A Reflection: Nourish Your Soul! Resist Temptations! The Importance of Confession!

“When the assault of the enemy increases, you are closer to God.”~ Saint Padre Pio

Reflection.  How often are you tempted?  Padre Pio used to say that the thought of temptation is not sin, but rather the act upon that temptation is.  In today’s world, how often are we tempted.  I am attacked spiritually with temptation every day, and almost every minute.  Even as I write this reflection, full of the Holy Spirit, I know that evil will permeate me and temptations will arise.  We live in a world of utter sin, of utter destructiveness.  Because of this, it is very easy to give up, very easy to lose our way, very easy to succumb to our temptations.  This, and in my view, this alone, is why the sacrament of confession within the Catholic Church, Christ’s Church, is so important.  The  priest, as a successor to the apostles, was given this divine right by Christ’s himself.  Many in the Protestant rite will protests this, as they say that only Christ can forgive sins; but this you must know- it is written:

As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had 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’” (John 20:21–23)

Since he would not always be with the Church visibly, Christ gave this power to other men so the Church, which is the continuation of his presence throughout time (Matt. 28:20), would be able to offer forgiveness to future generations. He gave his power to the apostles, and it was a power that could be passed on to their successors and agents, since the apostles would not always be on earth either, but people would still be sinning.  It is this sacrament and this sacrament alone, that can bring us closer to Him, and to everlasting life.  So many Catholics even now, only do what is required by the Church, (once per year), but in order to be nourished and closer to God, this sacrament is most important.  I too do not go as much as I should, and even now in some Parish’s across the world, and particularly in the United States, only have this Sacrament one to two times a week?  Why is this?  Because people do not realize it’s importance!  People simply do not go!  We as Christians, need to understand its importance, and confess.  We must want to, and get closer to God, at every chance we get.  By confessing our sins, we are resisting temptation, battling sin, and nourishing our souls.  By confessing our sins, we are combating evil spiritually, and reflecting upon what we have done so that we do not do it again.  As humans we are weak, but when our souls transcend, we will still carry our suffering and have to answer for our sins.  We must be of pure heart, and of pure soul to enjoy the everlasting love of our Lord.  We must not forget this.  We must pray, and ask for forgiveness constantly.  The love our Lord has for us is something that as humans we cannot comprehend.  This is why He put forth His sacraments so that we may be closer to him.  In this day and age, and even this past week with the Boston bombings, we are constantly reminded of the great depravity of society and of the constant evil around us.  The Lord is constantly there, but as a whole we do not recognize nor ask for him to envelope us in His love.  Instead, as a whole in society, we get caught up in Earthly things, Earthly desires, and succumb to the constant temptations of life.  I encourage all, Protestant, and my fellow Catholics, to re-visit or go for the first time to the Sacrament of Confession.  You do not have to be a Catholic to do this, as it is open to all.  Try it!  You have nothing to lose, but much grace to obtain.  Fellow Catholics, re-visit that Catechisis that you never read, embrace the gifts of the sacraments that are there for you, and go back to repentance.  Stand up against evil!  Nourish your soul!  God Bless~  CJA


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