A Masked Mess

We put on this tough exterior in order to try and hide what is really going on. We try to broadcast something completely different from what’s going on in the inside. We think that if someone knew what we really felt, what we really experienced, what we’ve really done, then we would be cast out. That no one could possibly love us.

God Wants YOU.

We NEED to give Him the shame. We need to give Him the relationships that we totally messed up in. We need to give Him the part of us that feels empty, that doubts. We need to give Him the guilt we carry on our backs. We need to give him the dumb things we’ve said that continue to haunt us. He wants it, He wants all of us… He wants you.

Why I Tell My Sins to a Person: In Defense of Confession

Every couple of weeks I solemnly walk into a small room where another person is sitting. It kinda feels like a closet, kinda looks like the smallest grandmotherly-parlor-sitting-room you’ve ever seen (complete with appropriate seating and decoration).

We sit there, me and this other person, and have a nice little conversation that consists of me telling them all the things I’ve done wrong recently. It’s a varied, and unexciting list that doesn’t change nearly as often as I change the tone of voice I use to disguise myself. (Don’t judge me. You know you’ve done it too.)

How to Slap Shame in the Face

Editor’s Note: The author of this blog has asked to remain anonymous. “Guilt is feeling bad about what you’ve done. Shame is feeling bad about who you are.” I was listening to a podcast when I heard this sentiment. I was floored. As someone who has struggled with shame for a long time, I had […]

Divine Mercy Sunday: God’s Mercy is Bigger Than Any Sin

God offers us His grace and mercy every day, especially through the Eucharist. Because the tomb is empty, we have freedom. When Jesus descended into Hell he took sin and shame with Him. He left them there, where they belong. It is because Jesus rose that we are free. God's mercy is so big. St. John Vianney put it beautifully when he said, 'Our sins are nothing but a grain of sand alongside the great mountain of the mercy of God.'

Love in the Face of Evil

I got together with an old friend a few months ago. Toney is a friend I met long ago at the Steubenville West conference, and the last number of years of Toney’s life have truly inspired me. While we were talking I was moved to share his story with you; He has given me permission […]

Broken Chains: Freedom from Porn is Possible

I don’t know if it was my conscience, the Holy Spirit, or a combination of the two, but in that moment I was reminded of this one issue in my life. I had struggled with pornography for the past year or two. I knew that it was sinful, and several times I had promised myself that I wouldn’t go back to it, but I couldn’t quit.

The Choice I Made: A Post-Abortive Man Looks Back

Countless times over the years, I’ve thought to myself, “If only I could go back and do things differently.” And that’s why nearly two decades later, I’m writing this letter to my twenty-something self: not because I can undo past mistakes, but because right now there is a young twenty-something man facing his own unplanned pregnancy (or could in the near future) longing for someone to give him solid, strong, Godly advice. If that’s you, it’s my hope that this letter will help you.

Forgiveness is Waiting for You: 8 Tips for an Awesome Confession

“I can’t go to Confession! I don’t know how to start! I don’t know my Act of Contrition!” If you blank on how to go to Confession, just let the priest know. He is there as a representative of God’s love and patience. Plus, he went to school for this. Even if you don’t know how it’s supposed to go, he can walk you through it.

Thank You God: Being the Grateful Leper

We walk into confession as spiritual lepers, wounded and scarred by sin. In the case of mortal sin, we’re even spiritual outcasts of heaven, living outside of the state of grace. But we walk out of Confession as people brought back to life and made new.

If we were to truly recognize what God is doing in us, our reaction would be one of wonder and awe followed by humble gratitude.

Abundant Mercy: How to Overcome the Shame of Sin

When we stand in line waiting to enter the confessional, it’s natural to sometimes feel a little fear, a little anxiousness, a little nervousness. After all, we’re standing in line to speak our sins aloud! Sometimes though, we walk out of the confessional and we might still feel guilty, or ashamed of what we’ve done […]

Living Forgiveness

Perhaps the toughest part of forgiveness is forgiving ourselves. This Lent, I've made specific efforts to forgive myself for past wrongdoings. I've reflected on what lead me to those sins or mistakes. I've confessed them and have felt Jesus take them off of my shoulders. The freedom that comes with Jesus' forgiveness is life-changing. But we have to let it change our lives. We have to accept that He forgives us. He doesn't hold a grudge, so who are we to hold one?

The Man Who Won’t Condemn

Jesus Christ is both justice and mercy. The Law of Moses required for the woman to be stoned; He didn't fail to invite others to stone her. He even opened up the opportunity for others to condemn the woman, but only if they met the qualification that He knew no one (besides His mother & Himself ) could meet: 'let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her' (John 8:7).

Among all the people that were present, Christ could've immediately condemned her by His own standards. But He did not condemn her; He showed her mercy.

My Side of the Confessional: What Is It Like for a Priest?

One older lady gasped, 'Well, I think that that would be the worst. It would be so depressing; hearing all about people's sins.'

I told them that it was the exact opposite. There is almost no greater place to be than with someone when they are coming back to God . . .

Why Do Catholics Confess Their Sins to a Priest?

Priests can forgive our sins because Jesus has given them that authority through the grace of Holy Orders. With that power, priests can hear and forgive our sins by acting through Christ.

Jesus gave the Church the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Penance or Confession, to allow us to have an intimate conversation with our God through the priest. . . .

Why Do Catholics Confess Their Sins to a Priest?

Priests can forgive our sins because Jesus has given them that authority through the grace of Holy Orders. With that power, priests can hear and forgive our sins by acting through Christ.

Jesus gave the Church the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Penance or Confession, to allow us to have an intimate conversation with our God through the priest. . . .

God Doesn’t Text

That was a tough question, but the next one worried me:

'Was I afraid to talk with God, to be honest with Him, and listen to Him even if I didn't like it?'

I had to think about it for a while. I realized that while I trusted God with most things, there was still one thing that I avoided … Confession. I would go to Mass every Sunday and pray throughout the day asking for help or thanking Him, but I didn't like sharing my weaknesses with Him.

Why Do Catholics Believe in Indulgences?

Catholics believe in indulgences because ultimately we know we're all sinners and need God's mercy. When a person commits a sin, there are two kinds of punishments that they have to deal with as a result of that sin. The first is called 'eternal punishment' which means the sinner can't enter heaven because of a grave sin that is not repented from. Through Christ's sacrifice we don't have to suffer eternal punishment if we repent. The second kind of punishment is called 'temporal punishment' and every sin we commit carries a temporal punishment with it.