Every now and then you hear these stories about people returning to confession after, like, 10 years. While it’s truly beautiful to see, I’m always curious what finally prompted them to go…and what it was that kept them away for so long! I think if all Catholics knew the secrets of confession, they’d make it a priority, a part of their routine – as much as working out or getting a hair cut. So, I’ve compiled a list of some of things I like best about confession. Here are 10 secrets I’d like to share with you:
1. Priests have a bad memory. Not about everything, thank goodness. But, when it comes to confession, it must be a grace priests are given – to forgive and forget. What is said “in the box,” stays in the box. Even if the priest is someone you know or see often (like your pastor), I assure you that he won’t give you the hairy eyeball the next time you see him at Mass.
2. Nothing is too big (or too small)… Regardless of what you confess, there will be no audible gasps… or bored sighs. Confession is a time to unload whatever is on your heart, big or small. If it has been a while since your last confession, you might consider making an appointment, just so you don’t feel rushed or worry that you’re holding up the line.
3. Less painful than flossing. Don’t be concerned if you don’t remember exactly how to go to confession. Just tell the priest, and he will help guide you through the steps. If there’s one thing your dentist and priest will agree on, it’s this: It does get easier the more you do it!
4. Free and unlimited source of power. Sometimes I hear people say that they don’t know what to confess or don’t have any big concerns, so what’s the point – why bother? In both of these instances, I say let the Holy Spirit do the work. Spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament and ask Jesus to reveal your sins to you. I guarantee He will come through! What’s more, going to confession will open up the pipeline of grace that He’s just waiting to pour down on you.
5. Pushes the reset button. Ours is a God of ‘do-overs’. He never tires of forgiving us, and He truly wants to give us another chance – unlimited chances, in fact. Not that we excuse our actions or stop trying to do better. But every time we go to confession, it is a chance for us to experience the mercy of God, spoken through one of His “agents.”
6. You can break those nasty habits! It won’t happen overnight, but going to confession regularly is one of the best ways to overcome those sins that we seem to confess over and over (and over). Slowly, the grip that sin has on us will begin to loosen and, one day, we can be set free – or at least get into purgatory! You may even want to consider getting a regular confessor – kind of like a personal trainer for your soul.
7. Goes good with chocolate. Want a sure fire way to get your kids to go? Make a family outing of it. Go to confession first, and then head over to your favourite ice cream spot. (Or if it’s 20 below, opt for hot chocolate!)
8. Quick way to lose weight. Sin begins to weigh on us over time, especially the heavier stuff – mortal sin. After going to confession, you will feel so much better…lighter, even. Guaranteed to be the easiest weight loss plan you’ve ever tried!
9. Makes you a better lover! Want to improve all the relationships in your life? Go to confession. Like all the sacraments, receiving the gift of reconciliation opens the door of our hearts to the most perfect of lovers – Jesus. Since He is the source of all love, we can’t help but love other people better.
10. Even inspired an Alfred Hitchcock classic. The seal of confession is as legendary and mysterious as Hitchcock’s string of hits. Know that whatever you say in confession is “in the vault.” Priests have been known to go to prison or even to their deaths in defense of the seal. Intrigued? Watch the 1950’s classic, I Confess. You’ll be so inspired, you’ll want to head right over for confession.
In case I haven’t given you enough reasons, here’s an awesome little talk from one of our resident experts, Fr. Cristino Bouvette, on why you don’t want miss going to confession: Four Reasons it’s Healthy and Important to Confess PDF Version
– Kelley Holy