Thursday, April 5, 2007
Confession Schedule at Assumption Grotto
Confessions at Assumption Grotto
Thursday, April 5: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday, April 6: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 7: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(Note: There will not be confessions Saturday evening or on Easter Sunday morning)
It's time to think about Confession, something that should be happening daily regardless when we do our examination of conscience. Hopefully, all are doing this each evening. To help with this, ebreviary.com, which requires a paid subscription to the full breviary online, does have the 7-day Night Prayer (Compline) available for free. This prayer within the Liturgy of the Hours is done before going to bed and is preceded by an examination of conscience.
Due to weak catechesis and just plain neglect of my faith, laziness, and self-deception, I went through all of my life thinking that anything I truly forgot to mention in confession was a free-pass, as long as I did not "forget it" intentionally. What I did not realize is that I needed to confess any forgotten mortal sins as soon as they came to light. Assumption Grotto and time spent at Catholic Answers cured my ignorance. Needless to say, I found myself back in confession every other week for the first few months, ridding myself of things as they came to light. God was merciful in revealing no more than I could handle at one time and the sense of freedom is indescribable.
Why do I tell you this? Because it was simple for me to "forget" most mortal sins because I hadn't bothered to go to confession for months at a time, then eventually for years. Ohhhhh, the presumption involved with that!
Don't wait. Don't be afraid. Seek God's forgiveness, and his mercy. What a great time to get into a habit of frequent confession as we approach Divine Mercy Sunday, as well. Go at least monthly. And, if you do that nightly examination of conscience you may find reasons to go more frequently. The real free pass is the one we get when the priest says, "I absolve you..."
CONFESSION OF VENIAL SINS
Don't let the lack of any visible mortal sin prevent you from going. At Assumption Grotto the priests highly recommend going very frequently to help build virtue and holiness. This means, confessing venial sins and imperfections if there is nothing serious. I have had many people tell me they just don't know how to go so frequently if there are no mortal sins. I always tell them a good place to start is examining prayer life. If we are not giving the Lord at least 15 minutes daily, confess this and talk to the priest about it. Come up with a plan and if you fail to meet that plan then go back again until you have successfully managed it. Truly, you want more than 15 minutes, but that is where you start. The priest will give you ideas if you need help.
When would you want to confess not getting your 15 minutes of daily prayer in? Certainly not when you couldn't do it because you would have forsaken an act of charity, or duty. However, if you examine your conscience and realize that you spent an hour on the Internet that day, or two hours watching television, or 2 hours on a hobby, but couldn't find 15 minutes to give the Lord.......you just found something worth confessing. If you know that the most reliable time of day to pray is in the morning and are willing to get up 15 minutes earlier, but you hit the snooze too many times.....you just found something worth confessing.
CONTROLLING ALL APPETITES BIG AND SMALL
From confession of venial sins, come opportunities to practice mortification of appetites. While we are all aware of appetites which can lead us right into mortal sin, we don't often consider other appetites which have control over us and hinder our getting even closer to God. We should always have control over all of our appetites - big and small, rather than allow them to control us. Control of lesser appetites teaches us how to control the big hitters.
Other appetites can include an appetite for sleep or rest - more so than we need. An appetite for a certain food or drink that is inordinate. Today, we have appetites for computer, for TV, for sports, for the mall and so on. None of these are bad in themselves, but lead to intemperance. This leads to yet another great thing to examine and confess are those things which we go overboard on - especially if we do not give God hardly any time but weekly Mass.
If we ever get to a point that we have learned to control every appetite - big and small - we will have realized perfection. Holiness is a lifelong pursuit, one that even if we work at and fail repeatedly is far more pleasing to the Lord than not trying at all.
"I AM", said the Lord.
In the end, we must detach ourselves from all, until all that is left is God. Possession of God can only be realized when we have cleansed ourselves of all that is not Him.
GOD PLEASING USE OF TIME
Contrary to popular opinion - time spent online reading Catholic material or blogs, or time spent in Catholic forums can actually become an appetite out of control. If it affects ability to get prayer time in or to do some wholesome spiritual and scipture reading, the good thing becomes bad. This is especially true if we find ourselves gravitating to Catholic content that is predominately negative or involves reading scandals. Some blogs and "news" out there reads like a gossip rag - and may even involve detraction - airing every piece of dirty laundry that happens in the most remote sections of the Catholic Church. Only Original Sin or the Angel of Darkness could lead us to spend time reading about such things, rather than reading Scripture, the Fathers or Doctors of the Church, studying the Catechism, and so much more.
Do we spend our time on line learning and growing spiritually, and helping others to do the same? Or, are we looking for the next big scandal to let fester within us? Trust me - confess such a thing to a priest at Assumption Grotto and you will soon learn there are better ways to spend your time - such as in Adoration where we can make general reparation for offenses to God.
I know - I've been there and done that, which is why I have taken this blog in a different direction, thanks to some wonderful confessors who had no problem telling me how to spend my time in ways that are most pleasing to God.
CONFESSION: AN ACT OF HUMILITY
I'm absolutely convinced that among other reasons the Lord instituted this wonderful Sacrament, is to give us an opportunity to practice humility. Pride is the root of all sin. Humility (not humiliation), conquers pride. In order to get the grace of humility, we must practice it. Stepping into a confessional takes courage and humility. There are graces which come with absolution to help us fight sin and build holiness in our life. But the lesser known grace is that of the humility. Anyone who goes frequently can tell you that with time it gets easier. The building of humility and the reduction of pride is what makes it easier. The Angel of Darkness may fool you into thinking that you just can't confess something out of shame. Put him in his rightful place by making an act of humility and stepping into the confessional.
The only sin not forgiven, is the one not confessed. No matter how horrendous, no matter how humiliating, seek God's forgiveness and mercy in Confession.
Confession: Just do it!!!
OTHER RESOURCES ON CONFESSION
Cathechism of the Catholic Church on Confession
What does Scripture say about confessing sins? (EWTN)
Fathers of the Church on Confession (Catholic Answers)
Conquering the Ruling Passion (Opus Angelorum)
The Quality of Mercy (Catholic Answers)
Multiple resources at Catholic-Pages