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“I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE MY SINS FORGIVEN PROPERLY, BUT I SHY AWAY FROM JESUS IN THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION BECAUSE I FIND IT VERY HUMILIATING”

19 Jul

Some people don’t go to confession…

“They say they find it very humiliating.

Well, I suppose that means confession is just what they need.

It means that there’s still some pride left in them. It’s because they are not yet perfectly humble that they find it humiliating.

The word ‘humble’ comes from the Latin word for ground, ‘humus’. If you are lying on the floor you can’t fall off. If you’re truly humble, humiliations don’t disturb you. Edel Quinn was a very holy woman, on the way, I hope, to being canonised, and she said when she went to confession she always tried to humiliate herself. I suppose it was because she feared lest pride should be still lurking in her heart that she did this.

WE ARE AS GOD SEES US AND NO BETTER

We are as God sees us and no better. Pride gives us an inflated idea of ourselves. Confession punctures this blown up image. It brings us down to our real size. It makes us see ourselves as we really are, not as the person we like to think ourselves to be.

So if confession wounds our pride, so much the better! In our sins there has very likely been an element of pride. We have put self first and God second. If my conscience uttered no word, then I did not sin. But if I realise I’ve sinned, then I must have made that choice between God and myself. Momentarily at least, I must have preferred my pleasure to God’s greater glory.

All the same, it’s not as though God says, unless you do this humiliating thing I will not forgive you. The fact is that God cannot forgive us unless we are truly sorry for our sins. He knows how easily we can deceive ourselves and it’s precisely having to confess to another person that helps us come to true contrition.

And also there’s this, that nothing so completely baffles the devil as humility. If the devil has had a hand in our temptations, an honest and humble confession renders him, temporarily at least, powerless. ‘Tell the truth and shame the devil!’

So a good confession quite confounds the devil. It also merits for us an eternal reward. And it greatly consoles our heavenly Father who has been lovingly awaiting our return.”
– Fr Hugh S. Thwaites

 
 

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