I’m trying to become stronger in my Catholic faith. help!

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Joxios 3 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #2084

    Confession.
    Why do you need to go to confession to confess your sins to a priest when you can just pray to God and ask for forgiveness yourself??

    I’m being told that it’s wrong to pray to the dead, saints, and to even Mary….

    Saints.
    In the bible is basically says that all christians are saints. so…is it wrong to give people that title if according to the bible we are all saints??:/

    #10196

    maria3lizab3th[quote:rg7w3kxm]Confession.
    Why do you need to go to confession to confess your sins to a priest when you can just pray to God and ask for forgiveness yourself??[/quote:rg7w3kxm]
    First of all I notice that you have several questions. I would recommend that you start different threads for each question so that they can be answered accordingly and not get all jumbled up. I will attempt to answer your first question.

    First we must understand that it is God who actually forgives sins. But God works through the priest and the priest acting in the place of Jesus, we can then say, has the power given by God to forgive sins. In John 20:22-23 we read “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. And when he has said this, he breathed on them and said to them. ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’” Many will say that Jesus was actually saying to the apostles to go out and preach about God’s forgiveness. If that was so, Jesus would have said something like, “Go out and preach that if they confess privately their sins to God, their sins are automatically forgiven.” But what about the part that says “…if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”? Notice how Jesus is using the second person plural “you” in the verse above. How were the apostles to know when to retain a sin or forgive? How is an individual going know that their sins have been retained if they secretly confess their sins? These verses are very clear as to how confession is to be performed. Someone must decide whether to retain or forgive, and this is where confessing to a priest comes in.

    This was a commission given by Jesus to His apostles and at that point He gave the apostles a special authority; that authority did not end with the apostles but was passed on down to the present. Jesus also said “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Surely the Apostles didn’t have a chance to go to New York, LA, Sydney or Rio. Jesus knew it would take a long time but He also promised them,”Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matt. 28:19–20) which meant that the commission He gave to the Apostles would continue after them.

    They are many non-Catholics who say that the practice of confessing sins to a priest is not in the Bible. Well, I agree that you will not find an incident where we read about any of the Apostles sitting down and listening to the confession of an individual, but the command is there. There a many things Jesus taught that are not written down. And as with many things, these practices have developed and changed over the centuries but the actual act still remains. Besides going to confession is very therapeutic. One has to humble themselves to proclaim with our lips the wrong we have committed.

    Reading about the Early Church Fathers, we can find that confession to a priest was already a practice used by the Church. We see one of them, Cyprian writes that the forgiveness of sins can take place only “through the priests.” Another ECF, Ambrose, says “this right is given to priests only.” The practice of confessing one’s sins to a priest is not a novelty nor an invention but a commission that has been followed by the Church as given by Jesus Himself.

    The practice of simply confessing to God in private is the actual novelty that started when the reformers decided that anybody can interpret the bible correctly and they read into it what feels good to an individual rather than what the Church says. Besides, the Bible also says that it is the Church who is the pillar and foundation of Truth.

    So the Church is fulfilling the task give to Her by Jesus. Here is a link that can probably give more of an explanation http://www.saintaquinas.com/confess_essay.html

    #10197

    Oh, and another thing maria3lizab3th. When we are confessing our sins, we know that the priest is NOT God, but he is standing in the place of Jesus. Look at the Act of Contrition; the first three words…. and the parts I have in bold.

    [b:369w89bv]O my God,[/b:369w89bv]
    I am heartily sorry for having offended[b:369w89bv] Thee,[/b:369w89bv]
    and I detest all my sins,
    because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell;
    but most of all because[b:369w89bv] they offend Thee, my God[/b:369w89bv],
    Who are all good and deserving of all my love.
    I firmly resolve, with the help of [b:369w89bv]Thy grace,[/b:369w89bv]
    to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

    This prayer is directed to God, not to the priest.

    Also the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1441)states: Only God forgives sins. Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, “The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” and exercises this divine power: “Your sins are forgiven.” Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name. This falls in line with John 20:22-23.

    #10198

    Thank you TCWITPAFOT1T315. Im sorry I bunched all my questions into one haha. This really did help. Lately I’ve been talking to my friend who is a protestant and that brought to my attention that I have to know fully and believe fully everything about my faith before I can defend it with honor. That link you provided was very helpful. Thanks again and if you get a chance to respond to any of my other questions it would be greatly appreciated.

    #10330

    Joxios
    Member
    "TCWITPAFOT1T315":2xbqy5ac wrote:
    Oh, and another thing maria3lizab3th. When we are confessing our sins, we know that the priest is NOT God, but he is standing in the place of Jesus. Look at the Act of Contrition; the first three words…. and the parts I have in bold.[/quote:2xbqy5ac]
    Hi,
    I’m sorry, i’m not sure it is said that the priest is in ‘persona Christi’ @ Confession. He is a Minister empowered by Church through Christ.
    I believe he encourages us to confess, and as a minister of the Sacrament celebrates God’s forgiveness with us.

    Jhn 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”
    22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “[b:2xbqy5ac]Receive the Holy Spirit.[/b:2xbqy5ac]
    23 [b:2xbqy5ac]If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.[/b:2xbqy5ac]

    Pentecost hasn’t happened yet. So the Spirit given here is of ‘New Creation’ an ontological change in their being.

    [u:2xbqy5ac]Gen 2:7[/u:2xbqy5ac] then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and [b:2xbqy5ac]breathed into his nostrils the breath of life[/b:2xbqy5ac]; and man became a living being.

    And this Spirit is passed on with the laying on of hands. Just as Moses passed on his authority by God to Joshua. [Num 27:15- 23] This is what happens in theOrdination of a priest. And Bishops since Peter.

    CCC #1465 [b:2xbqy5ac]When he celebrates the sacrament of Penance,[/b:2xbqy5ac] the priest is fulfilling the ministry of the Good Shepherd who seeks the lost sheep, of the Good Samaritan who binds up wounds, of the Father who awaits the prodigal son and welcomes him on his return, and of the just and impartial judge whose judgment is both just and merciful. The priest is the sign and the instrument of God’s merciful love for the sinner.

    God bless,
    John

    #10331

    Joxios
    Member
    "maria3lizab3th":4k2bde4x wrote:
    . Lately I’ve been talking to my friend who is a protestant and that brought to my attention that I have to know fully and believe fully everything about my faith before I can defend it with honor. That link you provided was very helpful. Thanks again and if you get a chance to respond to any of my other questions it would be greatly appreciated.[/quote:4k2bde4x]
    Hi

    Protestants will tel you that you can have a personal relationship with Christ, and that’s all you need. That’s unbiblical.. they can’t show you that in Scripture, and it is the farthest thing from the Truth. God throughout the O.T. and N.T. always stresses community. There is no private relationship Ever! How do we witness Christ privately?

    Adam had a private relationship, yet, God recognized his loneliness.
    If Adam didn’t blame Eve, and Eve the serpent, and just opened up to God and confess,”I am I sin” hey who knows how the world would have turned out.

    Sin was always confessed openly – to get back with God’s community. When you walked through the neighborhoods to Temple, with a Cow, a calf, Bull, two chickens bleating, clucking mowing everyone knew where you were going and depending on the size of your sacrifice, how big a sin against God you committed.

    Protestants wil also tell you there is no biblical basis for Confession.

    Show them this and they will reason it away, keep in mind a ministry is the work of a minister of religion!

    A Biblical example of Confession turn to 2Cor 5:18,

    2Cr 5:18
    All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us [b:4k2bde4x]the ministry of reconciliation;[/b:4k2bde4x]
    19
    that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
    20
    So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

    IN BRIEF
    CCC# 984 The Creed links “the forgiveness of sins” with its profession of faith in the Holy Spirit, for the risen Christ entrusted to the apostles the power to forgive sins when he gave them the Holy Spirit.

    CCC #985 Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of the forgiveness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit.

    CCC# 986 By Christ’s will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized and exercises it through bishops and priests normally in the sacrament of Penance.

    CCC#987 “In the forgiveness of sins, both priests and sacraments are instruments which our Lord Jesus Christ, the only author and liberal giver of salvation, wills to use in order to efface our sins and give us the grace of justification” (Roman Catechism, I, 11, 6).

    Baptism works for past sins, nobody’s perfect and we do fall prey to the world of temptation. (In Church history the Royalty put off confession til the last possible moment).

    The Jews made atonement for their sins once a year, because that was God’s law.

    In Christ God reconciles Himself to us Through the Flesh and Blood of Christ incarnate.

    Sin damages our relationship with God. Guilt is of God, He let’s us know we have done a wrong./ made a mistake.

    Sin takes you farther than you’re willing to go
    sin keeps you longer than you want to stay
    Sin cost more than you’re willing to pay

    Shame is of the Devil, it tells us we are a mistake.

    To hide sin only does us more harm, we isolate to protect our faults from those we have harmed.

    When we approach confession we are admitting to God, Church and community we are sinners, that we have fallen short. and Seek forgiveness.

    Protestants have taken confession out of the Church, they made it a one time confession of faith in Christ, and made it a personal experience, but then wind up seeing therapists for their ‘problems.’
    Personal confession is not working for them. We as Catholics confess our sin receive Christ’s forgiveness and can leave the Church with a clear conscience, and possibly a way to make amends with those we hurt in our sin against God.

    We don’t sin against one another, we only sin against God.
    But in doing a wrong we break God’s command of brotherly love.

    [quote:4k2bde4x]CCC# 980 It is through the sacrament of Penance that the baptized can be reconciled with God and with the Church:

    Penance has rightly been called by the holy Fathers “a laborious kind of baptism.” This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn.

    CCC# 980 It is through the sacrament of Penance that the baptized can be reconciled with God and with the Church:

    Penance has rightly been called by the holy Fathers “a laborious kind of baptism.” This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn[/quote:4k2bde4x]
    From the Book of James:

    Jam 5:16
    [b:4k2bde4x]Therefore confess your sins to one another[/b:4k2bde4x], and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.

    St. James taught us that we must go to the [b:4k2bde4x]”presbyters”[/b:4k2bde4x], and not to just anyone, to receive the “anointing”, and the remission of sins. First, he told us to go to the presbyters, or priests, in verse 14.

    Verse 16 continues with the word “therefore”, so that word is a conjunction that connects verse 16 back to verses 14 and 15. It is the priests to whom St. James told us to confess our sins.

    ‘Presbyters’ is where we get the name Priest from.

    One other thing, As you put it:

    [quote:4k2bde4x]Maria3eliz3, “Why do you need to go to confession to confess your sins to a priest when you can just pray to God and ask for forgiveness yourself?[/quote:4k2bde4x]
    Ever hear of the foxhole prayer? You get to deep, to scared and pray If you get me out of this, I’ll never do it again?

    Well, they don’t work.. God gets us out and then we afll back in the same hole! Why? Because we haven’t with our Mouth’s/ words to another person. You see, if you believe in Reconciliation, and have to keep going back and confessing the same sin, eventually, you may tire of the sin knowing you have to back and confess it again and again…
    The holy Spirit works though us, yes! And he works through others, the preist being your confessor may and can offer some help to get you through.
    All 12 step programs are not about private confession. they are about open confession and seeking help not to fall away again. Where do 12 steps originate through the Oxford movement; William James who coined the term ‘Higher power’ that men need to find God and the help of others to become free of what possesses them.

    No- one can help themselves, self- help programs are a joke! Books don’t change people! People change people, by example and exemplary behavior and compassion. God works through His Church, His ministers his community, his people.

    Can you have compassion on yourself. God gives us compassion for others because we have possibly been similar situations and can help/show another how we overcame our fault.

    On Prayer, Protestants believe all prayer is Worship… Biblically that is not so, prayer is petition. And it is perfectly okay to honor and venerate men of renown or those who have died in Christ. Yers agao people addressed each other out of respect by saying, Your lordship, your worship.. these terms of human respect does not take away from the Worship [cap W] of God. Not even the pagans worshipped their statues, they worshipped the gods they represented. Protestants take Catholic teachings which they do not understand or want to understand to heretical heights. They just don’t know ergo they are no authority on Roman Catholic teachings!

    I am sorry this really turned out longer than I liked, but,

    God bless,
    John

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