So, next weekend is the Catholic Conference and I am looking forward to it. I will go to confession since I am such a procrastinator and do not make time for confession. The main problem for me starts with discernment.
7 What then can we say? That the law is sin? Of course not! Yet I did not know sin except through the law, and I did not know what it is to covet except that the law said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, finding an opportunity in the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetousness. Apart from the law sin is dead. 9 I once lived outside the law, but when the commandment came, sin became alive; 10 then I died, and the commandment that was for life turned out to be death for me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it put me to death. 12 So then the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
6 The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace.
It has been 60 days since my last confession and I really have been feeling like I have nothing. I know that is a very bad place to be.
1 John 1
5 God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
8 If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. 10 If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
My excuses are: “Well, I have nothing mortal, so I’m okay.” “The priest doesn’t want to spend time hearing my little sins, like cursing, when there are others that need to confess mortal sins. They need confession and I’m just being scrupulous.” “I know I don’t have to go to confession unless I have mortal sins or if it has been a year since my last confession.” I even considered committing a small sin so that I could feel more like I needed to go to confession! The words of Paul rushed into my head.
What then shall we say? Shall we persist in sin that grace may abound? Of course not!
20 The law entered in so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more,
I want to encounter Christ and his tremendous grace, in the sacrament of confession again so much, I actually thought crazy 🤦🏻♀️for a split second. Oh, Lord Jesus help me! But at least the above verse made sense to me, in a way that I had never received it before. Were others really thinking this as well? 🤷🏻♀️
So, the other day we, my husband and I, started eating in a new order. We are trying this one-meal-a-day idea that I saw online and heard about at work. I made a huge meal for us for supper. It was more than we were used to eating, but we were going to be trying to only have a Greek yogurt and fruit slush for very early morning breakfast and a large early evening meal. Where am I going with this? What does this have to do with confession? Nothing directly. It has to do with discernment. I’ll get back to our diet later on in this post….
My husband is practical and observant of the practices of our Catholic (Universal) Christian faith. I have had a weak start when it comes to the faith practices. I’m naturally an extremely shy person. I don’t like to sit still and sometimes I cannot sit still. And starting a conversation with a total stranger, that is a man, in a private room, and also a holy man does tend to make me nervous. But those are all excuses. I’ve done this probably 15 to 20 times now since becoming Catholic and I think I have it down. It’s the discernment. Discernment. Discernment. Discipline!
1 John 2:3
3 The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
I noticed on my calendar that it has been 60 days since my last confession and as I said before I thought I had nothing. I don’t know the examination of conscience off the top of my head. I’m not going to confession until I know I have prayed about it, discerned it properly, and gone through a good examination. A person should want to make a good confession and be totally honest before the priest that is in the person of Christ. Christ is there with us, so let’s get this right! That’s me talking to myself.
12 So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 😂
I thought for a while about my sins. My thoughts deceive me. They wind around like this in the recesses of my mind…” That wasn’t even a sin.” “It could have been a mortal sin!” “I could be in mortal danger!” “No it wasn’t, you were practicing a new diet, a new discipline, and you did not over eat your ONE meal because it was bigger than usual.” “But what if I did indulge too much?” “I did have two beers the other night when I could have been done and fine with one beer.” See the problem? I don’t even know if my soul is in mortal danger because I have no discipline for discernment or for an examination of conscience! This is very concerning for a Catholic or it should be!
17 But thanks be to God that, although you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted.
18 Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.
So for a Catholic Christian that receives Christ in the flesh at Mass, confession is necessary!
1 Corinthians 11
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. 31 If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment; 32 but since we are judged by [the] Lord, we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
Starting today I will set out my “A Pocket Guide to Confession” By Frederick Miller on my night stand so that I see it and remember to do a daily examination of conscience. No excuses! Not even if I’m 😴 tired.
Another strategy I will try is placing the “Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively Virtues” Examination of Conscience (by Word on Fire) on my side table in the living room.
And finally, I will read this little booklet “Seven Daily Habits for Faithful Catholics” by Father John McCloskey right now!
2 Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.
13 Everyone who lives on milk lacks experience of the word of righteousness, for he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties are trained by practice to discern good and evil.