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Catholics all over the world, last Sunday, June 23, celebrated the feast of the Body of Christ, also called the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Christ himself underscored the importance of receiving his body in form of the Holy Eucharist when he warned: “Unless you eat the body of the son of man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you…” He also warned however, that whoever receives it unworthily, brings condemnation to himself. What then can stop a fervent Catholic striving for eternal life from receiving the Holy Communion except sin?

It is true that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It is also true that anyone who denies being a sinner, makes God a liar.

But Christ himself has left us a way out. Every repentant sinner can make use of the sacrament of Penance to seek reconciliation with God. For a true penitent, this sacrament restores the holiness of life forfeited by grievous sin and deepens it through lively sorrow to purify one’s conscience for a worthy preparation for Eucharistic communion.
An intensification of one’s encounter with Jesus Christ is achieved especially in the regular reception of the sacrament of Penance and Eucharist.

Unfortunately, many Catholics, these days seem to have lost interest in going to confession, irrespective of the fact that one of the commandments of the church is that a faithful should confess to a priest and receive Holy Communion at least once a year.

But a true Catholic knows that this minimum requirement of once a year is most inadequate in a world full of temptations. That is why going to confessions twice a month and receiving Holy Communion if possible on daily basis is highly encouraged.

There is no doubt that only a convinced Catholic, someone who has the faith, humble, transparent and obedient, would see the value to do so. We are worried that many Catholics no longer go to confession, whereas confession encourages one to refrain from sin, while keeping away from confession kills the conscience and justifies living in sin.

Confession is commanded by Christ. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples who were gathered in the upper room, scared and confused. He breathed the Holy Spirit on them and then commissioned them to forgive sins.

“(Jesus) said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven, and whose sins you retain are retained.” John 20 19-23

Other benefits of confession include:

· We receive grace to resist sin through the Sacrament, as well as forgiveness.
· We learn humility by having to confess to another person.
· There is built-in accountability
· We receive counsel from the priest.
· All our sins are wiped away.
· Helps give us the strength to forgive others.
· Helps us go deep within and think about how we can improve.
· When we realize (again) we are sinners, it is easier to be patient with others.
· Always confidential – what is said in the confessional stays in the confessional.
· No more guilt
· We are better prepared to receive the Eucharist.
· Forgiveness is a necessary part of growing in holiness.
· If we have mortally sinned, then Confession brings us back into the family of God – The Church, as well as restores the sanctifying grace in our souls!

It is important to remind ourselves however of the conditions for a good confession namely – Thorough examination of conscience to remember all the sins, confessing all, firmly resolving not to commit them again and doing the penance pronounced by the priest.
This is therefore a clarion call on every true Catholic to take the sacrament of reconciliation seriously since it is the way to remain in the state of grace and to benefit from the graces of the Eucharist which is the summit of our faith.The Leader News Online

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