Chaplain's Blog

My message to you

This blog will features messages and thoughts from Fr. Tesfu.


  • 23 July 2018
  • Author: Benedict
  • Number of views: 513



Thinking or hearing the word ‘Confession’ causes some people to tremble, to break out into a sweat, to want to run away or perhaps to do all three at the same time.  ‘Confession’ is a popular name for the ‘Sacrament of Penance’.  The name ‘Reconciliation’ is sometimes used.  Each of the names emphasize a different aspect of the Sacrament.


So who has to go to Confession?  How often does a person have to go to Confession?  I recall the words of a member of the clergy, “All may, some should and a few must.”  How often?  Well, that depends.


We start with the last part of that sentence:  a few must.”  What ‘few’ must celebrate the Sacrament of Penance?


The Catechism of the Catholic Church states the following:  “After reaching the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation to faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year (Number 1457).”

                -The age of discretion is around seven years old. 

                -A serious sin can be called a mortal sin or a grave sin.    

    -Three conditions must together be me for a sin to be mortal/serious/grave.

    -“Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed

       with full knowledge and deliberate consent (Number 1857).” 


Who ‘may’ celebrate the Sacrament of Penance?  “Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults is recommended by the Church . . .(T)he regular confession our venial sins helps form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit (Number 1458).”

What about the ‘some should’ go to Confession?  What about those seemingly insignificant things that harm a relationship with another individual or group of individuals? 

-The person who never takes his or her turn doing the dishes in the staff room is a (universal) problem.  After awhile this lack of taking one’s turn results in bad feelings. 

-A spouse whose socks and underwear never get into the laundry hamper; no big deal, right?  What is the long-term effect of this act or lack thereof? 

-For some employers an employee using company time for personal work occasionally may not be a problem.  What is the effect of using many minutes of company time on a regular basis?

-What about the same venial sins committed repeatedly?  Sometimes those venial sins can build up to result in a bigger problem.  That is where the ‘should’ go to Confession should come into the picture. 

If you are not sure if a sin is a mortal sin or a venial sin, perhaps you ‘should’ go to Confession and find out.

Fr. Leo 

Categories: Chaplain's Blog

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