(quote) Lynea-297530 said: Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?
In Confession, the Sacrament, do people today still understand that this is a required element of matter (besides the other, which is Contrition) for a Confession to be valid?
I've been having this discussion on Fakebook, and surprised, in light of some of the strange things being said on this subject by high-up prelates, that this is even an area that is so ignored/misunderstood/?
Firm Purpose of Amendment means that the Sacrament of Confession is not akin to taking your clothes to a dry cleaners. When you go to the dry cleaner, you don't say that you are going to try to do all that you can prudently to never get your clothes dirty again, but you are required to do this for Confession.
Why worry about others when we ourselves may have done the same thing?
I have found that greater grace comes from receiving the Sacrament of Confession when I enter and leave determined to avoid repeating what I just confessed.
The key is never to suppose that we ourselves can accomplish what we have resolved to do. Without God's help and grace we are powerless and doomed to failure. So we must vanquish pride and beg for the grace to put our resolution into effect. God alone gives us the grace. We must supply the desire, willingness, and faithfulness. HE does the rest.
Last, we should never give in to discouragement if we fail. Setbacks are temporary. We must get right back up, resolve again, confess again, and continue. For most of us, improvement is a slow but steady process. We must never become comfortable with sin or presume on God's mercy by using this Sacrament as a revolving door, but neither can we despair of overcoming our defects of character and habitual sins.
Here's what two great saints have to say about willingness and acknowledgement of our own powerlessness:
"You make me think of a little child that is learning to stand but does not yet know how to walk. In his desire to reach the top of the stairs to find his mother, he lifts his little foot to climb the first stair. It is all in vain, and at each renewed effort he falls. Well, be this little child: through the practice of all the virtues, always lift your little foot to mount the staircase of holiness, but do not imagine that you will be able to go up even the first step! No, but the good God does not demand more from you than good will. From the top of the stairs, He looks at you with love. Soon, won over by your useless efforts, He will come down Himself and, taking you in His arms, He will carry you up... But if you stop lifting your little foot, He will leave you a long time on the ground." - St. Therese of Lisieux
It is here, my daughters, that love is to be found not hidden away in corners but in the midst of occasions of sin. And believe me, although we may more often fail and commit small lapses, our gain will be incomparably the greater. - St. Teresa of Avila