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When was the Last Time You Went to Confession? Part 2

The Sacred Heart Appearances

Gradually, Jansenism took hold.  Out of fear, people stayed away from Holy Communion.  They thought that they gave God glory by fearing Him and staying far from Him.  Jesus reversed this distancing by the Sacred Heart apparitions.   St. Francis de Sales founded the Visitation Sisters to whom he gave a love for the Sacred Heart. Therefore, Jesus chose to appear to a Visitation nun, St. Margaret Mary.  He revealed his heart aflame with love and He wanted an image of his heart in every home (which he promised to bless).  Jesus also asked that every Catholic receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of every month.  If a Catholic fulfilled these nine First Fridays, Jesus promised that the person would not die without the sacraments.  This began to turn the tide against Jansenism.
By knowing our history, we can reclaim the gift.

When some particle enters our eyes, we use our hands to remove it.  When some evil enters our hearts, God gave us our tongue to remove it.  Good parents always teach their children to say “I’m sorry”.  These words can erase a selfish action and restore peace.

How often we offend God, in little ways and big ways.  These sins collect in our hearts which they entered by our free decision.  Do they just leave naturally?  Not at all.  We must use our tongue to free our heart.  We must say “I’m sorry” to regain peace. We do that in confession.

The big stumbling block to confession is telling our sins to the priest.  Look at it this way.  If a child disobeys his parents, is it enough for him to go to his room and say, “I’m sorry”, or to tell a playmate what he did.  Not at all. He can only receive pardon from his parents.

For all our sins, we must seek forgiveness from God.   He is the only one with real authority to set us free, to say “I forgive you”.  We do this in confession.
The Catholic (and the Orthodox) Church asks that a person confess their sins to a priest who can absolve the person. People complain, “I want to tell my sins directly to God.”  (In reality, how many even do this much?)  Certainly all forgiveness begins with asking God’s pardon but the forgiveness is completed as the person goes to confession.
Why do I need the priest?  In human life, we often need other people.  Did you come to earth by yourself?  Were you baptized by yourself?  Can you receive Communion without the priest saying mass? The Church is God’s great gift (just like our family), doing for us what we can never do by ourselves.

Next week, I’ll speak of the great benefits of speaking to a priest.  These graces are lost entirely if we avoid confession.

From a very holy priest.

Please do forward these Spiritual Gems to your Catholic friends.

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God Bless you and your work,
    Anthony Mullen
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