Photo by Lawrence OP
I have been struggling lately with sin and feeling this intense need to go to confession and be in a state of grace. This month, I was listening to a Fr. Corapi video on making a good confession and he made the point that if you are not in the state of grace, how can you expect to fight God’s battles? If you are in a state of mortal sin, you are not in a state of grace. Furthermore, if you are not in a state of grace you will (probably) go straight to hell if you die before you make it to confession. Not a fate I’d like to contemplate!
Furthermore, the Blessed Mother tells Mariamante:
…Frequent, regular Confession will make them grow in holiness in a way in which nothing else can… (pg. 28)
Catholic Theology teaches that there are three conditions necessary for a mortal sin:
1. Grave matter (breaking one of the Ten Commandments)
2. Knowledge that it was grave.
3. Full consent of will in doing the act.
I found an article with an excellent example of what these three conditions mean in a practical way. The best way to determine your sins is to do an examination of conscience. It helps to pray for the Holy Spirit to help SHOW you those things that you need to confess. The best guide that I’ve found to help guide an examination of conscience can be found at Beginning Catholic.com although I’ve found it other places as well. It methodically goes through each commandment and highlights seemingly simple things that we may have done that are contrary to it’s meaning.
I won’t go through the whole confession process because chances are there is a pamphlet in your church you can grab on the way in. If you want to prepare before, you can find A Guide for Confession at Catholic Online. Once you have had your sins absolved and have made your penance, you are now in a state of grace. Again.
Now that you are in a state of grace, the Apostolate of Holy Motherhood encourages frequent Holy Communion. The church REQUIRES that you are in a state of grace when you receive holy communion. If you are not, it is a sin against the first commandment. Catholic.com says:
First, you must be in a state of grace. “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor. 11:27–28). This is an absolute requirement which can never be dispensed. To receive the Eucharist without sanctifying grace in your soul profanes the Eucharist in the most grievous manner.
Because communion is union with God like nothing else, it makes perfect sense that we must be in a state of grace. Beginning Catholic sums it up best:
This sacramental union of ourselves with Jesus is more than the mere physical union between our body and the Sacred Host which we have swallowed. More importantly, it is a mystical and spiritual union of the soul with Jesus. This is produced in the soul by our physical contact with the sacred Body of Jesus.
This marvelous blending of the soul with Jesus is a very special kind of union. Obviously we do not become “part of God.” It is much more than the “ordinary” union with God which the Holy Spirit establishes in us by sanctifying grace. Yet it is less than the ultimate and most intimate union with God which will be ours in the beatific vision in heaven.
The Holy Eucharist (communion) is the one sacrament whose purpose is to increase sanctifying grace through union with God himself. For this reason, Communion is the sacrament of spiritual growth. The more frequently we can attend Mass & receive him, the more we can grow in holiness.
FOR THIS MONTH
If you don’t have regular Confession added to your schedule yet, find out when your area parish(es) have Confession and add that to your schedule at least monthly. In addition, look up daily Mass times for your area and prayerfully consider whether you can add daily Mass at least once a week. As we will find out later, a Friday and/or Saturday would be very useful if you can fit it in.