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What Stops Us From Confession?

What Stops Us From Confession? - St Shenouda Monastery Pimonakhos Articles

Confession is one of the seven sacraments of the church. Despite Confession being a heavenly sacrament, there appears to be a number of people who object to the power of this sacrament and raise objections regarding the practice of this sacrament. The sacrament of confession could be summarised as “the Lord entering into man by His grace, vividly establishing communion with him, and allowing him to taste of all the sweetness of the Divine…”

Despite Confession being a blessed transformation and a heavenly consolation, many people appear to be reluctant to participate in this sacrament. I’m sure many people could offer an opinion as to the reasons why people do not haste to partake in confession, (and we will number those reasons below) but undoubtedly those who do not haste to partake in confession do not see the healing power of this blessed mystery.

The sacrament of Confession offers much spiritual healing, of which the most obvious is cleansing of the mind, body and spirit. When you confess you clean your soul and remove bodily dirtiness. Cleansing through confession is analogous to washing your hands in water. For example, every man, when he dirties his hands, washes them. No one says: “I will not wash my hands anymore, because I will get them dirty again!” But why is it then that many people say, “I will not go to confession, because I will sin again tomorrow!” It is clear that the enemy of our salvation is enticing us not to wash our souls, so that he can gain power over them. You cannot give in to these suggestions from the devil. You need to confess frequently, because frequent washing produces the taste of cleanliness in us.

I mean, you wouldn’t leave your house unswept for a year, or leave your office desk uncleaned for a year (unless you have a negligent boss)! Now think about not having confession for not only a year, but for twenty, forty or sixty years…..

Confession also provides the benefit of allowing any sin to be forgiven if a man repents sincerely. Some people object and say that there is no use in confession because they are too sinful; “God could never forgive my many sins”. However we believe that God is all powerful and can forgive all sins. He is the powerful Doctor who provides the medicine for forgiveness. God’s mercy is unlimited and confession is the suitable medicine. All sins can be forgiven by God, if man is willing to repent.

Some people also object to confession as they do not believe they have any ‘special’ sins. They say that only the people who commit big sins like murder, stealing or rape should go to Confession. However, this belief is a great error. Sins that are hidden are deadly, because they go unnoticed. The ‘small’ sins cause man to be complacent and not realise his dirtiness. He does not receive the cleaning power that Confession brings.

Some people also refuse to confess saying that they will sin again, so what is the point in confessing? While it is true that you cannot avoid sinning as you are a mere human, you need to put up a fight to become clean. When you struggle you are victorious, but as soon as you give up you have already lost. No matter how many times you fall you must rise….even till death.

Others refuse to confess to a priest, because they say that we only need to confess to God. In response, Confession is a sacrament and God has ordained the priest to administer the Holy Sacraments so that we can receive through them heavenly allsaving grace. Besides, Confession before a priest has an enormous instructive meaning. It humbles a person. It cures pride and instils in us shame and fear to protect us from future sins.

I have no doubt that Confession is the way to become worthy in God’s eyes. If the confessor is sincere, deep, disgusted with his sins and desires to start a new life, the room of the heart is thoroughly cleansed from all the waste of the sins.

Confession has countless benefits. It chases away demons and deadly parasites that lie in the heart. It opens the soul to taste the fragrant and fresh grace of God. It removes all confused thoughts and ideas, all chaotic feelings and restores positive desires of the heart. Confession ultimately allows a person to be fit to accept the most marvellous guest, Jesus Christ, and do not ever let an objection to Confession stop you from receiving Him.