Seen on the web: The critically important role of Catholic priests as U.S. military chaplains

Anonymous writes:

I served 20+ years as an Army Airborne Catholic Chaplain.

In Nam I offered 8-10 Masses just on Sunday; 23 during Christmas week and had 50 troops under instruction.

I held Catholic and Protestant troops in my arms as they were dying and gave absolution to both-the Protestant Chaplain asked me to do this.

On more than one occasion, a Protestant Chaplain said “If you guys go, we’re finished.”

I could tell you many stories of “divine intervention.” By the way, four Catholic Chaplains received the Medal of Honor!

Read the article

Visit CatholicMil.Org

About the photo:

With a canvas tarpaulin for a church and packing cases for an altar, a Navy chaplain holds mass for Marines at Saipan. The service was held in memory of brave buddies who lost their lives in the initial landings. Photo by Sgt. Steele, June 1944. Source: US Marines

Get in … Confess … Get absolved … Get Out. See a spiritual director some other time.

Father Z shares some tips for going to confession (courteously and efficiently).

Link

Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest?


Q: Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest? Doesn’t God forgive Christians when they ask?

A: There are a number of very good reason why Catholics confess their sins to a priest. As to whether or not God is willing to forgive Christians … just for asking: It’s not quite that simple!

1) Grave or serious sins (or as St. John would call them, “sins unto death”) are always best confessed with the help of a priest, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, since outside that great sacrament, less than perfect contrition for such sins typically results in NO forgiveness from God, leaving the sinner subject to the possibility of eternal damnation.

Similarly, anything short of authentic and full repentance (complete turning away from the sin) would, under the same circumstances, also typically leave a soul in a state of eternal jeopardy.

2) Outside the Sacrament of Reconciliation, there is no specific “mechanism” available for restoring the divine grace that was lost through sinful acts. Abundant grace is absolutely critical for ultimate success, in the Christian life.

3) The priest, through the great Sacrament of Reconciliation, is empowered by Jesus and the Catholic Church, to provide absolute and unconditional forgiveness for all our sins, and to replenish the grace that had been lost, as well.

Within the Sacrament of Reconciliation, neither perfect contrition or anything more than a firm purpose and real possibility of amendment is required, in order to obtain God’s complete forgiveness, and restore lost grace. This is a great blessing, a huge advantage, and a tremendous spiritual gift that is simply not otherwise available.

4) Confessing all our sins to a priest, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, allows us to proactively avoid divine judgment and the corresponding eternal penalties. Once properly pardoned and absolved, we can be certain that God will never raise that particular “issue” with us, again!

5) Sacramental Confession is probably the greatest “bargain” of all time … since expert counseling (in absolute confidence) plus total reconciliation with God, remains absolutely free!

Faithful Catholics who take Jesus at his Word and accept the divine authority the Catholic Church in this matter … instead of attempting to presumptively define the mysterious tenets of divine justice … not only get to enjoy supernatural peace of mind in this world, but need have few concerns about their glorious and eternal future, in the next.

We have Jesus’ word on that:

John 20:21-23  He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

Finally … and this applies to Catholics and non-Catholics alike … when we ask God to forgive our sins … OUTSIDE of the Sacrament of Reconciliation … it is typically necessary for us to wait until Judgment Day to find out if God has actually accepted our plea.

Who (in their right mind) would want to expose themselves to the risk of Hell … let alone the prospect of having our particular “case” publicly adjudicated … in front of God … all the angels and saints … and everybody else, who ever lived?

Study the Biblical Basis of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

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A Guide for Confession

Remember

If you need help–especially if you have been away for some time–simply ask the priest and he will help you by “walking” you through the steps to make a good confession.

Before Confession

Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act of Penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God and which is reborn with repentance. The resolution to avoid committing these sins in the future (amendment) is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic. This does not mean that a promise never to fall again into sin is necessary. A resolution to try to avoid the near occasions of sin suffices for true repentance. God’s grace in cooperation with the intention to rectify your life will give you the strength to resist and overcome temptation in the future.

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Minnesota homosexuals reject Catholic church’s attempt to help them

Gay and lesbian Roman Catholics who contact the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for spiritual guidance can find themselves directed toward programs aimed at helping them become celibate (chaste).

Evidently, this upsets some local homosexual activists.

Editor’s note: Every unmarried Catholic, whether gay or straight, is expected to remain chaste, refraining from any type of sexual activity, under pain of grave sin. The Church really has no choice in the matter, which has been settled for around 2000 years.

Furthermore, the rules governing the sacrament of reconciliation require both contrition for sin, as well as a good faith effort at authentic repentance. Absent both of these, it is impossible to make a good confession, and impossible to receive valid absolution for one’s sins.

This is why the church counsels chastity for all those who request help, since chastity is the first step towards repentance, while true contrition and at least a firm purpose of repentance is required in order for sins to be forgiven.

Again, the same rules apply to gay and straight, alike.

What could be more fair?


What constitutes a “good confession”?

BpKaffer 

Q: Regarding the Catholic sacrament of reconcilation, what’s the difference between a “good confession” and some other kind?

A: The only type of confession that is typically acceptable to God and effective for the forgiveness of sins is a “good” one. The late Auxilliary Bishop of Joliet, Roger L. Kaffer, who was known to hear lots and lots of confessions throughout his more than fifty year priesthood, once explained it to me like this:

It is absolutely essential for the penitent to confess every mortal sin that they can remember, since deliberately holding back even one grave sin, no matter what the reason, typically results in the penitent remaining in a state of mortal sin, still deprived of God’s grace, still unforgiven, no matter how many other sins they might have confessed … whether the priest provides absolution … or not.

(By definition, a mortal sin must be gravely serious, the person committing the sin must KNOW that it is gravely serious, and the sin must have been committed with the full consent of the sinner.  An experienced priest is the best guide for evaluating and explaining the “fine points” of these matters.)   

Deliberately holding back serious sin(s) in the confessional may also constitute another grave sin … the sin of sacrilege … which is defined as the abuse, deliberate misuse, or profanation of a holy thing.

If one actually forgets about a particular serious sin(s) and so fails to confess for that reason alone, there is no real problem … but if the “forgotten” sin one day comes to mind again, it should be properly confessed, as soon as possible.

The circumstances which lead a person to commit sins are also often important. If and when a priest inquires about such details, it is important to respond honestly.

For example, someone confesses the sin of fornication or adultery: Under normal circumstances, it might be a “one time event”. But if the sin is the result of an unmarried couple “living in sin”  under the same roof, without benefit of matrimony, then absolution (forgiveness) is typically NOT available unless and/or until the illicit living arrangement is terminated.

This would apply equally to ANY unmarried couple who might be living together … whether straight or gay … without distinction.

Minor or venial sins may also be confessed to the priest in the confessional, but since those can also be routinely forgiven through reciting a good act of contrition, by attending Mass, and in other ways, confessing venial sins is laudable and recommended, but not required.

Assuming that the penitent has accurately confessed ALL the mortal sins of which he/she is aware, then, acting in and through the ministerial priesthood of the Holy Catholic Church, in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the priest prescribes an act of contrition, assigns a small personal  penance, absolves the penitent of all sin, and dispenses the graces necessary to fill any spiritual “void” that the sin(s) might have caused.

The whole idea behind confessing one’s sins in the great sacrament of Reconciliation and subsequently receiving absolution (the absolute assurance that ALL of one’s sins have truly been forgiven by God) is to avoid the prospect of divine judgment, and to truly be at peace with both God and man, since once sins have been properly absolved through a “good confession” God will never bring them up again. 

For this reason, it is also advisable for the penitent to listen carefully, after his confession has been completed … to make certain that the priest does not fail to provide the necessary absolution.  The “formula” for absolution (at a minimum) sounds like this, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” 

So, a “good confession” is one where we properly prepare by conducting a through examination of conscience, we subsequently confess every mortal sin without exception, providing details to the priest/confessor as necessary, we recite a good act of contrition, do our assigned penance, and we receive absolution and grace from the priest, who acts in the person of  Jesus Christ, for the purpose of our salvation.

Any confession other than a “good” one is simply unacceptable … and may actually be worse than no confession at all!

For a complete, Traditional Catholic study of this entire matter, click here.

“Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”

confessionfinalenh1

Q: There’s a movie where Jesus …before he leaves he blows out a wind or something and gives all his closest disciple’s the holy spirit and then Jesus tells them something like….”Whoever you forgive will be forgiven and whoever you don’t forgive will not be forgiven.”

My question is this (and I want the real answer): Does what Jesus left these disciples have some kind of power over us? And if so, what does it do? Also… What happens if these guys don’t forgive us and what happens if they do? Jesus trusts these guys with our souls? Why?

A: The first thing Jesus did after he rose again from the dead was to give the power to forgive sins to the apostles, who were the first bishops of the Catholic Church.

That power has been handed down to the current day bishops and priests of the Catholic Church, and it is known as the sacrament of reconciliation.

It is the most provocative, “in-your-face” attack against the forces of evil that the world has ever seen, or ever will see.

The power to forgive sins comes from grace that Jesus obtained for us on the cross … power that Jesus entrusted to his authentic Church, for the purpose of our salvation.

Through the power of God, priests and bishops provide absolution (absolute forgiveness) for sins if one is contrite (sorry for them) and repentant (willing to make a good attempt to avoid committing the same sins in the future).

Absent both of these, sins typically are not forgiven.

Once sins have been forgiven, there is no need for divine judgment, and God will never bring them up again.

It doesn’t get any better than that, this side of Heaven.

https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/?s=reconciliation

http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Sin/Sin_010.htm