Posted July 12, 2011
Book: Catholic Update Guide To Confession
Author: Mary Carol Kendzia
St. Anthony Press. Cincinnati, OH. 2011. pp. 45
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
Have you been to confession lately? What keeps you from going? The experts in this book know a few of those reasons and offer step-by-step guides to participating in the sacrament as well as tips to make the experience more meaningful --- and a regular part of your Catholic life.
Drawing on the trusted and popular Catholic Update newsletter, the Catholic Update Guide to Confession will answer your questions about confession. Whether you’re new to the Church or just becoming reacquainted with the sacrament, this guide will give you the tools you need to approach confession with less fear, more confidence, and renewed enthusiasm.
An Excerpt from the Book:
First Need: To “get it all out” to another human being
A long time ago the wise psalmist wrote:
While I kept silence, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me:
My strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
And I did not hide my iniquity.
I said “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:3-5
Obviously, one can say that this refers to confession to God. But it also expresses a human experience we all have had. As Archbishop Jozel Tomko of Czechoslovakia put it rather simply, “A person has an interior need to open his or her soul to another.”
This is one of many cases where it is no good for man or woman to be alone.
Joy and love and hope have to be shared, guilt and despair have to be shared, or they will fester into serious diseases of the spirit. We need another person to understand what we are feeling, to have compassion, “suffering-with.” Then we can face up to the decision we already know we must make.
The sacrament of reconciliation isn’t the only way we can do this of course. The Bible says, “Confess your sins to one another.” If you can find a better ear (and heart) than that of the priest in the confessional, you will do well to share your heart with that person, too. But we do have to unburden ourselves to somebody. (If you have no unburdening to do, set up a soapbox and tell everybody how you’ve managed that. You’ll make millions.)
Table of Contents:
What is confession?
Why do we go to confession?
How do we go to confession?
An examination of conscience
An act of contrition