Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest?

In today's Gospel reading (for Pentecost Sunday in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church) our Lord gives His Church the Sacrament of Confession. He specifically entrusts the forgiveness and retainment of sins to His Apostles. Today in the Catholic Church the Successors of those Apostles (the Catholic Bishops as well as the priests who these Bishops ordain) mentioned in today's Gospel are still carrying on Jesus' charge. They are still forgiving and retaining sins in this most important sacrament. So when someone asks a Catholic, "Why do you confess your sins to a priest?" The answer is simple, because the Catholic Church as the Bride of Jesus Christ is obedient to His command, as recorded in the Gospel that is in the Bible. Jesus said very specifically to His Apostles, "....whoever sins you forgive are forgiven and whoever sins you retain are retained." Therefore whenever someone says that I just confess my sins directly to Jesus, they are making an important first step of self-examination and contrition for their sins.  However, they are NOT acting in accordance with the Bible nor the Lord Jesus by assuming that a personal meditation is solely what is needed to regain what is lost in their relationship with God through grave sin. They must go to a priest: not because the priest is curious about what terrible things they have been doing or because it necessarily brings a priest any sort of joy or satisfaction to hear such things.  They must go because that is where Christ is waiting for them. When a Catholic walks into a confessional, he is meeting Jesus Himself in the person of that priest or bishop who can trace his ordination all the way back to the original Apostles who were there in the Upper Room with the Lord.  It is the difference between life and death to hear Christ through the priest say the words of absolution and impart the grace of the Sacrament which is vital to be able to fulfill the resolution to go and sin no more. 

Blessed Pope John Paul II went to Confession every week. If such a holy and saintly man as him went humbly to the Lord each week in this sacrament, how often should we consider going?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Quotes of the Day for June 6, 2011 on the Holy Mass

"The heavens open and multitudes of angels come to assist in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass." 
 Saint Gregory

 "If we only knew how God regards this Sacrifice, we would risk our lives to be present at a single Mass."
St. Padre Pio

"The celebration of Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the cross."
Saint Thomas Aquinas

Wednesday, June 1, 2011



"No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.

We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.

The apostles, in their recollections, which are called gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do. They tell us that he took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me. This is my body. In the same way he took the cup, he gave thanks and said: This is my blood. The Lord gave this command to them alone. Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things. The rich among us help the poor and we are always united. For all that we receive we praise the Creator of the universe through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.

On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts. The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings. Then we all stand up together and pray.

On the conclusion of our prayer, bread and wine and water are brought forward. The president offers prayers and gives thanks to the best of his ability, and the people give assent by saying, “Amen”. The eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and the deacons take it to those who are absent.

The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.

We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration. "

St. Justin Martyr, First Apology of St. Justin Martyr



My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever. 

(Lk 1:46-55)