While Catholics are required to go for confession, the Church urges the faithful to take advantage of the sacrament often since, by doing so, grace can be restored in their souls and they can once again resist sin. Anyone who has committed a serious sin should not delay in going to receive forgiveness from God and guidance on how to live a more virtuous life.
Only a priest can give you absolution for your sins, but anyone including priests can hear your confession. During prayer, the priest will help you examine your soul and lead you toward a better understanding of God's wishes for it. He will also advise you on how to avoid sin in the future. Before hearing your confession, the priest will anoint you with oil to symbolize the cleansing of your soul that only comes through Jesus Christ. After hearing your confession, he will bless you with absolution for your sins.
You must tell the truth during your confession. If you lie, even about small things, you can't expect your priest to trust you when you need him most.
Your priest cannot release you from your obligation to attend Mass regularly or any other duty that you may have been given. However difficult your situation, you must still attend church at least occasionally.
A priest cannot grant amnesty for sin.
According to the Catholic Church, the purpose of this sacrament is to provide soul healing as well as to reclaim God's grace that has been lost due to sin. If the penitent has no fatal sins to confess, the offender may also confess venial sins. Venial sins are smaller offenses than mortal sins, but if not confessed can lead up to mortification.
Confession is needed for three reasons: to restore peace of mind; to remove sins that block God's love; and to receive God's forgiveness and his blessings in return.
Peace of mind is important because sin causes sorrow, and when one admits their wrongdoings to a priest they are helping themselves and others by not adding more guilt to their soul. Sin also keeps God away, so by going to confession you are opening yourself up to be connected with him again and receiving his mercy.
The priest does not judge your sins, but rather he provides a way for you to address them. He may suggest ways in which you can change your behavior to avoid future sins, such as making a promise to conduct yourself in a certain manner or avoiding situations that might cause you to act out your sinful desires.
If you have committed serious sins, the priest will explain what penance means for you. Penance is an action you take to express your remorse for your sins and ask God for forgiveness.
The act of confession is important because it allows Roman Catholics to put things right with God and to know that they have been forgiven. Only God, according to the Roman Catholic Church, can forgive sin. But as Christ's successors and representatives, priests have been given the power to pass on that forgiveness. In fact, unless one goes to confession immediately after committing a serious sin, it has been suggested that someone who does not do so regularly may be avoiding the sacrament.
According to the Roman Catholic Church, only a priest can grant absolution from sins through the sacrament of confession. However, any baptized Christian (including deacons) can hear confessions from a priest. They are also allowed to anoint people with oil and pray for them if they need to.
In addition to receiving absolution for their own sins, those who go to confession may come away with advice for changing certain behaviors or improving their relationship with God. Although priests cannot change the facts of history, they can influence the future by praying for the person seeking forgiveness.
People sometimes ask why absolution needs to be received in confession instead of just before God in prayer. The reason is that when you talk to a priest he represents God speaking to you. Therefore, priests must follow the rules set out by God in order to carry out this mission successfully. One such rule is that absolution should only be granted in the confessional.
People go to confession in the Roman Catholic Church to express sorry for the wrongs (sin) in their life and to experience God's healing through forgiveness. Confession also allows for reconciliation with the Church, which has been harmed by the sins that people commit. However, our relationship with Him is enhanced by going to a priest for advice and guidance on how to live a more virtuous life and receive prayers for salvation.
In addition to receiving absolution for their sins, those who go to confession understand that they are submitting themselves to a process by which they will be healed of their faults and return to communion with God. During this process, the priest encourages them to change their ways and lead a better life so that they may grow in sanctity and achieve eternal life in heaven when they die.
God speaks to us through the sacraments. The sacrament of confession reveals to us His loving desire to heal our souls through prayer and provide us with the strength we need to change our lives for the better. It helps us deal with the issues that prevent us from living out God's call in our lives.
During confession, the priest does not judge you; instead, he or she guides you through the process of healing by listening to your concerns and questions and by offering appropriate solutions. By accepting this gift from God, we strengthen our relationship with Him and are freed up to focus on changing ourselves and our lives for the better.