We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More on Confession (Updated)

On Saturday, I posted a self-examination I found to prepare oneself for confession (either private or with a priest). Sam and Kate both had some great comments. Today, in my GoogleReader, I came across this story about a resurgence, or maybe a better word is re-emphasis, on confession coming from the Diocese of Pittsburgh (RC). (HT: GetReligion) :


...search for a regular confessor whose spirituality is compatible with theirs, who will get to know them well enough to see their patterns of sin. From such knowledge comes guidance to grow in holiness....

And some quotes from Anglicans:

Thomas Becon (1512-1567), Chaplain to Archbishop Cranmer:
There is nothing so good and of so great excellency, but it may be abused. The abuse thereof is taken away, and not the thing itself. That confession hath been greatly abused it cannot be denied...yet ought it not therefore to be rejected and cast away, but rather restored to the old purity, and to the use for the which it was first instituted.
That auricular confession is a thing of much weight and grave importance...it engraffeth in us a certain humility, submission, and lowliness of mind, and sepresseth all arrogancy and pride....

Charles Chapman Grafton (1830-1912), Bishop of Fond du Lac (Wisonsin):
In this holy mystery (confession) Christ comes seeking us. As if we were His only care, He makes search for us as the Good Shepherd. He comes to find us in our wandering, to rescue us from the thickets werhein we have been caught, to take us up trembling and with bleeding feet, and in His own arms to bear us safely back to the Fold.

Herbert H Kelley (1860-1950), Founder Society of the Sacred Mission:
The plain fact is that this intense resentment we feel at confessing to anybody is the very essence of the whole business. Sin is selfness, self-concentration, and that is, isolation. By its very essence it is the secret of the soul....

In very wide circles, the practical loss of the habit of confessing to a priest - as a quite normal thing - has led to an almost complete loss of any sense of sin....Then if we will not face the trouble and humiliation of confession, we take refuge in that indifference which is so terribly common.

These quotes were culled from Love's Redeeming Work: The Anglican Quest for Holiness, which is a compilation of writings from Anglican theologians.

Updated to add: The Happy Catholic has linked to an interesting article on confession. Is it the season of Lent, that I'm noticing articles on confession because it is one the mind....or is the Lord trying to tell me something? Sometimes it does take a good "2X4" as my pastor likes to say.

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