Benefits of Frequent Confession

05-15-2022From the desk of Fr. Villa

There are those who say that little importance should be given to the frequent confession of venial sins. Far more important, they say, is that general confession which the Church, surrounded by her children in the Lord at Mass makes during the penitential rite of the Mass the “I confess” is offered and the “Lord have mercy.”

It is true that venial sins may be expiated in many ways which are to be highly commended. But to ensure more rapid progress day by day in the path of virtue, the pious practice of frequent confession, (confessions of devotion) which was introduced into the Church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, should be earnestly advocated.

Through frequent confession genuine there is an increase of sanctifying grace, that is sharing in God’s very life, self-knowledge is increased, Christian humility grows, bad habits are corrected, spiritual neglect and luke-warmness are resisted, the conscience is purified, the will strengthened, a salutary self-control is attained,

How frequent should Confession be? Obviously if you have committed a mortal sin, you should make a Perfect Act of Contrition, which expresses sorrow to God for offending against His infinite love and goodness and not simply out of fear of punishment and you should get to confession as soon as possible. Recall a mortal sin is committed when there is serious matter AND deliberation AND full consent of the will.

Priests and religious have been counseled to confess weekly, which is an excellent practice or at least twice a month to get the benefits of the sacrament.

Recall that the Lord instituted the sacrament of confession as described in St. John’s Gospel where Jesus says to the Apostles His first priests: Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them and whose sins you shall retain they are retained.