My daughter will this spring, around Easter, be having her first Communion and Sacrament of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. OK, ok....I meant to say Reconcilliation, just making sure I had your attention. For those that don't know what it means, its confession of your sins to God, so to be forgiven. The Priest stands in for God, it's not the Priest that is God. One mistake is going, only as an obligation or duty. It is more than that. This is done with a contrite heart, a heart of pain or sorrow for sins or offenses. When you really give yourself to God and love him with all your being it is does hurt to offend Him. You want to make amends not because of the fear of "fire and brimstone", but because of love. But, I had to ask God into my heart first, and invite him to help me grow in love for Him. He, of course answered me, but waited like a gentleman for me to decide first.The Holy Spirit did the rest.
Back to this great Sacrament (a formal religious ceremony conferring a specific grace on those who receive it). It was at the age of reason, age 7, when I had my first Sacrament of Reconciliation. Though we were taught about it at Sunday school, I was more interested in the boy sitting in front of me than what the teacher said. I am teaching my children all that I can, so they will not grow up someday and leave the Church because they did not have all the facts and truths. I could have fallen away easily, there are so many alluring churches to choose from. I feel some Catholics would stay in the Church if they understood this Sacrament. These are not empty or stupid rituals. This is not the case at all. Anyways, God had other plans for me. I asked Him to give me wisdom and discernment about this Church of my youth. He has provided much information. I think most of us as adults get more serious about our faith, then we may have as children. I now know why we confess to the Priest and not just straight to God. It took me 25 years to get back to confession, remember, I just did not get it. I was sobbing when I left the confessional. I felt so high and freed of so much bondage it was incredible as God's grace and blessing was upon me. Lucky the Church didn't burn down-ha.The poor Priest. I love this Sacrament-Whoda thunk, that years ago, I would say that. The video and below it explain why we as Catholics go to confession (hopefully many times a year-nudge nudge to my Catholic friends and yours truly).
Why go? Because that's the way God wants us to do it. As quoted from Catholic apologist, John Martignoni "In James 5:16, God, through Sacred Scripture, commands us to "confess our sins to one another." Notice, Scripture does not say confess your sins straight to God and only to God...it says confess your sins to one another.
In Matthew, chapter 9, verse 6, Jesus tells us that He was given authority on earth to forgive sins. And then Scripture proceeds to tell us, in verse 8, that this authority was given to "men"...plural.
In John 20, verses 21-23, what is the 1st thing Jesus says to the gathered disciples on the night of His resurrection? "Jesus said to them, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.'" How did the Father send Jesus? Well, we just saw in Mt 9 that the Father sent Jesus with the authority on earth to forgive sins. Now, Jesus sends out His disciples as the Father has sent Him...so, what authority must Jesus be sending His disciples out with? The authority on earth to forgive sins. And, just in case they didn't get it, verses 22-23 say this, "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.'"
Why would Jesus give the Apostles the power to forgive or to retain sins if He wasn't expecting folks to confess their sins to them? And how could they forgive or retain sins if no one was confessing their sins to them?
The Bible tells us to confess our sins to one another. It also tells us that God gave men the authority on Earth to forgive sins. Jesus sends out His disciples with the authority on earth to forgive sins. When Catholics confess our sins to a priest, we are simply following the plan laid down by Jesus Christ. He forgives sins through the priest...it is God's power, but He exercises that power through the ministry of the priest." -works for me, I must confess!