Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yet another reason Catholics go to Reconciliation...

...is it’s the best option available.

Many folks see little or no difference between confessing sins to a priest and confessing sins in prayer at home. However, I think this betrays a lack of understanding of what sin and forgiveness are.

When we see sin as “breaking a rule” and forgiveness as “God saying ‘That’s ok’” then I suppose there isn’t much difference between confessing to a priest and sitting on your couch. But that view is very different from seeing sin as “betraying a dear friend” and forgiveness as “reconciling our relationship and growing stronger through the experience”. When we think in context of relationship we can easily see there’s a vast difference in how we seek reconciliation.

If you betray a close friend, do you apologize over Facebook? Do you send a text message with poorly spelled words and illogical abbreviations? I don’t suggest it.

Imagine your friend lets you know that at 3:00 in the afternoon every Saturday he will sit in a little room and wait for you just in case you wanted to stop by and apologize. What if your friend made it perfectly clear that he would immediately forgive you and welcome you back into his friendship? Would you sit on the sofa, pick up the phone, and give him a call or would you make the effort to go meet him? Either option may work legalistically but which is better for the relationship?

God will forgive our (venial) sins whenever and wherever we ask and we should ask for forgiveness regularly. However, what’s the best way? Jesus, in the person of the priest, makes himself extremely available for you to meet him face-to-face to become reconciled to him; why would we want to do it any other way?

This is yet another reason Catholics go to Reconciliation.

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