The Catholic Parish of Our Lady
and St John
Lee-on-the -Solent and Stubbington
Parish Priest: Father Francis Sasinowski (01329) 663 435
7 Secrets of Confession
7 SECRETS OF CONFESSION
Based on the book of the same title by V Flynn
Contents:
Foreword
Beyond the Grocery List
Secret 1 
Sin does not change God
Secret 2
It is not about forgiveness
Secret 3
Your sin is different from mine
Secret 4
Confession is never really private
Secret 5
You have got mail
Secret 6
New wine needs new skins
Secret 7
You have to let go of your chains
Afterword
Change your oil
Bonus Secret
“ Every time you go to confession immerse yourself entirely in MY MERCY with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of MY GRACE upon your soul.
Tell souls that from this fount of Mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust.
If their trust is great, there is no limit to My Generosity.”
( Sister Faustina`s Diary )
 
*
 
“ While we can still be healed let us surrender into the hands of our DIVINE PHYSICIAN.”
( 2nd Century homily )
FOREWORD
Beyond the Grocery List
Confession is a means to An End, to be worthy to receive a Holy Communion
What is a Grocery List Confession?
When we focus only on sins as a list of bad thoughts, words, deeds.
WE have to rediscover the Secrets of Confession
To rediscover a full beauty of this Sacrament.
Simply, in Confession we:
*   abandon ourselves to the Mercy Of God           1 step
*   set out again on our journey to Holiness            2 step
Confession should be a Wonderful Personal Encounter with God.
 
SECRET 1
Sin does not change God
“ God is not subject to eclipse or change. He is forever One and The Same. I trust in You, Jesus, for you are unchangeable. You are always the same, full of mercy. “   ( Sister Faustina`s Diary )
To understand Confession means to understand sin.
Sin is not about bad behaviour – it is about RELATIONSHIP.
Each one of us is Willed and Loved by God. He wanted us to exist and created us. Moreover God wanted to give Himself to us.
He is not only our Creator…… He is OUR FATHER!
Sin is really our refusal to accept and respond to the God`s Love
If our sins change Father`s Love for us  -  NO!
“ Everything may change, but God`s Love never, never. It is always the same. “  ( Sister Faustina )
What the sin does?  -   It separates us from His Love!
Sin – turning our hearts away from God.
There are many degrees of this turning ( venial or mortal sin )
The severity of sin depends on:
*  how clearly I realize that I am turning away from God
*  how freely and consciously I choose to turn away from God
*  how complete this turn may be
The real problem lies in my Heart!
God never turns His Face or Heart from us, only allows us to turn away from Him due to our freedom.
What is a remedy for sin? – to turn back to God ( conversion )
No sin is greater that His Love!
According to St John of the Cross:
“ God is like the sun, shining over our souls “
We know that sun never sets or goes down – it is he Earth that moves and turning away from the sun.
After sin – the change takes place in us!
Sin – being in a darkness, not being able to see the Light, being in “ a cave “. It is not just “ breaking the rules “.
Sin bring me into “ a cave “ without light and Confession brings me out of it.
SECRET 2
It is not just about forgiveness
What is the purpose of Confession?
Forgiveness - Yes, but it is a part of a much broader purpose - HEALING
We would like our sins to be forgiven, but the Lord wants to HEAL US
Of attitudes, disordered desires, wounds which causing us to commit sins.
Confession is really the SACRAMENT OF HEALING!
CHRIST – is our GREAT DIVINE PHYSICIAN, not a Harsh Judge…
His forgiveness is a necessary step towards the complete healing
According to Sister Faustina:
“ We come to confession to be healed and to be educated like a small child “
We may say that the Confession is not “a quick fix “.  It will be a process of healing and education after it.
St John Paul II said : “ The Confession is the Sacrament of Enlightenment, a Light for the path of perfection “
A Confessor should be also a father, teacher, spiritual guide…
After Confession we are: ransomed, healed, restored and forgiven
JESUS wants us to look like Him, to think like Him and to act like Him
“The miracle of Divine Mercy restores the soul in full “ (Sister Faustina)
 Why do we have to confess our sins?
Because we are sick and need the Doctor to show him our wounds.
It is a recognition that we are sick and to let Christ to heal us!
Then our misery will meet His Mercy and we will be embraced by the Father ( like in the parable of a prodigal son )
SECRET 3
Your sin is different from my sin
This Secret is about the gradation of sins – venial or mortal.
Sin – a refusal of God`s Love, not “ a bad behaviour “
Our relationship with God is very important.
What may be a root of sin?
* Distorted attitudes
* False values
* Wrong priorities
* Unconquered appetites
* Destructive desires
Sin is real, personal, but not the same for everyone..
To receive Mercy we have to acknowledge our sins. Many people have a big problem with it. They live like as God does not exist. And they think that they are sinless!
We know that there are venial and mortal sins.
Venial sin  -  wounds and weaken our relationship with God
Mortal sin – destroy it!
What makes a mortal sin?
* The matter which violets gravely our souls
* The full knowledge that this matter is a serious and opposed to God`s Law
* The consent based on a deliberate and free choice
“ Mortal sin exists when a person knowingly and willingly chooses something gravely disordered “  ( St John Paul II )
Our ability to love depends on our relationship with God.
More close I am to God – more I am able to love like Him.
Personal dimension of sins means that I have to ask myself:
* To what extend I wounded God` Love put inside me?
* To what degree I separated myself from right relationship with God?
There are some “ mitigating circumstances “ that make the sin to be a venial not a mortal. For example:
* unintentional ignorance
* external pressure
* passion and prompting of feeling
* pathological disorders
In the end, only God can accurately judge whether this sin is for me mortal or venial!
How can I determine what is right or wrong?
The Church gives us guidelines.
I have to examine where I am with God on the personal level.
It is not enough to have a list of sins.
Sin is also the things we failed to do  sins of omission..
We have to do the Will of God, not only to avoid sin.
SECRET 4
Confession is never really private
Confession is never really private – just between a penitent and a confessor.
The confessor acting in the person of Christ!
Confession – is an encounter with CHRIST and the FATHER and THE HOLY SPIRIT.
In this encounter we feel the Healing force of the Blood of Christ and
We taste the Joy of being saved through it.
“ When you approach the confessional…I Myself waiting only hidden by the priest…never analyse what sort of priest he is…I will fill your soul with My Light..”  ( Sister Faustina )
In Confession we are:
*   cleansed                *   forgiven
*   healed                   *   embraced by God
By the tender Love of the Holy Trinity!
After the Confession we have a JOY, HOPE, PURPOSE and AWARENESS
Of being loved by GOD!
Formula of Absolution tells us about the acting of the Holy Trinity in the
Church to give us peace, pardon and to restore our innocence and Grace.
God the Father of mercies, through the death and the resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us or the forgiveness of sins, through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
In the Confession there is a kind of “ judicial “ action, but this takes place before a tribunal of Divine Mercy
His Tribunal consists of three Judges : the Holy Trinity.
But they are there not to sit in judgement, they are on our side!
Confession is about the Holy Trinity and about returning to the Father
Through His Son Jesus in the Holy Spirit.
It is like was with the prodigal son who came back into loving arms of his father.
When we confess our sins – all of Heaven rejoices. Christ told us so.
There is no “ private sin “ because we live in the community.
Our sins affect not only God but also others and the Church.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church there are five wounds created by sin:
* to God  * to yourself * to others * to the Church* to all creation
SECRET 5
You have got a Mail
“ When you go to confession…the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flow down upon your soul and ennobles it “
( Sister Faustina )
Confession takes us to the Cross!
The suffering, death and resurrection of Christ in never over, it is always present and is applied to us.
Forgiveness of all sins is possible of the Cross. Jesus took our sins away there to destroy them.
No sin is greater than God`s Love. We don`t need to beg for His forgiveness, only to ask for; we know that God already forgave them on the Cross.
Do not ever let yourself doubt God`s Mercy.
Now two illustrations about it: a picture of an email and a deposit box.
Email
Christ sent us an email ( about forgiveness ) when He died on the Cross.
It is still there in the cyberspace waiting for us to take it and read it.
But we have to do something to get it. We have to log into our Email
Account. And this is CONFESSION; through it we can download the fruits of the Cross now!
Deposit box
Christ`s forgiveness and healing was put into the deposit box in the bank. And we have the key to it.
What we have to do is to go to the bank, get the key and open the box.
What Christ did on the Cross then affects us now and
What we do now affected Him then.
So we can still comfort Him or to add to His pain (when we sin)
The best way to prepare to Confession is to meditate upon His Passion and imagine that I have spat on His face, have torn His flesh and nailed Him to the cross.
Sin is a personal and horrible because it tormented the soul of Jesus.
In Confession we receive the loving email from Jesus and we have to reply in words:
I am sorry Lord, for all the ways and times I have hurt you. Thank you for loving me anyway. Help me to love you more.
 
SECRET 6
New wine needs new skins
The goal of Confession is:
New Life, Rebirth, Transformation, Restoration of Friendship with God, Communion with God so we can live in a whole new way!
God wants us to be recreated and restored to the FULNESS of LIFE!
So far we learned the Secrets of Confession that:
* Sin is not just about bad behaviour, but about a relationship with God
* Through sin we turn our hearts from God
* Confession calls us to conversion and repentance
* Forgiveness of sins is simply the first step in a whole process of
   healing
* Confession calls us to change of life
* Confession is a place of meeting with the Holy Trinity
* Sin is personal and horrible and Christ suffered on the Cross and died
   for us to destroy its power.
Confession is not “a ritual “. It is about responding to God, to have our lives dramatically changed.
New Wine  -  Christ, His Life and Holiness received by us in the Confession
New Skin  -  ourselves prepared for it
We prepare through:
*  Repentance – as a Contrition and Resolution to change our life and to
   sin no more
*  Confession
*  Intention to make a reparation 
Act of Contrition – it is not only an apology or regret for our wrong doing, it is a sorrow coming from a sincere repentance and conversion,
From discovering that God is rich in Mercy!
The Contrition results in:
*  sorrow for sins
*  hatred for sins
There are two levels of contrition:
*  Contrition of fear of hell                     ( Imperfect )
*  Contrition because of love of God    ( Perfect )
Confession of sins is not enough, we have to make a firm resolution to change with a help of God.
Before the confession we have to resolve to do penance and to amend our life and to abandon sin.
It is a decision to turn to God with all our heart. This is a very serious!
SECRET 7
You have to let go off your chains
There are chains or barriers blocking God`s Love, Forgiveness, Healing.
Barrier 1   Lack of faith
We need the Faith as a living Faith put in action as Trust.
Even Jesus could not perform miracles because of lack of faith!
Barrier 2   Idolatry
It is a divinizing what is not God. All sins are, in some sense, a form of idolatry. They put God out of a centre of our lives!
It may take a form of pleasure, riches, power or honour.
We should ask ourselves – What is on the throne in my heart?
We need to recognize CHRIST as the LORD and worship HIM alone!
And we have to ask Him to give us His Love, Peace, Joy and Fulfillment.
Barrier 3  The Father`s wound
We long for to belong to the Father and to live in His Love.
It is our built-in desire to be:
* loved   * appreciated   *  affirmed   *  approved and valued
There is a problem for some peoples to believe in the  Loving Father in Heaven. Reason – they never experienced a such love from their earthly
Father.
Barrier 4  Unforgiveness
Outpouring of God`s Love can not penetrate our heart if we have not forgiven our trespassers ( Our Father prayer )
St Paul said:  “ Bless those who persecute you, bless..do not curse “
St Peter in the same manner advised us: “ Do not repay evil for evil “
How to learn to bless and not to curse?
REPENT   REVOKE  and  REPLACE
Repent
I simply repent of the thoughts, the judgements, the anger, the words I uttered
Revoke
I revoke all those negative, unkind thoughts Lord
I un-think them and I un-say them
Replace
I replace those curses with a blessing
I forgive them and I bless them
And I ask the Lord to bless them
Another way to deal with unforgiveness is to imitate Christ.
On the Cross he said : “ Father forgive them because they do not know what they are doing “.
In this way our chains are taken off us!
Some people have a problem to forgive. They say that can forgive but they can not  forget.
It is not in our power to forget an offense. Do not try to forget and to deny the memory. Accept it and use it!
Do not hold on your pain and do not run from it!
But dare to give it to the Lord.
AFTERWORD
Change your oil!
Confession – the Sacrament of Conversion and Sanctification!
We have to confess our sins frequently because I grow more in holiness the more I go to Confession.
It will help me to avoid sin.
We need to look deeper and to see the roots of our sins.
Where do I need healing and Mercy of God?
Confession is like an Oil Change, a maintenance of our soul.
Remember that confession of venial sins is not strictly necessary but strongly recommended to:
*   form our consciences
*   fight against evil tendencies
*   progress in a spiritual life
*  receive God`s Mercy and to be merciful ourselves
Let us be enveloped by the Mercy of God to feel His embrace and His wonderful tenderness!
BONUS SECRET
Do not forget the Hors D`oeuvres
We have to prepared to Confession by a good examination of conscience.
We have to ask Mary, the Mather of Mercy to help us to make a good Confession
We have to pray for our Confessor, as well!
7 STEP EXAMEN ( Examination of Conscience )
1/   Ask yourself what things keep showing up on my “ list “
      Habits, vices, addictions, behaviours I have the most trouble to
                                                                                                       change.
2/   What are the root problems making hard to make a progress
3/   What areas of my life have I not submitted to Christ. Where I am
      Not at peace?
4/   What wounds do I have that need healing? Where am I hurting?
5/   What person, event, situation am still resentful, bitter, angry
       about? Who do I need to forgive ( God, myself, others )?
6/   In what way am I most unlike Jesus? What do I need t change?
7/   What one thing can I resolve to change right now, trusting in
       God`s Grace?
10 COMMANDMENTS OF CONFESSION
 
1/   Go frequently, even for venial sins
2/   Take the time to prepare with prayer
3/   Turn to MARY to pray for you
4/   Call upon the HOLY SPIRIT to show you your sins and sinfulness
5/   Meditate upon the Passion of JESUS to stir up the tears of 
       Repentance
6/   Discern areas where you are in the most need of God`s Mercy
7/   Pray for your confessor
8/   Do not just focus on behaviour, focus on the root problems
9/   Give thanks to the Lord for your healing
10/   Do penance
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