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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, January 27, 2018
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

Rock & Refuge

Frequent confession draws more favors

The story of the paralytic who was brought to Christ by his friends in a very dramatic way, and whose sins were forgiven first before he was cured of his illness (cfrLk 5,17-26), clearly shows how Christ is interested first in forgiving sins before giving other favors, like some miraculous cures.

Or said in another way, from our point of view, if we would just show some repentance over our sins, there is no doubt that God's mercy will always be given us. More, such show of repentance can draw more favors from God.

This is a point worth taking serious note of. God is always merciful and compassionate. The more open we are to his mercy, especially by going to frequent confession, the greater the chances also are of receiving more favors from him.

Of course, we can go to him anytime to ask for mercy. But if we do that through the sacrament of confession, the forgiveness of our sins becomes more assured, because it will be Christ through the confessor who will assume our sins and die to them in order to resurrect. That's how our sins are forgiven.

When we go through the process of going to confession, Christ will be more impressed with our faith, just like he was impressed with the faith of the paralytic and his friends who went through a complicated way to get to Christ.

“When Christ saw their faith,” the gospel related, “hesaid, ‘As for you, your sins are forgiven.'” (Lk 5,20) Christ, of course, is willing to forgive even if we only show some signs of repentance without directly asking forgiveness from him.

He is that merciful and compassionate, as shown, for example, in the case of the widow whose only son died. (cfr. Lk7,11-17) Without being asked, he volunteered to raise the dead son.

The same when he saw a crowd and felt that they were like sheep without a shepherd. (cfr 9,36) Again it was the same case when the crucified thief beside him simply asked him to be with him in paradise. But he would be more moved to be merciful and compassionate if we importune him.

When we go to confession, we would be actually begging him for forgiveness. And we do it by going through some complex process of duly preparing ourselves for it, arousing a deep sense of contrition and atonement for our sins, looking for a confessor that sometimes can be difficult to achieve, considering the scarcity of priests and their heavy schedule, fulfilling the penance given to us, etc.

These would practically reprise the hard way the paralytic and his friends managed to get near Christ. In the face of all this, for sure the heart of Christ would melt in compassion and would be moved to do more than what we ask or expect. We should not lose sight of this aspect of the merciful and compassionate heart of Christ.

That is why it is all worthwhile to develop the habit offrequent confession. Aside from forgiveness of our sins, through frequent confession we can get more favors from God. It would also truly make us a better person, since a lot of virtues would just be developed even without our noticing them.

Frequent confession would make us more simple and humble and at the same time stronger and more able to handle our weaknesses, to resist temptations and to make up for our sins.

The only requirement here is that we be sincere in our motives, because playing games with God can only lead to far graver consequences for us.*

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