The Message

Confession is Our Strength

Confession mends a broken relationship.

We made confessions because of sins we knowingly and unknowingly did. Sometimes, we do not confess because of our unawareness or sins that happened many years ago, and we forget about it. You did not know it was a sin then and only found it lately when you started your spiritual walk. Our conscience has a long-lasting memory that keeps reminding us now and then. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) has a very long definition of sin. It is “an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is a failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity” (n. 1849). Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church; United States for Adults; the 1983 Code of Canon Law; the Baltimore Catechism.

In the Bible, several words are used for sin. In Hebrew in the Old Testament and Greek in the New Testament, it means the same thing: the word sin only in their languages. It is less critical for us to know the transliteration. I want everyone to know the other word for sin in English, which is easy for us to remember or can be translated to us by many people familiar with the English language (e.g., Filipinos, in which English is a dialect); “wander off the path” or “miss the mark,” which define us what sin is. We pass the age of innocence; we know what is left and right, right and wrong, wicked and righteous living.

When we sin, it is more likely not by accident. Unintentional sin can happen, and as soon as you realize you made a sin right at that moment, you ask for forgiveness; it is habitual. When a sin is intentional, you sometimes pause before asking forgiveness. How is that so? Sometimes, you know it is a sin, but you will still do it and ask for forgiveness in advance. How will sin be forgiven with a premeditated sin? These sins both lead to all sorts of trouble. We can do a more severe sin formally by asking for forgiveness humbly and with a pure heart in a proper and undistracted location in our house.

Do not forget to call on the name of the LORD without ceasing to guide you on how to walk rightly in Spirit. The Spirit will bring you to the field of guidance and protection, but you have to walk away from the unjustified desire that only brings us to distance our relationship with the Father, who is not pleased when we miss the mark. The brokenness of all types of sin can be made whole because of the underserved favor given to us by His Holiness. The unmatchable grace of God cannot be given to us by any power in this world of lies, deceit, and temptation. God is Omnipotent (God is all-powerful; no one can overpower His supremacy.) Omniscient (God is all-knowing; God knows everything, including the past and future), omnipresent (God is present in every place), Omnibenevolent (charitable, all-loving, entirely merciful, and perfectly good). God knows who we are, what we are, and why we are here today and gone tomorrow. God knows the mystery of life, and we do not know.

What are Venial and Mortal Sins?

The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA) explains them this way: “Venial sin is a departure from the moral order in a less serious matter. It does not break our friendship with God but injures it. Mortal sin is the knowing and willful violation of God’s law in a serious matter. We commit mortal sin when we consciously and freely do something God prohibits.”

We do not need to prepare ourselves to enter the confessional or reconciliation box or room, make a list of all we did wrong, confess the sin, ask for forgiveness, and, in return, the Penalty. Venial sins are considered less severe but could lead to severe sins called Mortal sins. Evangelical Christians (Born Again) do not have that serious and less severe sin division. Sin is sin forgivable or unforgivable. It is still missing the mark and does not entirely separate us from the love of God. We confess the sins for the day directly without third-party involvement.

When confessions are made from flesh to flesh, sometimes it damages the person or the whole family when the confessor cannot hold their piece. I have two incidents that have come to my knowledge. In the first one, she struggled for quite some time with how she could have peace of mind because of the sin she committed against the sacredness of marriage. Until she decides to approach their Pastor and confess to him about her attraction to another person who ended up in adultery, she wants to make everything straight and get her life back to normal without guilt, break the relationship with the said person, and return to being a faithful wife again after she receives the blessings from the Pastor. The Pastor broke the sanctity of confession and told the husband’s family, which happened to be a high tighter. Sadly, the spiritual leader that she trusted ended her marriage to a divorce. Is this because of a money relationship and letting the soul that needs revival drown?

The 2nd knowledge is again a woman who confessed to a priest that somebody tried to take advantage of her; I do not know the rest of the conversation inside the confession room. Added to her trauma is her experience with the priest, who was possessed by an evil thought during confession and kept asking something outside of the box. That pushed her out of the Catholic faith after that experience, and she joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses. She found refuge in the group, and they helped her to see the light again after the experience of being in darkness, struggling to bring her life again. She passed a faithful Jehovah’s Witness. To add to the story, she gave birth to three offspring out of her knowledge; she named her children in this order: Jesus, Maria, and Joseph. She only realizes later that she named them the members of the Holy Trinity. She is my Aunt, the youngest sister of my Mom.

I intentionally shortened the storytelling because of the time the readers can handle. If you have an established relationship with the Almighty Father, Our LORD, and our God, you can talk to Him directly without a mediator. Jesus told us, “When you pray, go into the room of your choice without distraction, shut the door, and pray to our Father who is in secret. And our Father who sees in secret will reward (hear) us.” Emphasis mine.

God is full of love, mercy, and grace. Sometimes, we cross the line without acknowledging that it weakens our connection with love and grace. God is merciful to forgive our sins but never to offend the Holy Spirit within us. It is unforgivable. How can you be forgiven? It is between you and God and not for us to know it. David, “a man after God’s own heart,” asked God to help him. he was repentant when he did wrong and loved the Lord with all his heart. Still, David displeased the Almighty God for his adultery with Bath Sheba and his murder of Uriah; this sin is not minor; a corresponding punishment came into play. God let his enemies come against him. However, the enemy sees little victory when God’s people are on guard (mindfulness). When we acknowledge the existence of God in our lives, God’s force and His field of protection and guidance are more than enough to be shielded and not be shaken; no one can be against us. Sin is against God’s delight. Published Facebook 9.16.2023

When we are justified, sanctified, and reconciled with the Almighty Father, the direction of our spiritual walk will be back on the right path, restore our relationship with God, and join other children of God in enjoying eternal life.

God, please be with us in this journey; without you, we could not reach your throne of righteousness. We submit to you, LORD of Host, our weaknesses. Please give us more healthy bodies and spiritual strength to combat the power of the principalities in heavenly places. Deliver us, LORD, from all kinds of Lies, deceit, and temptation. Moreover, LORD God, continue the force of your guidance and protection in our daily living. Thank you, Father, the Almighty. Amen

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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