Priest’s reminder: ‘Confession isn’t counseling’

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Fr. Felix Ebacitas, known exorcist in the Archdiocese of Palo, is flanked by Tacloban Sto. Niño Parish Eucharistic ministers after a recollection at the Pope Francis Complex for the Poor. (Photo: Junjun Pedrigal / SNP EM)

PALO, Leyte, March 17, 2016 – Especially during the Lenten season of repentance and reflection on one’s life, a priest reminded the faithful that the sacrament of Reconciliation is a work of honesty not a counseling session.

According to Fr. Felix Ebacitas, an exorcist in the Archdiocese of Palo, confession is not counseling or a recital of one’s virtues but an accusation of oneself, an admission of one’s accusation against own self.
At the recollection of liturgical ministries and church volunteers of Tacloban’s Sto. Niño parish recently at the Pope Francis Complex for the Poor, the priest underscored the need for every Christian to purge himself and be worthy before God.

Accusing yourself

“In confession the proper disposition of the penitent should be, ‘I accuse myself and these are my sins’,” he exclaimed.

“Let us not confess the sins of others,” Ebacitas warned.

The priest advised that in making a good confession one has to examine his conscience and memorize first the Ten Commandments that he may know how he may have violated these or fallen short of them.

“One mortal sin is enough for you to go to hell,” he warned.

The priest stressed: “Even a simple impurity of the mind will prevent us from entering the Kingdom of God.”

He likewise stressed that there are illnesses that cannot be cured by any science or medicine because they are caused by sin.

Healing sacraments

The sacrament of confession and sacrament of extreme unction are sacraments of healing, explained Ebacitas, that could cure the illnesses caused by sin.

“If you will not make penance you will all perish, as sin separates us from God,” he further said.

Quoting St. John Mary Vianney he said, “Penance is a sacrament that heals all the wounds of our souls.”

Linking the sacraments of confession and of the Eucharist, Ebacitas emphasized the centrality of the Holy Mass in the Christian’s life.

“We are all encouraged to hear Mass regularly, especially on Sundays, as priests are obliged to say Mass every day,” he said.

To be worthy, he said, the Catholic believer should be in a state of grace, that is, without any blemish of sin most especially in receiving the Holy Eucharist.

Weekly confession

“Go to confession once a week,” he said with further warning,

Citing a source, Ebacitas emphasized, “A good confession is the foundation of perfection.”

“In Pope Francis’ message for the International Eucharistic Congress, he exhorted the people to always be grateful to God and always say sorry,” said the priest.

Ebacitas, now iparish priest of a Nuestra Señora de Salvacion Mission Station in Lemon, Capoocan, Leyte, likewise urged the people to apologize to the persons they may have hurt and not just to God who is not directly affected by the wrongful act. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros / CBCP News)

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