Forgive me, Father: Confession offers path to healing, grace

Many Americans say they fear public speaking more than almost anything, but some Catholics also have anxiety about speaking privately with a priest about their sins in confession.

“Our sins only cause fear, confusion, division and harm,” said Father Mark Moriarty, pastor of St. Agnes in St. Paul. “God doesn’t want us to stay in that kind of terrible and harmful state. He is waiting and planning and nudging and encouraging us to receive his mercy.”

God offers peace, healing and joy to those who can overcome that fear and receive forgiveness for their sins in the sacrament of reconciliation, he added.

The season of Lent and especially Holy Week offer good opportunities to meet the Church’s requirement that Catholics confess serious sins at least once a year because the Church is commemorating Christ’s death and resurrection, Father Moriarty said.

“Lent is a beautiful time to acknowledge how much we need Christ and to personally participate in the saving effects of his meritorious death,” he said.

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