Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Discipline and the Sacrament of Confession

The Good Lord in His infinite mercy has given us the gift of His Sacraments. One of those is the Sacrament of Confession or Reconciliation.
As parents this is a brilliant gift of grace that can help us with our families, not just our spouse and children but the inlaws as well. Winky
We have to train our children how to go to Confession, and how to properly use the graces God offers through that Sacrament.
But of course Confession is not a way of getting away with it. I know some protestants think this-mind you, I have also come across some Catholics who treat Confession like this.
Going to Confession is just part of the process.
I can remember one of my children who had been naughty towards his sister being taken to Confession. I helped him examine his conscience so he went in and confessed his sins.
On coming out of church I was telling him how he now had to stop this behaviour because he had told God he was sorry.
"But I enjoy doing it!" cried my little horror.
He never did do it again, but this was more because he would have to apologise to his sister and re-confess each the sin. He was only just beginning his confessional career and Father was a softie, but having to apologise and make up for his behaviour at home sure helped him stop doing it.
Confession AND reparation is important.
I don't see how we can expect full absolution if we are not prepared to apologise to those we have hurt. It's much easier to mutter a Hail Mary than to go to the person we have hurt and humbly say sorry.
I think it encourages bad behaviour in children when parents have a 'no consequences let Confession deal with it' approach. Priests are not asked to bring our children up-we are.

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