How to Make a Good Confession
Publisher: Sophia Institute Press
Publication Date: 2001-04-01
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Do you still drag your feet about going to Confession? If so, here is the help you need to enable you to overcome your reluctance and open your soul to the vast reservoir of mercy found in Confession.
This down-to-earth, practical guide shows you how to transform your confessions from embarrassing moments in a dark room into profound experiences of God's love. The author, Fr. John Kane, provides solid guidelines for how you can (and must) make the most effective possible use of the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Even better, he shows you how to carry the grace of Confession into your daily life, so that you'll start consistently winning your battles against sin.
This is a book you can return to again and again in order to renew your sense of God's mercy--as well as to gain Fr. Kane's help in examining your conscience and bringing your life into greater conformity with the light of the gospel.
Get Fr. Kane's help and learn:
- One truth you must realize, or you'll never drive sin from your soul
- Two reasons why God forgives sin, but still punishes the sinner
- Three characteristics of the truly forgiven sinner: do you have them?
- Your past sins: startling ways they can help you love God more today
- True repentance and its counterfeits: three ways to find the genuine article
- How to tell whether you're sorry for your sins - even if you don't feel sorry
- The embarrassment of going to Confession - how it can actually help you imitate Christ!
- The heavy price of your sins: no, you probably don't realize it, and yes, it's worse than you think
- Why hating sin does not mean hating the sinner
- Why true saints will always consider themselves sinners
- Sorrow for sin: how it deepens your compassion for others
- How to take advantage of Lent each year to overcome your sins
- And much more that will help you get more spiritual fruit out of Confession than you may even have thought was possible!
The striving of the soul to rid iteself of sin is the best evidence of the progress of its remorse. We are more certain of our sin than of our penitence. We know our sin directly; only by inference from its practical results can we prove our penitence.
Not the malice of sin in itself, but rather, the love of self-indulgence, is the reason for sin.
True repentance is easily discerned. Mortification is its soul. When we repeatedly resist our ruling passion, when we remove the causes that stir into action, when we lay the axe to the root of sin, when we are proof against the alluring voice of self-love, which ever seeks to discredit the claims of conscience, when we bridle the triple concupiscence of the world, the flesh, and the Devil, when we are guided by the divine philosophy of the dospel and not by the uncertain, shifting maxims of the world, when the spirit of self-denial has so thoroughly woven itself into the fibers of our religious life as to make us impervious to the poisonous exhalations of worldliness, sensuality, and pride, when there is a substantial, not an accidental chance in our attitude toward sin in its complex guises, when the Cross is for us the test and measure of success, when we learn the secret of sanctity from its greatest exponent and exemplar, Jesus Christ, who "did not please Himself," when we "rend our hearts and not our garments," and turn wholly to the Lord, our God --- then and then only are we truly penitent.
The soul that is not truly penitent still hankers after the seductive sweetness of sin; it flees not its devious paths; its enchanting spell still lulls the soul to sleep; self-love, and not the love of God, still rules supreme.
As we are creatures of habit, we must exercise special care when we confess frequently. Change being the law of our existence, constant repitition dulls the appreciation of what we do. An act often repeated is apt to become very commonplace.
Self-denial in all its complex varieties --- special fasting, untiring toil, perservering prayer, constant Christian charity, total forgetfulness of self --- all these are the effects of the working of love striving to deepen the soul's hatred of its former shame.
The sincerely penitent soul, no matter how sinful its past, may reach as high a degree of holiness as the soul that has never lost its baptismal innocence. There are no limits to its spiritual advancement.
From its birth until its full maturity in the soul, the spiritual life admits of three stages of development --- the purgative, the illuminative, and the unitive.
The universally applicable test of an amended life is not the mere conquest of a ruling passion, but the development of its opposite virtue.
We are saved more by faith increasing, tendencies developing, and charity expanding than by knowledge acquired, results obtained, and victories won.
Our pursuit of holiness, not its actual acquisition, is the basis of our judgment of the extent of our virtue.
Fr. George William Rutler
"It is a great thing to make a good confession, and this is a good book about how to do it."
"This magnificent handbook helps you deepen your repentance and make it lasting. Don't go to Confession without it!"
Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.
"Teaches us not only how to go to Confession, but also how to stir up sentiments of repentance and purpose of amendment that are necessary to receive the sacrament fruitfully. Worth reading again and again."
Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P.
"Can help a person get into the salutary habit of a regular celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation."
Fr. Mitchell Pacwa, S.J.
"A marvelous book. Can provide spiritual nourishment throughout the whole process of repentance, confession, and spiritual growth."
Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R.
"A welcome blessing. It offers a fine examination of conscience, ideally presented to meet today's needs."
Good overall. Excellent Examination of Conscience if you’re working on failings & omissions rather than needing a comprehensive list of mortal sins. The language was a little tiresome; not as concise as saints’ writings from earlier times and with needless embellishment as modern churchmen commonly write. I read this book a chapter at a time during my weekly Holy Hour. I think it was helpful to break between each topic.
Whether you're a frequent confession goer or haven't gone to Confession in years, Fr. Kane effectively maps out what is spiritually going on within you -- what that feels like and what your soul is actually going through. Fr. Kane talks about the pitfalls of going to confession very rarely, but at the same time the threats to avoid when you go to confession frequently. They provide an incredibly robust list of questions to ask yourself for a thorough examination of conscience. This alone was worth the price of the book! Tackle those questions, work on tackling them better, and dollars to donuts, you will become a saint!