My guilt overwhelms me –
it is a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and stink
because of my foolish sins.
I am bent over and racked with pain.
All day long I walk around filled with grief.
A raging fever burns within me,
and my health is broken.
I am exhausted and completely crushed.
My groans come from an anguished heart.
You know what I long for, Lord;
You hear my every sigh.
But I confess my sins;
I am deeply sorry for what I have done.
– Psalm 38:4-9,18 (NLT)
Pope Francis warns that the confessional is not like the dry cleaners, so we must not treat it like one…
Pope Francis gave this warning yesterday, the 21st March, 2017,
noting that for one to properly confess and be forgiven,
one must feel great shame for what they have done.
The Pope warned that, without feeling ashamed in the confessional it is a false pardon.
The Pope explained that the Sacrament of Reconciliation
must not simply be, to me, going to confession, saying my sins,
being forgiven by the priest, who gives me three Hail Marys to pray and then leaving in peace.
If that’s how I see it, then I have not understood, and Pope Francis goes on to caution:
“You have not gone to confession ashamed of what you have done.
You have seen stains on your conscience
and have mistakenly believed that the confessional box is like the dry cleaners that removes those sins.
You’re unable to feel shame for your sins.”
The Pope concludes:
“Let us ask for the grace to be ashamed before God.
It is a huge grace to feel ashamed of our sins and then receive forgiveness
and the grace of generosity to give it to others,
because the Lord has forgiven all, so who am I to not forgive?”
O my God, I am ashamed and heartily sorry for having offended You,
and I detest all my sins because I offend You, my God,
You who are all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace,
to do penance, and to change my life. Amen.