Blogging from A to Z Challenge day 3: C is for Confession

Picture by Nika

Picture by Nika

The Sacrament of Confession (or, as it is officially called, the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation) is one of the most well known practices of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

Critics of it tend to take two opposing tacks: on the one hand, that it is too lax for inculcating a ‘reset button’ mentality in people as opposed to getting them to face the consequences of their actions, and, on the other hand, that it is too cruel for forcing people to talk about embarrassing things they’ve done.

C.S. Lewis said that the least popular Christian virtue was forgiveness, because what we usually mean when we talk about “being forgiven” is really being excused. We want to be told that that one time we got really hammered was okay because hey, it was a really stressful day and everybody does it anyway. Acknowledging that we deliberately perverted our rational natures and deserve worse than what we get is a bit harder. So in that sense, confession is “hard”, but the difficulty comes from simply being honest about the reality of our actions.

And confession is easy in the sense that, while it will not save us from whatever temporal consequences our actions might produce in this world (or the next), it will bring us out of spiritual death. Our sins are not just things we did in the past, but are things which cling to and distort our souls, in the way that sores and tumors do to our bodies. Left untreated, a mortal sin will make us into something that is not worth saving, something that doesn’t want to even be saved. We don’t have the power to prevent that from happening, but we can ask for help. That we can get help is not lax; it’s merciful.

(more info on the A to Z Challenge)

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About Josh W

A Catholic; an occasional writer.
This entry was posted in Catholicism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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