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Bishop of Shrewsbury encourages regular Confession

Bishop Mark Davies

Bishop Mark Davies

In a pastoral letter read out in all churches this weekend the Rt Rev Mark Davies, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, urged the faithful to make renewed and regular use of the Sacrament of Confession during Lent. He told his diocese that he sees the sacrament as one of conversion that can help them to advance in Christian life.
“It is my prayer that we can each re-discover Confession in these 40 days of Lent,” Bishop Davies said in his letter. “We live in a society where we are used to hearing ‘public confessions’, on our television screens,” he said. “We even demand such confessions of those in public life who must admit their most shameful failings. Yet when it comes to ourselves we can find confessing our sins so humanly difficult even though the priest represents not that often ‘unforgiving public’ but the only One who can save us from our sins.”
“It does, of course, go against the grain to admit where we have gone wrong,” he said. “It goes against our pride and illusions, to humble ourselves by confessing our sins before a priest. The priest represents both Christ and the whole body of the Church which has been wounded by our sins for in this Sacrament we are healed and reconciled with Christ and His Church. And it is through such a sincere confession of our sins that all illusions about ourselves are put aside.”
He added: “It is through this confession made with sorrow and a firm purpose of amendment - that is an honest will to avoid the same sins and whatever leads us into sin - that we each come to know one of the greatest joys to be found on this earth: the joy of being forgiven and raised up once more by grace.”