Is delaying confession a sin?


lindseyohcheer asked this question on 5/13/2001:

Can delaying confession be a sin? Due to anxiety, fear and personal problems is putting it off for a while even if it means not having Communion a sin?



The joy of the risen Lord be in your heart.

Sure, I can tell you the minimum prescribed by the Church: Confession and Holy Communion once a year during Easter. You can read about it in the Catechism number 2042.

I could stop here. But I won't.

Please, consider the example of a married man or woman. Sure he-she can make inquiries about the minimum compulsory in order to maintain the marriage more or less in some happiness. You proceed accordingly and that's it. Oh my, this will be a mediocre marriage, a minimum marriage. You understand it's not about love it's about just what the lowest possible level could necessitate. Surely, the center of it all is the person that wants to make the least possible effort that is necessary.

Your relation with the Lord is about love too. The Gospel of today (5. Sunday Easter C) talks just about that. The Glory of the Lord is the redeemed man. Redemption is the outcome of the incredible love of God. He (fore) saw our sin and spiritual death and He provided His Son in order to heap on Him all our sins so we might be forgiven.

The Church's Sacraments are the established way through the centuries so that the redemption may reach everyone who has faith.

Really, I would like to hear a valid reason that could justify not approaching God in order to be forgiven and not to receive the bread that nourishes life eternal. Putting off confession out of anxiety or fear of the Lord is a characteristic of persons that do not know the Lord. They have no real faith. They don't believe in His love.

However, anxiety or fear may also arise from former negative experiences. You can seek out a confessor who is understanding and kind. Ask around and they will tell you.

And I can only imagine personal problems as a dissuading factor if they describe a situation of sin and the person wants to go on sinning. I like to be corrected if I'm wrong. Personal problems that entail no sinning that justify postponement of forgiveness and putting off being one with the Lord? Come on!

There is an other possible reason: You are mad at God because you suffer. Well, that shows that you are persuaded that the Lord should proceed differently. In that case, who is the Lord? You!

All other situations would make the dawdler similar to a sick person that postpones the visit to the hospital until he or she feels better. Not very intelligent is it?

Read (Romans 8): "31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

"For Your sake we are killed all day long;

We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. "

Christians experience distress. Remember the first reading of today's Sunday Mass. In order to enter God's kingdom we have to go through tribulations. Is that a reason to postpone confession? I believe not.

I'm sorry if I have been somewhat pushy in my answer. You kind of question is like those grenades they use to fill the target-house with teargas. You can't see the contour of God any more neither the real needs of man. You just cry and can't.

And living in order not to sin is like loving in marriage just enough so there will be no divorce. You and God deserve better.

God bless you







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