Why do I have to go to a human being to ask forgiveness from him? A reply to Mayor Duterte
|Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was…. Photo credit: By Водник – Transferred from ru.wikipedia; (собственное фото), CC BY-SA 3.0.|
A. CONFESSING TO A LAY PERSON
1. Confessing in the Bible
Confessing one’s sins to another human being is Biblical, even if that human being is not a priest, i.e. a laity. As Apostle James said:
2. Learning from Psychology
That’s why some psychologists earn money by just listening to people narrate their lives to uncover the underlying reasons behind their present emotional problems. Even a computer algorithm, such as ELIZA, which mimics a rephrasing technique of psychologists can already effect healing on many patients:
3. Asking forgiveness from the persons you hurt
If you used your father’s car and you crashed it on a tree because you were drunk while driving, your father may forgive you if you admit your fault. But he may also give you penance: the money spent for the car repair shall be taken from your allowance; meanwhile, you have to learn how to commute.
If you hurt your wife by having an affair with another woman, and you realized your mistake, you can go back to your wife and ask forgiveness, with a promise not to see the other woman anymore. Your wife may forgive you, but you also have to do certain things to assuage her anger. Well, you may need to court her again by providing proof of your your repentance: you become extra caring to her, you help her with the household chores which you normally don’t do, you spend more time with her, etc.
That is why the story of the Prodigal Son is timeless: after squandering his inheritance on a life of dissipation, the son found himself tending the pigs and eating their food. And he realized that it is better to go back to his father and ask forgiveness:
4. Asking forgiveness in Courts of Law
If you are accused of a crime, and you deny it even if you really did it, your penalty would be worse if you were convicted. But if you were sorry for the crime and asked pardon from complainants, they may forgive you, but you have to serve your sentence in court. And if you have a good conduct in prison, your sentence may be lighter and lighter, so that a 20-year imprisonment may be reduced to 10 years. If the judge acquits you, then it is the State which acquits you, because your crime is not just against another person, but against the State, against the people of the Republic of the Philippines.
B. CONFESSING TO A PRIEST
1, Christ, the Son of Man, forgives sins
Christ is Man. But since He is also Son of God, He also has the power to forgive sins which are offenses against God. The story of the paralytic illustrates this:
As Christ said:
2. How the priests got their power to forgive sins
After His Resurrection, Christ gave the apostles the power to forgive sins:
As the Apostles preached throughout the world, they converted many people to the Gospel. If the believers became large enough in a city, the apostles appointed bishops and gave them the fullness of the priesthood to celebrate the Sacraments and govern the City of God, the Church.
In turn, the Bishops appointed Elders or Presbyters to share in their ministry. Who are the Presbyters. They’re the priests! The Apostle James mentioned the presbyters or the priests in his instruction in celebrating the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick:
The priests are also empowered by the Bishop to hear confessions, since they are the bishop’s co-workers in the ministry of salvation:
Thus, when you go to a confession to a priest, he hears your confession and provides you the absolution through the power granted to him by the bishop. Since the bishops are the successors of the Apostles and the Apostles were granted by Christ the power to forgive sins, then the bishops have the power to forgive sins, and this power they share to the priests.
Confessing one’s sins to another person in general is not only recommended by Apostle James in the Bible, but also by modern psychologists for our emotional healing. We need to confess our sins especially to the persons whom we hurt and do penance to repair the damage that our sin has brought. This is true whether we confess our sins to our parents, to our spouse, or to the courts of law. In all these cases, we have to perform penance as a sign of our repentance, e.g. getting the car repaired, loving your wife more, or be imprisoned for several years. And when the court acquits you or releases you from prison, it is the whole State which acquits you and releases you from prison. The humble judge of the city is just a mere instrument of the State and his judgements are ratified by the State.
In the case of confessing our sins to a priest, it is true as Duterte claimed that the priests are not God. But Christ is both Son of Man and Son of God. He can forgive sins. And He gave this power to the Apostles through the Holy Spirit. The Apostles gave the power of forgiving sins to the bishops who succeeded them, and the bishops delegated this power to the priests belonging to his diocese. Thus, if a priest forgive your sins and gives you an absolution provided you perform certain acts of penance, e.g. spiritual and corporal works of mercy, it is Christ who truly forgives you and your sins are forgiven by God.
Read the source and comments: http://monkshobbit.blogspot.com/2016/05/why-go-human-being-sins-forgiveness-reply-mayor-duterte.html
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Pope Francis confesses in St. Peter’s Basilica http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/04/pope-francis-confesses-in-st-peters-basilica/
THE DOWNLOAD—NO EXCUSES: GO TO CONFESSION! http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/04/the-download-no-excuses-go-to-confession/
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For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin (cf. 1 Cor 5:11; Gal 5: 19-21; Rev 22:15). In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and “does not come into judgment” (Jn 5:24; CCC: 1470).
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