The Catholic Letter

General Catholic Insights on Life, Eternity, and Everything In Between

Confession and Convenience

If there’s one thing that never fails to amaze me over the Catholic controversy, it’s the argument over confession. Perhaps each person has their own theories about why a man should or shouldn’t confess his sins to another man, but the most typical one is that God alone can forgive sins…and that God demands no human intervention in the ordeal.

Now I could write about the biblical evidence of our side, or use a complicated logical argument. But I don’t think either of these are necessary…or even sufficient. The real issue I take is not so much the whether confession is necessary, but whether or not it is convenient. And the convenience of confession falls right in line with the opportunism in resting on the Sabbath.

It could be out of pure laziness that I look forward to this day of rest. So I’m not sure if I’ll ever understand someone who would break this easy-to-follow commandment. The ones who see it as a burden must not recognize the fact that it is there for the sake of man…not for the sake of God.

Some might want to point out that all of God’s rules are for the sake of man. I wouldn’t argue with that, but the Sunday rule is one for strict physical delight. One that almost feeds our sloth. One that ignoring is every bit as ludicrous as a child who refuses his favorite candy.

And I see the same kind of lunacy in an adult who would refuse to go to confession. God obviously understands our need for an emotional dumping ground. Where we can go and talk about what ever it is making us feel guilty. And speaking alone with a priest (who is bound by a strict rule of silence) seems like an ideal setup.

The fact that the priest can offer absolution is obviously the most important aspect of confession. Yes, the spiritual healing is the reason…but the emotional healing is almost as beneficial.

And while the confession line is growing shorter, the lines for therapy grow longer…and by now, God must be scratching his head. People are paying money for something that God is providing for free. Like lunatics shielding themselves from the sun, as they make their way to the tanning beds.