It must be something they are teaching seminarians these days. A new graduation requirement -- a course on how to keep parishioners coming back to confession.
I try to make it to confession at least once a month. I think that's good for me right now since many times I have to plan in advance to have someone watch the kids. However, in the back of my head, I still hear my father's voice prodding me to go every two weeks. I've never been able to make it to confession with that regularity.
What is a little off-putting is to tell the priest my confession and have him tell me it was "a good confession."
I never used to hear this from the priests at my parish. Like many folks, I tend to, sadly, confess the same habitual sins each month with little variation. I do try to do a good examination of my conscience, but by and large, my sins don't change much.
I've been told "that was a good confession" quite often in the past few years from very fine priests that are not long out of the seminary. This is the same ol' confession I have been confessing year-in and year-out, the same confession that never made the priest skip a beat or pause to give me encouragement. Friends have told me they have been told the same thing. While I understand that the priest wants to put me at ease or indicate that they believe I have done a good examination of my conscience, the business of confession is exactly that -- confession of the sins we have committed -- how we have offended God. Nothing "good" about that.
For me, the last place I want to be patronized is in the confessional. I don't need to have the priest give me a verbal "atta girl" when I'm doing what I should be. Nothing tops the feeling of absolution (or the imperfect, but serious, fear of hell) to bring me back to confession. I need spiritual direction while I'm contrite and in the confessional, not a cheerleader.
I must be old school in that I want confession to feel like purgation. I don't want it to be foo-foo, frilly or touchy-feely, I want it to be a serious reflection of my sins with a heart-felt resolution to amend my life.
If the priest is holy and if he tells his flock the Truth they need to hear, then I would think that the rest, like frequent confession, would follow naturally, no marketing required.
To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.
~Cardinal John Henry Newman
2010 Cannonball Award
Father Solanus Casey
"Even suffering is part of the truth of our life. Thus, trying to shield the youngest from every difficulty and experience of suffering, we risk creating, despite our good intentions, fragile persons of little generosity: The capacity to love, in fact, corresponds to the capacity to suffer, and to suffer together." ~Benedict XVI
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Fides et Ratio Encyclical
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.
Thank you everyone that voted for the Kneeler at the Cannonball awards!!
Words of Father Corapi, for all my politician friends and relatives and those who vote for them
"Catholic office holders, whether presidents, senators, congress men or women, or judges at any level must adhere to Catholic teaching or run the risk of separating themselves from the Body of Christ. In such egregious and chronic cases of gross moral evil such as instituting and perpetuating abortion and the structures of sin that surround it, it is quite probable that such Catholic officials are excommunicated in virtue of the acts themselves. A latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication is likely triggered when they vote for laws, funding, and structures that enable and perpetuate such obvious and egregious evil (Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canons 1364,1398; Canon 1329, par. #2). They are in turn forbidden from approaching the sacraments as the result (Cf. Catechism of Catholic Church #1463)."
"It is not morally possible for any Catholic to support abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, or same-sex marriage. There are no ways around this, no justifications whatever. Why? For the simple reason that the Church holds these things to be intrinsically evil. They are evil in themselves, and no circumstances or subjective conditions can ever change that."