Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 2, 2007
Reconciliation is humbling experience, say local priests
But seeing a person reunited with God is uniquely beautiful
By BILL GLEN
"We spend an awful lot of time acting as if we didn't do anything."
- Fr. Sylvain Casavant
Mortal sins kill a person's freedom and his ability to choose God. They destroy charity in his heart.
Moret said mortal sins must be confessed. "It is important to confess these kinds of sins and how often they are committed for the integrity of the sacrament," he said.
Casavant emphasized that there is no sin a person could possibly do to stop God from loving them absolutely. If there were, he would no longer be God.
"Some things we do with family and friends might break a relationship, while some things we do will kill it."
Casavant mentioned adultery as a relationship killer, but said showing up for work three hours late does not have the same effect on the relationship.
"There isn't the same sort of frustration or hurt," he said. "But I always try to tell people to try and not assume their sin is greater than God's love."
A good Confession brings sins into the open that are the most serious and problematic at that time, Moret said.
Bringing a list of sins to Confession is not a problem for Casavant. He cautions, however, that he can't speak for any other priest. "If it's a matter of needing some help to remember, then it's fine."
Sins are like weeds in a garden. A person can go to Confession but only pull away at the surface. What is needed is to get to the roots of the issues - to scour away at the real filth.
"The question we often need to ask ourselves to get to the root cause of sin is 'Why did I do that?'" Moret said.
"We need to get all the way back to find the real cause. We often have a certain amount of selfishness and pride that are often demonstrated through certain actions. Even when we can take away the part we see, the root remains.
"The question we often need to ask ourselves to get to the root cause of sin is 'Why did I do that?'"
- Fr. Paul Moret
"Going to Confession on a consistent basis helps to pull out that root by making us aware of it and giving the graces to help us deal with it."
Doctor of the soul
Father Don Stein called a priest "the spiritual doctor of the soul." Just like seeing a medical doctor, if a person doesn't reveal what is truly bothering them, then how can a priest truly help?
"We have to go into the core for the very heart of their relationship with God," said Stein, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Red Deer. "We have to help them with their responsibility and their understanding that they are disciples of Christ."
Reconciliation is to look at yourself in the mirror and see where you stand before God, he said.
"You are disappointed you're not more like Christ? Going a little deeper, a person asks what motivates them. They confess they get angry five times a week, but anger is a cover-up for the real cause. Was it jealousy, envy or power? Was it control? What is deeper is the root, and we try to see it before a merciful God."
A person has to be motivated almost like the prodigal son, Stein said.
"When you hit flat bottom and your face is in the mud, you come out and say 'I need God and his merciful love' because we are sinners."
Seeing a person reconcile with God through Confession is a uniquely beautiful experience, Stein said.
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