Monday, December 12, 2016

Grow in Holiness this Advent Wk 3; Confess and Rejoice!

(This is the third in a series of Advent meditations. You can read the first mediation, on the Three Advents of Christ, and the second, on Conquering Covetousness by clicking those links. This week, we're looking at another essential part of Advent -- Confession.)

Picture with Story from Daily Mail - check it out HERE
It's the third week of Advent - Gaudete (Rejoice!) Sunday. This week we light the pink candle on our advent wreaths, Mass is celebrated by father in pink (sorry, rose) vestments, and we are called to Rejoice! that our Savior is near at hand.

One way to Rejoice! over the last two weeks of Advent is to make a sincere and contrite confession. Unburdening yourself of your sins and hearing the words of Christ, speaking though his priest,
God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 
 provides, as any Catholic can tell you, a feeling of relief and joy.

Rejoice! for the healing power of Christ is still alive and active in the world.

If you are skeptical, if you are asking yourself why you ought to confess in the presence of a priest, I'll point you to my post:

Yes, that says, "All Christians," not just all Catholics.

Aside from Eastern Orthodox, we also find the value of a good auricular confession maintained, though not stressed as essential, in some Protestant traditions, especially Anglicanism and Lutheranism.

Of course, most Protestant denominations have eschewed the traditional Christian practice of confessing their sins. Some confess only "in their heart," others have abandoned confessing altogether, believing that their Faith in Jesus means they have no need of confessing their sins post-conversion. This is, as I demonstrate in the aforementioned post , is a grave misunderstanding. For, as Jesus Himself assures us
nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light. (Lk. 8:16-17, RSV)
Better to have it "come to light" in this life, in the confessional, than hiding it until all things will be dragged into the light after we have time to repent of them. We will confess our sins with repentance now or confess them unrepentant when it is too late, either way we will confess.

This is made wonderfully clear in The Divine Comedy. Dante, upon entering the first circle where he sees the damned being punished, meets Minos - the judge of Hell standing "orribilmente, e ringhia" ("horribly and growling"). The souls, lost for all eternity, having never confessed, having tried to keep their sins from "com(ing) to light," find themselves compelled to do what could have saved them,
Dico che quando l'anima mal natali vien dinanzi, tutta si confessa;e quel conoscitor de le peccatavede qual loco d'inferno è da essa. 
I say, that when the ill-born spirit comes before him, it confesses all; and that sin-discerner sees what place in hell is for it (Inferno 5.7-10)
Their confession is now futile.
vanno a vicenda ciascuna al giudizio, dicono e odono e poi son giù volte.
they go each in his turn to judgment; they tell, and hear; and then are whirled down. (Inferno 5.14-15)
But your confession isn't futile, at least not yet.

Confess, rejoice, and be glad as you come closer to Christmas.

Have a holy Advent!
And behold I am coming soon (Rev. 22:7, RSV)
Books Mentioned or Recommended in this Post:

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

  • NO Spam
  • NO Sharing of your information
  • Emails typically go out on Monday or Tuesday
  • Unsubscribe at any time

No comments:

Post a Comment