We have a deadly disease. It's a disease whose effects rage throughout society; the symptoms are everywhere. Pride strikes us all.
Pride causes fights in our marriage to last for days. Pride hurts those we love the most. Pride even hurts us. We must reap the consequences of our prideful decisions.
As Catholics, the Church offers us a cure; Reconciliation. But unfortunately, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the most underutilized tool that we have at our disposal. Its immeasurable grace waits to save us.
It might be because we're afraid that the priest will recognize us. There's an element of shame in naming our sins out loud. Avoiding the Sacrament begets more avoidance. Soon, it's been years since we last experienced the cathartic experience of forgiveness. Worst of us, maybe we believe the lie that God can't forgive us.
Reconciliation is a powerful tool because it cares for us spiritually and psychologically. We confront our failings out loud and are then relieved of the burden of our mistakes.
What's needed is a paradigm shift. Perhaps a bit of rebranding. If we changed the name from "Confession" to "Free Counseling," more Catholics would go. That's the essence of the Sacrament. You confess your sins, through the priest, to Christ. In turn, he provides you guidance for your life. It's the free counseling that we need to make it through life.
The best component of Reconciliation has to be secrecy. The priest can never tell anyone what you said. Ever.
Even still, it's unlikely that they even remember what you said. Have you seen how much priests do these days? I'm sorry to hurt your pride; your sins probably weren't even that interesting. They've heard it all before.
I believe that regularly receiving Reconciliation is vital to your marriage. It de-stresses you and keeps you focused on your spiritual health. Instead of being preoccupied with your failings, you can build a robust and fruitful prayer life.
The Church has two rules about how often Catholics must go to Confession. You must go at least once a year during Lent, and you must go if you commit a mortal sin. That's the minimum; you'll be average if you keep to those rules.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to be average. I want to be awesome. I want to have a fantastic marriage. I want to have extraordinary relationships. Going to Reconciliation monthly will put you on the path to excellence.
Confession is vital to a successful marriage. Through the process, you renew yourself. You grow closer to God and, through that closeness, you become a better husband. So grab your bulletin and head to Confession this week!