During this Coronavirus pandemic, it is understandable that many individuals are unable to go to confession but still desire to confess. For this reason, Pope Francis has stated that “People who cannot get to confession because of the coronavirus lockdown or another serious reason can go to God directly, be specific about their sins, request pardon and experience God’s loving forgiveness.”
Pope Francis tells us: “Do what the Catechism (of the Catholic Church) says. It is very clear: ‘If you cannot find a priest to confess to, speak directly with God, your father, and tell him the truth.’ Say ‘Lord, I did this, this, this. Forgive me, and ask for pardon with all your heart.’”
The catechism states that “When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called ‘perfect’ contrition of charity. Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.” Make an act of contrition and promise God, “I will go to confess afterward, but forgive me now.” Once you do this, immediately you will return to a state of grace with God.
“This is the right time, the opportune moment. An act of contrition done well, and our souls will become white like the snow,” says Pope Francis. As the catechism teaches, you can draw near to God’s forgiveness without having a priest at hand. Just confess your sins directly to God, promise to go to confession when you are able to and pray the following act of contrition with sincerity.
Act of Contrition:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.
Even though we are unable to gather in church and things have changes, God has not changed. He is still present among us and draws us to have an intimate and personal relationship with him. Pope Francis reminds us that “You can draw near to God’s forgiveness without having a priest at hand.” Do not delay, take this opportunity to talk to God openly, trusting that your confession in this form is valid and pleasing to the Lord.
– Father Devdas