Posts Tagged With: confession

How Often Should I Go To Confession?

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A friend of mine in the religious community (and I don’t have many religious friends in case you’re wondering) and myself suddenly spoke about confession.

Now I thought I was doing bad by going once a week but turns out he was surprised by such frequency. Things got even more surprising for him then when I told him I to used to frequent it almost every second day.

He went once a month or other. The Church recommends we go to confession at least once a year. That does not mean however that you can receive Holy Communion when you like. I’d be surprised to go one year without committing some sort of grave sin that would deprive me of Holy Communion.

A lot of Irish go to Medjugorje in Bosnia/Herezegovina and I’ve been twice myself. It’s a popular message of Our Lady there where she asks that we at least go to confession once a month.

I thought that was quite generous of Our Lady given that it’s very difficult to get us to go in for confession.

I suppose I frequent confession so often not because I’m a goody two shoes, rather I seemed to have just formed a habit of it.

I told my friend yes once a week. When you think about it, you shower once a week. You go for a walk once a week. You eat at least one healthy meal a week. You go out and have a good time at the disco once a week so why not go to confession once a week?

Once a week we shower and bathe ourselves to keep clean because we know that if we don’t have a shower we will smell. When we are stinky then the people around us will notice this stink and be disgusted.

It is the same with Christ. We may not see our souls or smell the stench of sin fuming from us but such a stink reaches right up to heaven into the nostrils of God.

Therefore keeping our souls clean is necessary. We would not enter the company of someone if we smelled awful, so what makes you think God wants you in his when you smell as bad as you do from the stink of sin?

Go on now, give yourself a good wash with the Grace of Christ and form a habit of doing it once a week. You’ll thank me for it later.

 

 

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Confessing Your Sins In Detail

I have to say, I used to confess my sins in detail until one of the My Spiritual Fathers from the 8th century taught me never to do so. I call all the fathers my spiritual fathers as throughout my entire conversion I don’t have anyone to counsel and advise me except them, the times being so hard I’ve always felt they have been with me.

It makes sense because when you go into detail – on sexual sins in particular – it can be a temptation for the priest.

Therefore it is enough for us to examine the 10 commandments and anything we do against each one we say we broke this commandment. If you’ve committed an impure action with yourself or lusted after a woman not your own by action or fantasy, in your heart you could say ”I committed adultery.”

However there are different gravity of sins and saying I committed adultery could mean anything, so the priest will invite you to explain further because he needs to know how to counsel you on this particular sin for future reference.

This is fine and it’s not going into detail so you can say I masturbated X amount of times or said a bad curse word X amount of times.

Going into detail would be to describe literally word for word the entire scenario. The priest doesn’t need to know this, in most cases doesn’t want to know this and in nearly all cases would never ask.

Immediately you’re putting the priest in danger there and doing him no favors at all. I tend to do myself and the priest a favor by sticking to the Advice of the Fathers and not going into detail. I wouldn’t even say how many times I committed a sin unless he asked me and it’s always nice to get a priest who asks and probes a little more because a lot of them can be lazy and not care about you.

I know that whilst it’s important to Love Gods priests and show them reverence, some of them I just go to because the power has been given them to forgive my sins whilst their advice is as useful to me as tits on a bull.

Many priests have been called, but few are actually chosen. In the times that are very difficult in Ireland, finding that chosen priest is so hard. It’s been eight years since my conversion and I’ve never found one capable of spiritually directing me or that I’ve had a connection with.

I’ve came close at one stage but it’s hard I fear I may die without one as punishment for my sins.

In any case I wish you all the blessings in your future confessions. If there’s anything you’d like to say about it or add to it there’s the comments below.

 

 

 

 

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Dreams

Dreams, what are they? This was my sisters question at my sons 6th birthday party.

My simple explanation was they are mostly due to several factors like what you ate can have an influence. In addition they can be just reflections of your current spiritual and emotional state.

Our dreams can be a tell tale sign of how sick our soul is and so if our prayer life isn’t too good we can end up with a lot of nasty dreams because when our prayer life is weak we open ourselves to bad emotional habits.

The Divine and the Devil can interfere in our dreams. It’s mostly the devil. You’ll recognize him because its a lot of anxiety and shouting in the dream. Sometimes he mimics the face of Jesus but it turns menacing very quickly and so your soul will recognize who is who pretty quickly.

Dreams from Jesus which are extremely…..extremely rare, are filled with peace and no fear at all.

The Devil is more of a nuisance. He enters your dreams especially when you’re on the road back to God or are a prayerful person. He’ll have you tortured and it’s quite scary. I have regular dreams of him pulling me down to hell and screeching in my ear. It is quickly ended when in my dream I shout out the prayer of St.Michael and then I awaken. I do this within the dream every single time.

He’s trying to dissuade us from our progress in prayer. That’s all he can do really is dissuade you and intimidate you and only has as much power over you as the Lord allows him to.

Another example is my wife. I met my wife on Catholicmatch.com and it when we got talking first before we’d ever met she said she’d never been to confession before. I told her she has to go. She scheduled an appointment with the priest in her diocese of New Jersey city. The night before the morning of the meeting with the priest she called me and told me of the dream she had.

She explained that she was in the confession box and on the other side of the confession box behind the grid was the devil hissing and scratching with long nails along the wood. She awoke frightened, called me and said she couldn’t go to confession. I explained that it’s just the Devil trying to intimidate you because pretty soon, you will receive full absolution and no longer belong to him.

It turned out Audreys problem was she had an abortion, something she did not confess nor all the drug taking etc etc.

Ah, now you see how the devil can enter dreams? We will always have menacing dreams but our dreams often reflect the state of our soul or they confirm we are on the right path. Audreys certainly reflected a dream of someone who was making the right journey home.

Good night, sleep tight, don’t eat too much cheese.

 

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My First Encounter With My Wife

When I came back to the catholic faith and realised I was too uneducated for religious life and was being turned away left right and centre I decided to think about married life and that perhaps God was calling me there. Don’t ask me why as then I didn’t have a job and no money so who in their right mind would consider me? 

Yet somehow, Gods love, calling and protection is always proven to be stronger than these things. There was no catholic girls in my vicinity and so I took to the Internet in search of someone either living that life or with a renewed desire to do so like myself. 

It was a bit weird at first and a bit of a disaster, especially with the American girls who were all after this big wedding. I always stayed clear of anyone who spoke more of the big dress and how much a wedding cost. It was not because I didn’t have the money but because I felt their heart was not in the right place. 

In my profile page on Catholic match I wasn’t quite like the others in my questionnaire. For example one of my questions for new comers was “we are at your parents for dinner. We meet for the first time with all your relatives at the table. In the duration of this I let out ( unintentional )an almighty fart. What do you do? 

Audrey unlike other girls thought this was funny and so just before I’d given up on Catholic Match I happened to come upon her profile. 

We talked for a week on the phone and we both wanted to get married. She told me her life story and especially the part where her 20s was ruined by visiting mental hospitals over her abortion and now she wanted to be Catholic again and meet a Catholic husband. 

I asked her if she’d ever been to confession before and she said no. I invited her to go and talked her through the process. She called me up the night before she was to go see the priest as she had made an appointment and told me the dream she had. The dream was that she was in the confessional box and there was a demon on the other side of the grid hissing at her and scratching its walls. 

She woke up in a sweat and called me. She said she felt too scared to go to confession now. I told her that the devil is just discouraging you from visiting confession and the only reason he is bothering you now is that you will no longer be his property but that of the Lord. The devil doesn’t bother much with people who are not working to get closer to Christ. He only pursues those of us trying to get close to Jesus. 

This is how frightened of confession the devil is. It is a serious form of exorcism and not many of us realise this. 

After this and disapproval from her secular parents to come to Ireland, she came anyway. We met opposition from the local priest who made fun of us and called us Muslims when he saw she wore a mantilla and we were quite interested in the Catholic faith. He wasn’t impressed we were getting married so soon. 

But we did get married and in November this year we will be 7 years married. We have two children aged 3 and 5 whose names are Joseph Francis ( born on feast of St.Joseph and day of Pope Francis inauguration ) and Christian Alexander . 

Unfortunately after a few years in Ireland Audrey caught hodgkins lymohoma cancer. By the time it was diagnosed it was in its last stage and had spread throughout her body. What was harder to realise was she happened to be six months pregnant. 

She went through the chemo whilst pregnant and the baby boy Joseph was delivered on time. We called him the miracle child as he had no trace of chemo inside him as was to be expected. Not one trace. 

We are here now and I begin my latest job next Monday. We love each other and believe we have been called by God. Our marriage is strengthened by God and it’s the little faith we have that keeps us going. A family that prays together stays together right? But we also need you to pray for us too. 

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The Reason People Are Not Afraid Of Sin.  

We all know not to touch a hot cooker because we will immediately get burned. We are familiar with wrapping up warm because if we don’t we will freeze to death. All these immediate effects as a result of an action belong to the material world. But actions such as not going to church on Sunday, not believing in the Churches teachings or committing adultery on ones spouse, All of these have an immediate effect on us spiritually and for an eternity but we pay no heed to them because they don’t really effect us in the here and the now. 

If mankind were told that not going to church on Sunday meant you’d break out in sores all over your body and suffer a stroke, what do you think would happen? If we were told that committing adultery meant falling down dead on the spot how well would we all obey this command not to commit adultery? 

This is because we cling to this life and our faith is weak. We cling to this life not because we are afraid of the Unknown ( we can’t fear what we don’t know ) but because we are afraid of losing what we already know and what we’ve always known such as we hear with our ears and see with our eyes and is within our human touch. 

The only thing that can cure our condition is the Grace of God which can come in the form of a discipline. So in a way although I’ve said our sin has an immediate spiritual effect, I’m gonna slightly contradict myself here and admit that some sins can lead eventually ( not immediately ) to the physical. This makes God sound terrible doesn’t it? I mean can’t he just develop some sort of super nanny bold corner for us all to stand in until we’ve cooled down? Is there any need for the STIs and HIV from fornication or going to prison for killing our neighbour? This is because we pull God down to our human way of thinking. 

Why these natural disasters that innocent people suffer from too?  

We can go down the route now of speaking about the mystery of suffering in creation but this post is really not designed to be a long drawn out essay on that. It’s always difficult to cover everything in one piece so I’ll cover that another time. 

Short answer for people of faith? God and natures discipline upon us is something sinners bring upon ourselves. Our sins of not going to church at all may not seem big to us but in the heavenly realm, it is so big it’s as if you took an axe and murdered your whole family. In the eyes of God who is above our human way of thinking when it comes to what’s evil and isn’t, our sins are enormous. 

Our sins don’t just effect us but they effect and scandalise the innocent. So the innocent end up taking the brute force of nature because of something the guilty did. Or if we do something wrong in the presence of others it can influence the innocent to do the same which is why Christ says in scripture that anyone who scandalises the little ones or teaches others to disobey the commandments will be severely punished. 

But we don’t see these effects are tied to our sins because we are all spiritually blind to it and care only for what we see and feel and our major obstacle is pride which we’ve been taught is good thing. When I see evil in the world the first thing I’m thinking is ” My sins big or small contributed to this ” and I pray a prayer for mercy and conversion of the world. But how many of us think like this or say this? We’d rather blame God and everyone else but we dare not consider our bad behaviour contributes to the knock on domino effect of evil in the world. The number one culprit? Pride!!!

If we put a weed among the crop, eventually the healthy crop succumbs to the weed and it all dies. Same happens when we put an innocent boy into a group of thugs and eventually peer pressure will see this young man succumb and lose his innocence. This can happen also on a global scale. Sin is that weed amongst the innocent crop in the world and all it takes is one rotten apple to spoil the innocent. 

We don’t see it because our faith is weak and because we often don’t ( like the hand in the fire ) feel it’s immediate effect. There are two fires however, the material and the eternal. We fear the material more than the eternal ( because either we don’t believe in it or fantasise about a deathbed conversion ) but Jesus ( who himself trembled in fear of the physical suffering he was about to endure ) tells us not to fear those who can kill the body but him who can kill both body and soul in hell. Jesus himself understood the people’s thinking of his time and just like people back then didn’t care less about the effects sin had on their soul they’re no different today. 

Like I said at the beginning of this post: if not going to church on Sunday meant we’d all break out in sores and suffer a stroke, how many people do you think would show up to church? But when were told we risk suffering an eternal torment? “Nah, I’ll worry about religion when I retire ” says the young 24 year old man who dies in a car crash 5 hours later. We all fantasise about this deathbed conversion whereby we gamble our souls, live the sinful life we want and then confess it all on our deathbed and get into heaven. 

Question is: Do you really want to be that guy? 

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Magdalene survivors call Catholics to boycott Mass

Magdalene survivors have called on Catholics to boycott Mass in Ireland this weekend. Here’s what you need to know:

1) should you follow through this so called boycott, missing Mass on the sabbath is a mortal sin and would render us unfit for reception of Holy Communion until we had been to confession.

2) This immature request of the magdalene survivors made to Catholics reflects the true nature of their agenda, which is ultimately an anti-Catholic one that seeks to somehow evangelise Catholics away from their faith and damage Catholicism on this island. Ultimately your being asked to stand with them and not with Jesus.

3) There are more adult ways to discuss the magdalene case than this very childish request of boycotting the Sacrifice of the Mass. Those of us who have a relationship with Jesus and not the world will pay no heed to such a request.

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