Fr. Z poll
#91
(10-05-2010, 11:52 AM)Azurestone Wrote: For perspective, I'll admit I personally believe in the need for the priest to provide spiritual direction, as well as absolution. Something that has become lost with too many families in a parish lining up behind a booth.

Therefore, I'm not advocating staying at home and praying to God. Quite the opposite. My point is, lack of direction, i.e. attention by the priest to the faithful's sins, will permit the faithful in a spiraling repeat of their sins. For a person cannot be their own doctor, and neither can they be expected to fix their own sins, because the sinner can often talk/reason their sins, assuming they recognize them at all.

So yes, getting an appointment for confession should be something everyone should do, at least every so often.

Hey, I'm with ya on this one. I must go to confession every week on average. I'm a little puzzled that the church only requires it once a year.
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#92
(10-05-2010, 10:56 AM)ies0716 Wrote:
(10-05-2010, 10:43 AM)Bakuryokuso Wrote: In the last few months the priest has had to leave the confessional before I got to him because there were too many penitents.

I've had this problem as well because too many penitents (typically aging baby boomers) take 10-15 minutes in the confessional.  I'm sorry, but unless you're Larry Flynt or making a general confession, there is no valid reason for a confession to take that long.  Even if the priest offers advice, it should be something like "Pray daily to Our Lady for Purity.  Say three Hail Marys every morning for one month as your penance" instead of a verbal dissertation on the meaning of forgiveness.  For people who want spiritual direction in addition to absolution, they should make an appointment or better yet get a regular confessor that they go to on a set schedule.

I hear ya! Sometimes I'm in the line hoping I'll get a chance to go to confession only to be denied because someone has taken a long time in the box. For myself, personally, I go straight to the matter. I don't want to be making excuses for my sins, I just want to tell the priest their nature with a little bit of context.
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#93
I think that the modern church has lost the sense of having a consistent confessor, as well as the sense of needing spiritual direction.  Confession and spiritual direction thus often get merged because 1) the priest has no idea who the person is that is confessing their sins and thus doesn't know how much advice they need and 2) very few Catholics seek spiritual direction so they feel the need to get it as part of Confession.

I think the solution is for people to get a regular confessor that can help discern patterns of sin, and to also seek somewhat regular spiritual direction outside of Confession (maybe through a yearly retreat).
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#94
(10-05-2010, 12:10 PM)ies0716 Wrote: I think that the modern church has lost the sense of having a consistent confessor, as well as the sense of needing spiritual direction.  Confession and spiritual direction thus often get merged because 1) the priest has no idea who the person is that is confessing their sins and thus doesn't know how much advice they need and 2) very few Catholics seek spiritual direction so they feel the need to get it as part of Confession.

I think the solution is for people to get a regular confessor that can help discern patterns of sin, and to also seek somewhat regular spiritual direction outside of Confession (maybe through a yearly retreat).

I 100% agree.

In fact, this is the norm for Eastern Catholic/Orthodox. It is seen as improper and impractical to for a priest to have more parishioners than he can handle. His parish is his flock. His job as the priest is to guide all of 'his flock' to God. If he has more faithful than he can remember, his job is overloaded and he cannot perform to the needs of his parish.

Having a regular confessor who can recognize trends in your behavior/life can best offer you your needed spiritual advice.
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