In about two hours I'll be hearing confessions. What we do each Saturday from 3:00 PM until 4:00 PM is rather unique and really befuddles our Protestant brothers and sisters. Just imagine, people lining up to tell the priest their sins and it won't be broadcast on Oprah or Jerry Springer. It seems that the vast majority of people in our American culture prefer the public confession of sin, not through contrite repentance, but rather as bragging rights in this new form of exhibitionism.
Yet, in the dark secret chamber of the confessional (actually ours is bright and cheerful)people confess their sins for only God to hear through the person of the priest who represents Jesus Christ the High Priest and one Mediator between God and man. I suspect if we had a reality television show and just had the camera and microphone set-up in the confessional, we'd get a lot more people going if they could have their 2 minutes of fame on TV. I take that back, Catholics would never do that and certainly priests wouldn't allow it, although the money made could add to the building fund.
Confession is good for the soul. Repentance is necessary and a firm purpose of amendment. Yet I know that many people struggle with habitual sins and I urge them to come to confession as frequently as possible and not delay to the day that they believe they have conquered that sin, because you know what, we can't conquer that sin or any sin apart from God and His loving embrace in the Sacrament of Penance.
I hope to see you in confession and if you don't want to be seen, then go behind the screen. No one wants to humiliate you and put you on TV like they do on Jerry Springer and Oprah.
This reminds me of a good joke Father, but the subject is too important so I shall spare you and your followers.
Confession is my favorite sacrament right after the Eucharist, and you can't have one without the other.
It's helpful that you mentioned that one need not have conqured a sin before taking it to the confessional.
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