The beginning of Advent marks a new liturgical season that reminds Catholics of both the coming of Christ as Savior and as Judge and King. As Advent continues, Catholics hear the words of Isaiah the prophet in the Scriptures, Is 40:3, “to prepare the way of the Lord and make straight his paths.” St. John the Baptist echoes these words in Jn 1:23 and in Mt 2:2-3 as he calls all people to repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Advent is a great time to reflect on our past mistakes and to turn back to God with all our heart by making a good confession. There are many moral ills in society which are a result of personal sin, but the denial that sin exists seems to be ever more prevalent in our cultural norms. If we truly wish to make the world a better place, then we have to begin with ourselves, by coming before the Lord, giving Him our hearts for His throne, through a sincere and honest confession.
There are five steps to making a good confession: 1.) Examine your conscience; 2.) Be truly sorry for your sins; 3.) Have a firm purpose of not sinning again; 4.) Confess your sins to a Catholic Priest; and 5.) Accept your penance and perform it in a timely manner. When these steps are followed faithfully, Catholics will receive the five fruits of a worthy confession: 1.) Restoration or increase of Sanctifying Grace; 2.) Forgiveness of sins; 3.) Punishment remitted due to sin; 4.) The restoration of the merits of our good works; and 5.) Future help to avoid temptations to sin. Chicken soup may be good for the body when we are sick, but confession is medicine for our soul which disposes us for fruitful reception of the Eucharist and prepares us to enter into eternal life.
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