We publish a great post from Father Z’s blog yesterday that is based on a Must Read post from Crisis. It can never be repeated often enough, the importance of being always in a state of grace, for we ‘know not the day nor the hour…’
GO TO CONFESSION!
What a victory for the demons of Hell it has been to run down the Sacrament of Penance until it is barely thought of in some parishes.
Fathers, if you are parish priests and have the obligation to hear confessions, hearing confessions can help to keep you out of Hell. If you are parish priests and you don’t hear confessions or you won’t teach about confession, you will probably go to Hell. Just try to deny it. Just. Try.
At the ever-valuable Crisis there is a piece entitled: “The Spiritual Roots of the Church’s Crisis”
Certainly we can identity many factors, both within the Church and from outside the Church. This article, however, starts with this:
Lack of Confessions
Any examination of conscience for Catholics today needs to begin literally with our lack of examination. I live next to a large, suburban parish, which has 30 minutes of Confession a weekend. How could such a short period of time suffice for thousands of people? It seems as if parishes have resigned themselves to serving the small percentage of Catholics who desire to go to Confession. [Yes, indeed. There is a less than virile prostration before the ways of the world in this, isn’t there? A kind of cowardice?]
When we speak of mercy, it has to begin in the Confession, with the sacrament that Christ gave us to bestow his mercy on us. When we look at the numbers, it appears that Catholics are rejecting or are simply unconcerned about receiving God’s mercy. [And these numbers don’t seem to have changed a lot over the last few years.] A report from CARA, Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, conducted almost a decade ago shows that “three-quarters of Catholics report that they never participate in the sacrament of Reconciliation or that they do so less than once a year.” Frankly, this statistic alone demonstrates the heart of the spiritual crisis facing the Church. The Church has been given the enormous grace by Christ to forgive sins, but people just aren’t very interested.
He also points to…
* Irreverence toward the Eucharist
* Minimal Penance
* Bad Catechesis Leads to Dissent and Disbelief
Toward the end we find…
In the 1980s a book pushed a cardinal to international prominence as he put his finger on the controversy of faith in the Church following the Second Vatican Council: The Ratzinger Report. I found another interview book with a cardinal helpful in refocusing us on the true task at hand: Cardinal Sarah’s God or Nothing.
If you haven’t read it yet… or if you haven’t given it to your parish priests yet…
(Links to Cardinal Sarah’s book(s) are at Father Z’s site)