing thing and nothing could be “retained” If forgiveness can be partial, how is one to tell which sins have been forgiven, which not, in the absence of a priestly decision? The scriptures that I have quoted make sense, they fit together, only if the apostles and their successors were given a real authority.Penance was instituted by Christ after the resurrection when he breathed on the disciples and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (John 20:23). Matthew 16:15-20 also mentions a similar theme where Jesus gives Peter the keys and the authority to bind and loose. The book of James gives witness to the early form of public confession, as well as to its healing power (James 5:13-18).Yes, that's right. In the early Church, confession and penance were very public affairs. A person, after committing a grave sin, would ask the bishop for penance and would publicly live the life of a penitent (in an order of penitents), meaning exclusion from communion, as well as a strict course of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. After this period, sometimes lasting years, the person was forgiven and allowed to return to normal Christian life. However, there were limitations. For example, this could only be done once in a lifetime. This system had obvious drawbacks, especially when more and more people became baptized after Christianity became legal under Constantine. A new way of celebrating this Sacrament came to us from the Celtic (or possibly Anglo-Saxon) peoples.The monks of the British Isles had a system that lacked both an order of penitents and the requirement of only one penance in a lifetime. They also allowed the sin itself to be kept secret. However, like the methods of the continental and Eastern Church, penance was still public, long, and absolution came only at the end. At some point, confessors started issuing absolution in advance, that is, before the penance was fulfilled. Thus, at this point, we have the beginnings of the current celebration of the Sacrament: confession, absolution, and then doing the penance.Formally, the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) enjoined this method of confession and made it mandatory for Catholics to do at least once a year. The councils of Florence (1431-1439) and Trent (1545-1463) more precisely defined the nature of Reconciliation, even though the practice goes back to the earliest days of the Church and Jesus himself. The emphasis of the Sacrament was expanded with the Second Vatican Council, which emphasized reconciliation and amendment of life and allowed the option of public services of penance (but these must always include auricular (meaning private) confession). However, the basic theology behind the Sacrament has remained the same, namely reconciliation with God.
  • Penance was instituted by Christ after the resurrection when he breathed on the disciples and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (John 20:23). Matthew 16:15-20 also mentions a similar theme where Jesus gives Peter the keys and the authority to bind and loose. The book of James gives witness to the early form of public confession, as well as to its healing power (James 5:13-18).Yes, that's right. In the early Church, confession and penance were very public affairs. A person, after committing a grave sin, would ask the bishop for penance and would publicly live the life of a penitent (in an order of penitents), meaning exclusion from communion, as well as a strict course of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. After this period, sometimes lasting years, the person was forgiven and allowed to return to normal Christian life. However, there were limitations. For example, this could only be done once in a lifetime. This system had obvious drawbacks, especially when more and more people became baptized after Christianity became legal under Constantine. A new way of celebrating this Sacrament came to us from the Celtic (or possibly Anglo-Saxon) peoples.The monks of the British Isles had a system that lacked both an order of penitents and the requirement of only one penance in a lifetime. They also allowed the sin itself to be kept secret. However, like the methods of the continental and Eastern Church, penance was still public, long, and absolution came only at the end. At some point, confessors started issuing absolution in advance, that is, before the penance was fulfilled. Thus, at this point, we have the beginnings of the current celebration of the Sacrament: confession, absolution, and then doing the penance.
  • Matthew Kelly, author of Rediscover Catholicism states that many protestants have asked him why he puts Confession as the first pillar. He basis this on the scriptures in Matthew. In Matt 3:2 it says, “Repent, prepare the way of the Lord” Later, when Jesus begins his ministry, he led with this message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” Matt 4:17. Repent is a powerful word! But what does it mean for you and me? Many Christians go through a time when we turn our back on God. Have you not at some point in your life turned your back on Him? The beautiful part is that although we sin our Heavenly Father loves us so much that he gave us the two of the greatest gifts in the world. That is of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus allows for us to be set free of our sins and lay them at the foot of the cross. The next greatest thing that is given to us is the gift of reconciliation. He loved us into existence and he is awaiting for us to come to him and give him our all and we get a great surprise when we come to him to confess our sins through the intercession of priests during the sacrament of reconciliation. I can remember as a child that confession was closed and you hid behind a screen and for some reason this was confusing for me as I wondered why do I have to hide my face in shame when I confess my sins? As my children grew up and learned about the Catholic faith the sacrament of confession became more opened and depicted a Merciful father. My children were taught to speak in front of the priest and they did so openly. The first time I did open confession it was not what I expected. It was a beautiful experience. Recently during this Lenten season our diocese offered a Wednesday night confession schedule from 5-8 and a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go with her and we went to St. Luke's. My friend stated that she had never gone to confession in an open fashion. I encouraged her to do so. When she was finished she said it was a wonderful experience to be in front of the priest. It was unlike anything she had experienced in the past. I also went to confession and the beautiful part was at the end when the priest absolves you I was mesmerized by the words that he used “ ;and as he was giving me my penance I had a great affirmation when he told me to say two rosaries and as I prayed it to envision our Holy Mother,, Mary holding me in her arms and protecting me with her mantel of love. It amazed me as I had a dream about our Holy Mother the night before. Truly, the Holy Spirit was there and had made a profound connection with Fr. Wallace and myself.
  • The priest is the minister of forgiveness, which is one part of the process of reconciliation. The Lord has delegated the priest to forgive in His name and on behalf of His body, the Church, but all of us have an important part in the larger ministry of reconciliation. When many parts of Christ's body minister reconciliation, we see many life-changing confessions.As Catholics the community of faith sustains us for we as a whole are the body of the church. Protestants would suffice to say that “I tell my sins directly to God and I have salvation just because He died for us. But what is missing is the human element of fellowship and love that you find in union with Christ through the Priest who also can guide you spiritually and emotionally. There are several steps in the process of reconciliation. These steps build on one another. The priestly ministry of forgiveness is in the middle of the reconciliation process. The lay person's ministry of reconciliation both precedes and follows the priestly ministry of forgiveness. Without the layperson's ministry of reconciliation, few people will receive the priest's ministry of forgiveness, and confession will not be completed by healing and freedom from guilt.We confess our sins to a priest simply because Jesus said so. He gave the apostles authority to forgive sins in His name. (Jn 20:23) The Apostles were ambassadors of Christ’s work in reconciliation They shared in the ministry of Christ and forgave sins in His name. Paul states in 2 Corinthian's 15-18 that This gift was not to be used as being form themselves, but as being from Christ, who has reconciled us to himself, and allowed us to minister this reconciliation of his to others. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 the following, “k So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.18* And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation,19namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation's20So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God21* For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,n so that we might become the righteousness of God in him God, of course, does all the forgiving and all the healing, teaching, counseling, feeding, etc. Everything good is done by God's power, but He often works through people, members of the body of Christ, and He has decided to use people as His instruments in teaching, feeding, counseling, etc., and even in forgiving. We are open to God using a person to feed us but when it comes to forgiveness, we are reluctant to involve other people and think we should talk to God alone. But God commands: "Declare your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may find healing." (Jas 5:16)
  • What does it mean to us as Catholics? Why is the Protestant perception so different than ours? First of all we have the authority of the church know as the Magisterium, we also have traditions and the bible. The protestant perspective is that of relying only on the bible for it’s interpretations or beliefs. All pardon for sins comes, ultimately, from Calvary. Many Protestant believe that all of their sins are forgiven at Baptism. As Catholics we believe Baptism removes Original Sin only. The sacrament of baptism was given to take away the sin inherited from Adam. (original sin) and any sins (actual sins. Because they come from their own acts) committed before baptism. For sins committed after baptism, a different sacrament is needed. It has been called penance, confession and reconciliation. Each word emphasizing one of its aspects. Protestants believe that their ministers are used by God as His instruments in the forgiveness of sins through Baptism which they administer.Catholics understand that the Priest is used by God as His Instrument for the forgiveness of sins in 3 sacraments. Confession, Anointing and Baptism. The disagreement is true that most f Fundamentalist do not believe that sins are wiped away through Baptism. However, we as Catholics we can point about that they all believe that God can use their ministers as instruments in His physical healing. Why wouldn’t God do the same for our spiritual healing which is more important.
  • The book of James gives witness to the early form of public confession, as well as to its healing power (James 5:13-18).13 Is anyone among you suffering ? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful ? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick ? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord ; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.Yes, that's right. In the early Church, confession and penance were very public affairs. A person, after committing a grave sin, would ask the bishop for penance and would publicly live the life of a penitent (in an order of penitents), meaning exclusion from communion, as well as a strict course of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. After this period, sometimes lasting years, the person was forgiven and allowed to return to normal Christian life. However, there were limitations. For example, this could only be done once in a lifetime. This system had obvious drawbacks, especially when more and more people became baptized after Christianity became legal under Constantine. A new way of celebrating this Sacrament came to us from the Celtic (or possibly Anglo-Saxon) peoples.So, Biblically, we are to confess our sins not only to God but also to other human beings. But why a priest? A priest represents the family of God, our community, the local body of Christ. We confess our sins to a representative of the Christian family because our sins hurt others in the family, and to be reconciled fully we must ask forgiveness not only of God Whom we have disobeyed and those immediately affected by our sins but also of the church family hurt by our sins. It's impossible to apologize to each and every one, but at least we can talk to a representative of the family and ask forgiveness. Unless we confess our sins to a priest, we feel like there's something missing because there is something missing: reconciliation with the church family.
  • Finally we should return to John 20:21 where it says “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” Think about what is it that the Lord is saying to his Apostles? It means that the Apostles are to continue the mission of Christ. And the essence of that is the forgiveness of sins. Jesus knows our human nature as he was both human and divine. During his life, Jesus forgave sins, as in the case of the women taken with adultery in (Jn 8-11) Mark proclaimed in Chapter 2, verse 10, “He exercised His power as man, “To convince you that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins, while He is on earth”Certainly Jesus gave His disciples the power to forgive sins and that power was passed on, since Christ knew that people would continue to sin until the end of time and most of all Christ gave this power to other men so the Church, which is a continuation of His presence throughout time, would be able to offer forgiveness to future generations.Jesus provided sacramental confession to give us several gifts including Humility, the certainty of forgiveness, Spiritual Direction, help to overcome self-deception and temptation and rationalization in matters of sins. Early Church history confirms that Christians believed this power was passed on on through Apostolic succession. Today priests and bishops serve the official ministry of reconciliations for Jesus.
  • There are many perceived objections to Confession. Today, even Catholics or should I say Cafeteria Catholics, subscribe to Protestant and Evangelic view that they don’t need to confess sins to a priest. But a great spiritual battle often rages when we decide to go to confession. The devil makes a goal-line stand to keep us from victory. He'll remind us of bad experiences in confession, get us worried about what the priest will say, and even try to make us paranoid about someone overhearing our confession. The Church permits confession behind a screen to allay some of these fears. We need to encourage one another as we fight in the spiritual warfare surrounding confession. Many Catholics claim the right to confess directly to God, according to Matthew Kelly, author of Rediscovering Your Catholicism’ his research suggest that unlike our non-Catholic brothers and sisters, Catholics who use this argument tend not be in the habit of confessing directly to God either. Too often it is used to justify a different form of confession, but is really an excuse to avoid confession altogether.Another objection that has been raised is that non-Catholics believe that Confession did not originate from Christian tradition but became practice only when instituted in 1225 at the Fourth Laternal Council. Protestant communities, however, vary widely on their opinion of confession. Likewise, without universally valid apostolic succession, the Catholic Church considers Protestant absolutions to be invalid, at least in an objective sense. Of course, we pray that God forgives all who sincerely call upon him whether Christian or non-Christians. However, the question is largely moot since by and large, Protestantism rejects confession to a priest/minister. Although Martin Luther liked confession and considered it a valid and commendable practice, he made it optional and for all practical purposes it fell out of use among most Lutherans. Anglicans generally rejected auricular confession at the start of their break from the Catholic Church, although it made a comeback with the high church revival known as the Oxford Movement. Today, confession in the Anglican Church is generally rare, due either to evangelical or low-church theology (which sees no need for confession to a priest) or a broad-church teaching that denies the traditional nature of sin.Other Protestant groups, especially the independent groups whose lineage from the Catholic Church is more broken and distant, usually take a position that auricular confession is both unnecessary and generally not useful.
  • Establishing foundation for the sacrament of Confession.Historically we are rich in the teachings of the early church. I will share with you some of those important historical documents. The Didache, (70-110), Ch.4:13You shall confess your offenses in church, and shall not come forward to your prayer with a bold conscience. This is the way of life. All though this first writing is indefinite on the procedure to be used for the forgiveness of sins. The sacrament of penance was clearly in use, but it was not clear in how it was used. Irenaeus understood that it went back to the beginning of the church. Earliest Christian writings - Ist Century The Didache was not clear on the form or procedure to be used for forgiveness of sins. It states that “You shall confess your offenses in church, and shall not come forward to your prayer with a bold conscience. This is the way of life. Tertullian (Rome, 160-220), On Modesty, Ch. 21, ML 2, 1024"But," you say, "the church has the power of forgiving sins." This I acknowledge and adjudge more [than you; I] who have the Paraclete Himself in the persons of the new prophets, saying, "The church has the power to forgive sins“ 2nd Century- Father Irenaeus makes it clear in his writings that the sacrament goes back to the church’s beginning. Tertullian (Rome, 160-220), On Modesty, Ch. 21, ML 2, 1024"But," you say, "the church has the power of forgiving sins." This I acknowledge and adjudge more [than you; I] who have the Paraclete Himself in the persons of the new prophets, saying, "The church has the power to forgive sins"2nd Century- Father Irenaeus makes it clear in his writings that the sacrament goes back to the church’s beginning.
  • Leviticum Homiliae, 244 A.D. Origen refers to the person who “Does not shrink from declaring his sin to a priest of the Lord”251 A.D. In De Lapis, Cyprian writes “Finally, of how much greater faith and more salutary fear are they who confess to the priests in a straightforward manner and in sorrow, making an open declaration of their conscience” Aphraates says in Demonstationes-”If anyone uncovers his wound before you, give him the remedy of repentance. And he that is ashamed to make known his weakness, encourage him so that he will not hide from you. What he has revealed it to you, do not make it public.
  • Formally, the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) enjoined this method of confession and made it mandatory for Catholics to do at least once a year. They had issued a decree to address the lax morals of the time. They specifically defined the already-existing duty to confess one’s sins. To issue an official degree is not the same as “inventing” that sacrament.The councils of Florence (1431-1439) and Trent (1545-1463) more precisely defined the nature of Reconciliation, even though the practice goes back to the earliest days of the Church and Jesus himself. The emphasis of the Sacrament was expanded with the Second Vatican Council, which emphasized reconciliation and amendment of life and allowed the option of public services of penance (but these must always include auricular (meaning private) confession). However, the basic theology behind the Sacrament has remained the same, namely reconciliation with God. But protestants like Loraine Boettner claims that “auricular confession to a priest instead of God was INVENTED in 1215 at the Fourth Laternal Council.The councils of Florence (1431-1439) and Trent (1545-1463) more precisely defined the nature of Reconciliation, even though the practice goes back to the earliest days of the Church and Jesus himself. The emphasis of the Sacrament was expanded with the Second Vatican Council, which emphasized reconciliation and amendment of life and allowed the option of public services of penance (but these must always include auricular (meaning private) confession). However, the basic theology behind the Sacrament has remained the same, namely reconciliation with God.The final canon we will note was Canon twenty-one that required every member of the Church to confess to a priest once a year. In addition, all members were to partake of the Eucharist at Easter and confession was mandatory before the taking of the Eucharist. Failure to observe this canon resulted in being barred from entering a church during a person's lifetime and the denial of a Christian burial at death.
  • The Council of Constance (1414 - 1418)A Christian has the obligation, over and above heartfelt contrition, of confessing to a priest.The Council of Florence (1438-1445)The fourth sacrament is penance.The Council of Trent (1545 - 1563)But our Lord instituted the sacrament of penance notably on the occasion when after his resurrection, he breathed upon his disciples saying: "Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained" (John 20:22). The universal agreement of the Father has always understood that by such a striking action and by clear words the power of remitting and of retaining sins, and of reconciling the faithful who have fallen after baptism was communicated to the apostles and to their legitimate successors; ... Therefore this holy council accepts and approves the true meaning of these words of our Lord and condemns the false interpretation of ... those words
  • Ambrose (Tier, 340-397), On the Holy Spirit, Bk. 3, Ch 18, ML 16, 808See that sins are forgiven through the Holy Spirit. But men make use of their ministry for the forgiveness of sins, they do not exercise the right of any power of their own. For they forgive sins not in their own name but in that of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. They ask, the Godhead gives, the service is of man, the gift is of the Power on high.
  • Jerome (Stridon, 345-419), Letters, No. 14, ML 22, 352Far be it to censure the successors of the apostles, who with holy words consecrate the body of Christ, and who make us Christians. Having the keys of the kingdom of heaven, they judge men to some extent before the day of judgment, and guard the chastity of the Bride of Christ.The ecumenical councils of the Church, the official Magisterium, also attest to the truth of this sacrament.
  • We often don't see ourselves as God sees us and don't forgive ourselves. Our self-image may be distorted as we are hurting, ashamed, and guilt-ridden. God's people must rally to the ministry of reconciliation and bring healing to those who are forgiven, but still under attack. We should minister reconciliation, as the father of the prodigal son did. The prodigal son returned with the words: "I have sinned against God and against you (father); I no longer deserve to be called your son." (Lk 15:21) He confessed his sins, but he felt no good and not worthy to be called a son. The father immediately jumped to the ministry of reconciliation and healing and said: "Quick! Bring out he finest robe and put it on him. Help him respect and forgive himself. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Show him in tangible ways he is loved and respected, not a slave but a free man." We have many prodigal sons and daughters; we need many ministers of reconciliation to love, honor, and heal them.\\
  • But we had to celebrate and rejoice! This brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life. He was lost, and is found." (Luke 15:32)The first time I heard the expression: "Let's celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation," I thought it a peculiar saying. I heard it on one of Father’s Al’s tapes on confession. I heard if from others at the Bible Institute as well as the members of our Saint Anthony Community. Confession parties promote frequent confession since we all like to celebrate. They also give us God's attitude toward reconciliation At first in my life confession did not seem to be a celebration. Going into a dark closet and talking to somebody behind a screen -- what's to celebrate? At times I was fearful but as Fr. Al has taught us that the Devil would deceive us and try to make dialogue with us to feel unworthy and that we should never dialogue with him, instead go to the Priest and openly confess your sins. The priest has a special yet unique job. He not only is our confessor but he is there to lift us up and to guide us spiritually. He through the help of the Lord can help us to become better people, can helps us to come to know that fulfillment of God’s Grace in this sacrament of Reconciliation. And yet the Bible tells us that celebration is the fulfillment of the whole reconciliation process. As people emerge from the confessional, we should not only reach out with healing hands and embrace them, but we also join in the joyful praises of heaven over sinners who repent. We kill the fatted calf; we have a confession party. We put the final touch on life-changing confessions.\\..We do the same when we have communal penance. Joined together in prayer and community in the presence of the Lord, Our Priests and our parish community. What a beautiful gift to behold to see such a celebration of reconciliation among God’s Children.
  • "As long as I would not speak, my bones wasted away with my groaning all the day, and night. Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Then . I said, 'I confess my faults to the Lord.' and You took away the guilt of my sin." (Psalms 32:3-5)The key word being “Confess” According to Karl Keating, author of Catholicism and Fundamentalism-The Attack on Romanism by Bible Christians, he concludes his writing in asking this question?Is the Catholic who confesses his sins to a priest any better off than the non-Catholic who confesses directly to God? Yes. First, he seeks forgiveness the way Christ intended it to be sought. Secondly, by confession to a priest the Catholic learns a lesson in humility, which is conveniently avoided when one confesses only through private prayer. Third, Catholics receive sacramental graces the non-Catholic does not get, through the sacrament of penance not only are sins forgiven; he does not have to rely on a subjective “feeling” Lastly, the Catholic can also obtain sound advise on avoiding sins in the future., while the non-Catholic praying in private remains uninstructed. I see it as Christ could have you decide which sins would be forgiven through private prayer, but He knew the world would grow old before His return. With himself gone, he wanted his followers to know every possible consolation, every possible assurance, every possible help, so he instituted the sacrament through which we are reconciled to God. During his lifetime Christ sent out his followers to do his work. Just before he left this world, he gave the apostles special authority, commissioning them to make God’s forgiveness present to all lands, and to all people, and the whole Christian world accepted this just a few centuries ago. If there was an invention here, it is not the sacrament of penance, but the notion that the priestly forgiveness of sins is not to be found in the Bible or in early Church history, The Great Deceiver would try to trap you into believing this but as a Catholic who truly practices their faith it is both scriptural and in the earliest teachings of the church that this sacrament is exactly what is it.
  • Catholic apologetics confession

    1. 1. Catholic ApologeticsConfessionBy Jean SmithA Presentation Ministries Teaching
    2. 2. "It is in Christ and through His blood that we have been redeemed and our sins forgiven." (Ephesians 1:7
    3. 3. The Church insist upon one thing----- Penitence….
    4. 4. To discuss the sacrament of confession, well you need to know the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed inthe room where the disciples were for fears of the Jews. Jesus came and stoodamong them. He said to them , “Peace be with you” and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filed with joy whenthe saw the Lord, and he said to them again,“Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.”After saying this he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit, For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those who sins you retain,, they are retained” JOHN 20:19-23
    5. 5. Easter Sunday Events1. Jesus bestowed on the disciples the power to forgive sins.2. Significant because of the connection with the Resurrectionwith Spiritual by breathing on the Apostles.3. The only other time God breathed on anyone was when Hebreathed life into the first human being in Gen 2:74. Jesus gave the disciples the authority to forgive, and not toforgive.5. A priest has to hear the sin in order to know whether toforgive them or hold them bound.
    6. 6. Apostolic Succession• Jesus gave the Apostles His authority to forgive in His name• He gave them power to reconcile sinners with the church• Key Scriptural passage. • “I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; what ever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” Mt 16:19 “Bind and Loose” Whoever is excluded from or included anew in communion with the church is excluded or included anew with God Reconciliation with the church and reconciliation with God is inseparable.
    7. 7. • Confession is the first pillar.• Protestant would argue that “You shouldn’t drop Confession on them”• “Repent, prepare the way of the Lord” Mat 3:2• “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand” Mat 4:17• Repent = To turn back to God!!!• The Perfect Gifts Jesus Christ Reconcilation The Seven Pillars of the Catholic Faith
    8. 8. Know 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 • Apostles are ambassadors of Christ ‘s work in reconciliation • Apostles share in the ministry of Christ and forgive sins in His name.Know James 5:13:16The sins of the sick are forgiven in the sacrament of anointingPresbyters must be called , they had power the ordinary Christians did not-The Power to forgive Sins.
    9. 9. Catholic vs. Protestant Beliefs Catholic Protestant• Magisterium • Sola Scriptura• Original Sin is forgiven at • All sins are wiped out at baptism. Baptism• Grace is administered through • Grace is freely given the sacraments • Ministers are used by• Priests is used by God as His God as His instruments instrument for the forgiveness in the forgiveness of sins of sins in three sacraments through Baptism which Confession, Anointing, Baptism. they administer.
    10. 10. Return to John 20:21• “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” Jn 20:21• Apostles appointed to continue the mission of Christ.• Essence of Mission- The forgiveness of sins• Jesus knows our human nature as he was both human and divine.• Christ provided sacramental confession to give us many important gifts • Humility, • The certainty of Forgiveness, • Spiritual Direction • Help to overcome self-deception and temptation • Rationalization in matters of sin
    11. 11. Common Objections to Confession Protestant or Cafeteria Catholics Anglican View • Pick and chose what they • Claims that Confession will act upon was only instituted in • Will only confess is it is a grave sin 1215 at the Fourth • Only will confess to God Laternal Council • Protests that “But the Priest knows me, what will he think of me?” • Not a part of Christian tradition from its inception.
    12. 12. Establishing foundation for thesacrament of ConfessionEarliest Christian writings - Ist Century The Didache was not clear on the form orprocedure to be used for forgiveness of sins. It states that “Youshall confess your offenses in church, and shall come forward toyour prayer with a bold conscience. This is the way of life.Tertullian (Rome, 160-220), On Modesty, Ch. 21, ML 2, 1024"But," you say, "the church has the power of forgiving sins." ThisI acknowledge and adjudge more [than you; I] who have theParaclete Himself in the persons of the newprophets, saying, "The church has the power to forgive sins“ 2nd Century- Father Irenaeus makes it clear in his writings thatthe sacrament goes back to the church’s beginning.
    13. 13. 3rd & 4th Century- Origen, Cyprian and Aphraates clarify that confession needs to be made to a priest . Leviticum Homiliae, 244 A.D. Origen refers to the person who“Does not shrink from declaring his sin to a priest of the Lord”• 251 A.D. In De Lapis, Cyprian writes “Finally, of how much greater faith and more salutary fear are they who confess to the priests in a straightforward manner and in sorrow, making an open declaration of their conscience”• Aphraates says in Demonstationes-”If anyone uncovers his wound before you, give him the remedy of repentance. And he that is ashamed to make known his weakness, encourage him so that he will not hide from you. What he has revealed it to you, do not make it public.
    14. 14. Fourth Lateran Council 1215• Final Canon XXICanon 21, the famous "Omnis utriusque sexus", whichcommands every Christian who has reached the years ofdiscretion to confess all his, or her, sins at least once a year tohis, or her, own (i.e. parish) priest. This canon did no more thanconfirm earlier legislation and custom, and has been often butwrongly, quoted as commanding for the first time the use ofsacramental confession.
    15. 15. Proclamations of Councils• The Council of Constance (1414 - 1418)• A Christian has the obligation, over and above heartfelt contrition, of confessing to a priest..• The Council of Florence (1438-1445) The fourth sacrament is penance.• The Council of Trent (1545 - 1563)• But our Lord instituted the sacrament of penance notably on the occasion when after his resurrection, he breathed upon his disciples saying: "Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained" (John 20:22). The universal agreement of the Father has always understood that by such a striking action and by clear words the power of remitting and of retaining sins, and of reconciling the faithful who have fallen after baptism was communicated to the apostles and to their legitimate successors; ... Therefore this holy council accepts and approves the true meaning of these words of our Lord and condemns the false interpretation of ... those words
    16. 16. St. Ambrose 340-397• Ambrose (Tier, 340-397), On the Holy Spirit, Bk. 3, Ch 18, ML 16, 808. See that sins are forgiven through the Holy Spirit. But men make use of their ministry for the forgiveness of sins, they do not exercise the right of any power of their own. For they forgive sins not in their own name but in that of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. They ask, the Godhead gives, the service is of man, the gift is of the Power on high.
    17. 17. St. Jerome• Jerome (Stridon, 345- 419), Letters, No. 14, ML 22, 352• Far be it to censure the successors of the apostles, who with holy words consecrate the body of Christ, and who make us Christians. Having the keys of the kingdom of heaven, they judge men to some extent before the day of judgment, and guard the chastity of the Bride of Christ.• The ecumenical councils of the Church, the official Magisterium, also attest to the truth of this sacrament.
    18. 18. LET’S CELEBRATE THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION HAVE A CONFESSION PARTY!
    19. 19. P

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