The preeminent priest psychologist, Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti has stated and I quote, "...There is, in our day and in many places, a declining sense of the spiritual. Focused on the many valid needs of the present but accepting only what our sense tell us, our society has little room for spiritual realities and spiritual truths. In our day, God is not so much disbelieved by many as ignored. And thus spiritual realities fade into obscurity."
He continues, "For example, there are many, even some believers, who do not acknowledge the existence of a "hell." However, when we lose this truth, we also lose an awareness of the devastation of sin and what its real consequences are. If we had but an inkling of this devastation, we would flee it with horror. Hell is real and it shows us what life becomes when we cut ourselves off from God. If we lose an awareness of the possibility of hell, we lose an awareness of the power of human freedom and choice.
He continues, "When (Catholics) fall into double lives, inured in serious sin, they increasingly cut themselves off from God. They become miserable, and they begin to descend into "hell." "...Sin destroys our journey into God and thus our journey into joy."
I believe that Pope Benedict has stated that our confessional lines should be as long as our Communion lines. But alas this is not the case. When we don't acknowledge hell, why the hell should we acknowledge sin? And if we don't acknowledge sin, why go to confession?
I suspect many people do acknowledge their sin and privately ask God for forgiveness, but I am certain that many people are totally oblivious to their sin and yet present themselves for Holy Communion even when they have not set foot in a Church except for Christmas and Easter or a funeral or wedding Mass.
How is it that a Catholic politician can proclaim to be pro-choice which is tantamount to enabling infanticide and yet believes they have every right to go to Holy Communion? Their descent into hell is so consuming they have no eyes to see the sin before them and the distance they create between them and God by their arrogance.
Let me conclude with another quote from Msgr. Rossetti:
In the Sacrament of Penance, "this direct encounter with our merciful God, although admittedly difficult when done with a rigorous honesty, invariably leads us one step further into God and thus into his joy. The effects of sin impede God's presence and his joy. And when we discover the joy this sacrament brings for ourselves, we will desire to share this graced encounter with (others), just as God desires it for us."
"Sin destroys our journey into God and thus our journey into joy. Contrary to the demonic message of our time, it is sin that makes us miserable and joyless."
All quotes from "Our Journey into Joy" by Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti