Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Our Need for Confession

This column by Fr. Ron Rolheiser ran in our Catholic Herald. He describes the steep decline in Catholics going to confession.
There's a sad irony in this: People are beginning to neglect the practice of confession just when, for the first time, we are learning from the experience of the therapeutic community that, for some things, there is no help, and there can be no help, outside of a searingly honest and detailed telling of our sins, addictions, fantasies, and foibles to another human being.

Strangely, there's no indication it ever crossed the collective mind of the therapeutic community that it might have something to learn from the Church's experience with confession.
An honest confession is a non-negotiable step in any healing process. What healing programs have discovered - just when so many of us inside church circles are forgetting it - is that, good as it is, it's not enough just to be contrite silently in our hearts. Full healing can only take place when we express that contrition not just to God in the secret recesses of the soul, but when we also speak it out, and in detail, to another human being.

Let's not forget our third mode of confession, in the long form Penitential Rite (Confiteor) at Mass.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Dad29 said...

IMHO, about 2/3rds of "My Name Is Charlotte Simmons" is about the Prot's need for the Sacrament of Reconciliation--or perhaps it's about the need of the author.

Whichever.

1:50 PM  
Blogger TS said...

It's almost funny how what drives everything is whether it's therapeutic. That Confession is scriptural and the constant practice of the Church is unconvincing, but lo & behold if it helps people in a visible way than hey we gotta take this Confession thing here seriously...

9:27 PM  

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