There is such a thing as Sacramental Abuse.
The blessing and curse of having confessions so often at St. Dominic’s is the fact that many people can come into the box on a regular basis.
However, almost every priest I know has encountered that one penitent that is not very penitent. There comes a time in every priest’s life where they meet a person who comes into the box on a regular basis, asks for forgiveness—but at the end of the story, is not really sorry that they did wrong.
Why? Because they can do that repetitive sin once again and go to confession before Mass and believe that they are good to go.
You know it’s happened. And you know it happens.
So here’s the thing. The matter of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is contrition—that is, the state of being in which you willingly say that you will sin no more. What makes the Sacrament of Reconciliation what it is is the contrition of the penitent. This ain’t Catholic guilt! Rather, it is a willingness and conviction of knowing that having a good relationship with God takes a lot more work that I am currently putting in.
So when a person comes into the box, you have to ask yourself if you are really sorry? Or are we the type of person that says, “I’m going to commit this sin now, and go to the box tomorrow, receive communion, and then sin on Monday.”
One type of person sees their religious life as a series of check boxes. The other wants a relationship with Jesus.
Which are you?
Holy Father Dominic, pray for us!