Why We Go to Confession During Advent

There’s a repeating pattern throughout the Old Testament: God gives, man sins, God calls man back, man sins, God calls man back, man sins… etc.

It’s easy to be distracted, maybe even disheartened, by the multitude of mankind’s failings. However, if we shift our focus from ourselves and look at what God does, it’s rather uplifting.

He never gives up.

He wants to be reconciled with his children.

It’s why he never stopped sending prophets to his people. I mean, look at the beautiful promises God made to his people through the prophets… and all the beautiful ways in which he cries out to his children…

Prophet quotes

Prophet quotes (1)

Prophet quotes (2)

I don’t want to totally bombard you with Scripture passages, so I’ll stop there, but God’s message is always the same: “return, come back to me…”

Haven’t we always been told that “actions speak louder than words”? By going to confession, our actions show that we are sorry and that we want to be saved from our sins (which often make us feel enslaved). Our admitted faults and surrender to God’s grace within the holy sacrament of Reconciliation literally shows God that we want him more than we want our sins. It clears the “gunk” out of our heart and soul, making room for the coming of Christ within us more fully… and all those promises he made in Scripture are also applied to us. He restores us to the fullest version of ourselves. He delivers us from wickedness, redeems us from ruthlessness, restores our souls and satisfies us with all good things.

As Catholics, Advent is the liturgical season in which we are encouraged to focus on waiting for the Three Comings of Jesus.

  1. His Incarnation, which took place over 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem.
  2. His Second Coming, of which we know neither the day nor the hour
  3. His renewed presence in our hearts

When it comes to each of these events, Scripture encourages us to be prepared. In the New Testament, John the Baptist is on the scene before him, crying out, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. …Prepare the way of the Lord…” (Mt 3:3).  This is why parishes across the country are hosting Penance services this month, and why the Church encourages each Catholic to go and be reconciled with God.

It’s less about confessing, and more about freedom and “reunion” with our Father.

Confession can be an intimidating thing. It seems as though whenever we make attempts to go and receive the sacrament, road blocks emerge. Unexpected things pop up, or our fears of judgment for what we’ve down seem to be magnified. After we’ve committed a sin, Satan likes to make us think there is no way that God could ever forgive us. These are nothing but scare tactics to keep us from God’s saving grace. Tell Satan to “get behind me…” and persevere in pursuing your sacramental life. Share this with someone you know is struggling with this exact circumstance. 

2 thoughts on “Why We Go to Confession During Advent

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  1. This was a great post! What advice do you have for someone who gets EXTREMELY nervous for confession? I’m talking, forgetting all the sins I was going to confess, shaking, heart racing etc…. 🙂

    1. I would say to remember that God’s GREATEST attribute is his mercy. He is only concerned with our sins as far as they hurt us. He is the Divine Physician (according to Augustine (Aquinas?), I think). Going to confession is like going to the doctor. You’re going for healing— not for judgement!! Praying for you sister! The nerves are normal and it’s Satan tricking you into thinking God is unhappy with you. The opposite is true!

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