Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Do You Need a "Lifelong Confession?"

Honestly, I've never even heard of a "Lifelong Confession" except in the context of someone entering the Catholic faith as an adult. But, this article which appeared on Catholic Mom today got me thinking: Do You Need a Lifelong Confession?

Monica McConkey writes of not feeling forgiven for some of the sins in her past, even though she had been to confession. Her spiritual director, who is also her confessor, suggested that she consider making a lifelong confession.

I have always heard that if you don't feel forgiven for something that you have already confessed, then that is an error on our part - that our pride is getting in the way of our belief that God has forgiven us. (The fact that we have been forgiven, however, doesn't mean that we don't have to suffer the consequences of our sins which can be long-lasting). The fact that it was a priest who suggested this to her obviously leads me to give the idea more consideration.

There are times when sins continue to weigh on us, long after they have been committed. There are also times, when, for whatever reason, we can't be as sorry as we might hope for when we confess our sins. Sometimes, it can take years to reach that point where we are truly sorry for the sins we have committed in our past. Still, I do believe that God takes our imperfect sorrow into account when we confess. God can heal our imperfections.

But, if someone is truly burdened with guilt, I can understand how a lifelong confession could be a good thing - it's an opportunity to lay all of one's sins down at the feet of our Lord. I can certainly understand how the author felt a tremendous burden was lifted when she received absolution. I think most of us have had that experience in confession at one time or another - when you've done something really wrong and you are so very sorry and then you are forgiven and it feels like the world has been lifted off of your shoulders and you are wrapped in God's love and forgiveness and grace. It is truly a beautiful thing.

In any event, if you feel burdened by guilt from the sins of your past. I encourage you to read the article to see if it is something you think you might benefit from.

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