Confession is a sacrament that plays a vital role in the lives of the faithful. Through confession, we are given the opportunity to reconcile with God and benefit from the great mercy He extends to us through Jesus Christ His Son. In this second installment of our Confession Series, Msgr. Vito discusses confession and how it helps us grow in our spiritual walk.
This post is part II in a series. Read part I here.
I remember making my first confession face-to-face; I was so embarrassed, and it was very difficult for me. I was a student, and I was thinking, “How am I gonna go to face this person? They see who I am.”
But I will tell you, once you do it, you never want to stop. You always want to do it that way. It is the encounter of the humanity of Jesus and His divinity in this mystery — that is how He relates to us. As He came to us as human beings, He took bread, He took wine, He took water. He was able to forgive, to embrace, to pick us up when we fall.
God’s Great Sacrifice
We have a God who underwent rejection and condemnation and was killed for us. It is overpowering to understand that this is a God who became one of us to show us His mercy. I pray that people realize the importance of the sacrament of confession and how it helps us live the Paschal mystery each day, not in a fanatic way, not believing that you have to go every day to receive that. Jesus does not want us to be fanatical; He wants us to be sincere. We should approach this knowing that what you are going to receive is not magic. There is no magic in the confessional.
It is not magic. It is a mystery. God wants us to realize that we need to cooperate with His grace. When we leave that confession, God is giving us this opportunity. We often fall into the habit of thinking that He is waiting for us to fall the next moment. We mistakenly believe that He is looking for us to mess up so He can tell us, “You see you messed up again.” That is not what it is. It is Him recognizing our broken and sinful humanity that He came to redeem by His death and resurrection. Nobody is perfect. We are human beings made of flesh and blood, and we make mistakes, and we fall, and we sin, but even in our sinfulness, God never stops loving us.
God’s Great Love
God loves us because it is part of His essence. It is a mystery, but we can try to understand it a little bit. We need to approach the font of mercy and know what is waiting for us. It is not condemnation, but a divine embrace — to forgive us and to give us the strength to persevere. We know that when we walk out of there, this is not magic. We are going back into the same world. Often we are going back into the same situation that we are struggling with. If we are in a family, there can be tension. If we are having issues relating to people, they are not going to change instantly. But we should never think that we are above receiving God’s grace, because in the mystery of it all, God changes hearts.