I work publicly with youth. I also can’t relate completely how wonderfully frustrating it is. There are so many great things I want to teach them and relate to them, however in a world of “how dare you push your truth on me” that’s where I start getting frustrated. Confession is a wonderful Sacrament and should be received frequently and often. This is a world where making a confession is public business. We have Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Blogger, Google+, Myspace (yes it’s still around), Six Billion Secrets and the list goes on and on and on.
Why? Because we have a need to confess.
Now looking at Six Billion Secrets makes my stomach churn. These are honest heartfelt confessions. These maybe things people have done wrong or witnessed, good or bad, these are people’s true confessions. Pick through them, there are thousands of things to pray for. People are hurt and searching for some magic release to their pain.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
James 5: 16, 19-20 (NAB)
Confession, tell your sins to one another. Why? Humans in their very nature are sinful and prideful people, let alone social. Imagine that you are bottling up a secret. The worst thing or even the little thing that is nagging you in the back of your mind. Sure, you can ignore it for a while. Go ahead, ignore it. It will get louder, it will haunt and it will beckon you to spill your guts. It may be a simple few words in passing to a friend or it may take years of therapy but it will come out.
Let’s face it. Americans spend $55 BILLION a year on psychotherapy. (http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=167186) That could cut a major chunk out the American Deficit. $55 billion on something Catholics have the niche on, admitting that they’ve been wounded by something they’ve done or had done to them. Note: I am not saying that going to Confession is an automatic release of guilt and culpability, but it could be a good start.
As Catholics we believe that Confession is a way to receive forgiveness from God for our actions here on earth. It is our way of telling what’s wrong to a priest who sits in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. Catholic priests have this authority from Jesus, through Peter and through the whole chain of Apostolic Succession.
Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Mathew 18:18 (NAB)
So I encourage you to go out, Confess, and be healed!