Friday, February 11, 2011
A Word About Sacramental Confession...
I just downloaded the new Confession App for my iphone.
I have to say, I laughed at first, but the thing is really very useful!
It keeps track of when you last went, has lots of wonderful prayers, an imprimatur, which means that it is approved by the Church, and has a great examination of conscience. Well, it will as soon as I figure out why it won't give me the right one for my state in life. It keeps giving me the one for a kid.
Of COURSE you can't use it in place of the confessional. Any real Catholic knows that.
As I was looking for an answer to why I can't get the right examination, via Google, I saw a comment from someone regarding the usefulness of this app. He said that it looked good for Catholics but, "I’m lucky, my God let’s me confess any time, anywhere with no roaming fees. Free salvation for first time customers."
Well, his definition is not quite all there is to it. That's a type of confession, certainly. You can confess to your mom that you lied. You can confess to your friend that you betrayed a confidence. You can stand in a field and confess your sins to God and He will hear you, of course. And you might feel better, having been open and honest, so there is a sense of reconciliation.
There is SO much more that goes with the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After reading all the reviews on this whole app thing, even from Catholics, I am wondering how many people even know what Sacramental Confession really does for the soul.
Confessing is good, confessing within the Sacrament of Reconciliation, is best.
It's about Grace.
The Sacraments are conduits through which Grace flows. The Holy Spirit acts upon the penitent in Confession, with an infusion of Sacramental Grace, this Grace comes through the administration of the Sacrament through the priest. Kind of like getting over-the-counter medications as opposed to prescription. You can communicate your sorrow to God anytime, of course, and He knows that you are sorry. But, if you receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, you receive that Grace which helps combat sin. Like chemo drugs, it seeks out and destroys the attachment that you have to that particular sin, and makes you stronger and more able to resist. Of course your intention has to be correct. You have to be open to Grace.
It is God's gift. You can't go buy Grace, you can't bargain for it, you can't demand it. It is the free gift of our loving Father, to Sanctify us, so that someday we can enter Heaven as His children. We have to open our hearts, be humble and willing to let His gift change them. The more Grace we receive, the faster we will progress. It's like a super-vitamin for the soul.
I do think this app will help me in some ways, it's a great idea. If it helps some people get to Confession more often, then it's doing a tremendous service, bringing more Grace to more people. Who's not for that?