We must confess our sins personally to the priest since the Church has received the power to forgive sins. We must confess our sins whenever we commit mortal sin or whenever we want to experience peace with God even after commiting venial sin.
The Church was given the power to forgive sins the day of the Resurrection of Our Lord. Jesus appeared to the apostles and spoke not just to them but to those who would
represent his Church in the future [ the priests ] [Jn 20:21-23 ] 21 He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.
By the Law of the Church, we must confess our sins at least once a year. Of course we must confess our sins as soon as we commit mortal sin. Mortal sin is the sin that makes our souls die eternally, in other words it leads us to hell.
Unless we confess our mortal sins, we are doomed to go to hell, mortal sins are those violations of any of the ten commandments. Venial sins are sins of lesser degree than mortal sins, they eventually lead us to mortal sin. No one is exempt from sin, thereforewe must humble ourselves and go to
confession at least once a month. By confession is understood the personal confession of our sins to a priest. There are other types of general confessions, but they have no validity unless we confess our sins personally tothe priest except in an emergency that would prevent otherwise. e.g. there is a war and people don’t have the time to confess their sins personally.
Why do we confess our sins to a priest and not to God directly ?
[Jn 20:21-23 ]
21 He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.
Let us examine this passage:
Peace be with you: Peace is the fruit of reconciliation. Jesus reconciled us to the Father by His death on the cross. He paid for the debt of our sins and by his wounds we are healed. He came after the Resurrection to participate of His victory over sin, the first fruit of his victory was the Peace that He gave to his apostles, the same peace that we experience when we come to him in the sacrament of confession and receive the absolution.
As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you: Jesus is the Son of God who has the power to forgive sins, He founded His Church on Peter the Rock, now after His death on the cross, He is sending the apostles with the same power to forgive sins, so that He can be with us in the Church until the end of times.
He breathed on them: When Adam and Eve received the first breath from God, they became alive. They lost their immortality through sin, therefore it was necessary for us to be given new life through the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus is the Life!
Receive the Holy Spirit: Before His death, Jesus said to the apostles, unless I die, the Holy Spirit will not come [John 16:7], now Jesus died and resurrected, by His breath we receive now forgiveness of our sins and new life through our new spirit, The Holy Spirit.
This is a fulfilment of the Prophecy the Lord made through the Prophet [Ezequiel 36:26] I will give you my spirit.
Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained : Anyone who rejects this passage is surely rejecting the power of Jesus to forgive sins, which here is delegated to the Church.
When we come to a priest we come to one who has been empowered to forgive sins through the anointing given by the Lord to his apostles and to the Church. “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
As we come to the priest to confess our sins, we are being humble before God and we come with a contrite heart just as the Lord wants, we are also being witnesses of the Word of Christ by accepting it, we give Glory to God the Father for accepting the forgiveness of the Son through the Church and we give Glory to the Holy Spirit who is always present in the Sacraments of the Church.
The Catholic Church is the Church founded on the Blood of Christ the Rock, who asked Peter to feed His Sheep, therefore making Him a Shepherd after Him [John 21:17]. The Church was also rooted on the blood of the apostles and the martyrs who gave their lives as a testimony of their faith in Christ.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.The Catholic Church is the Church of the Way, the Church of the truth and the Church of the Life. The Way and the Truth we find in her teachings, the Life we find in the sacraments.
Jesus is truly present in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. He is the bread of life that has come down from Heaven (John 6:35, 6:48-51 ). Unless we eat of his flesh and drink of his blood, we have no life in us (John 6:53).
In order to receive Jesus in this holy Sacrament we must be purified through repentance of our sins and confession in the Sacrament of Penance before a priest otherwise we will be condemning ourselves by committing a grave sacrilege.
Holy Communion is our communion with God, when we pray the Our Father we say “give us his day our daily bread”, we ask for this bread but do we come to receive it?
It would be ideal to develop a holy relationship with God so that we can commune with him daily. the Precious Blood of Jesus is our sanctification in this humble sacrament.
a Happy and Holy Lent, and a Holy Easter.