The Power of Confession

When our prayer is dry and something seems off within us, it might be time to go to confession. Today, Dr. Sri reminds us of the power of confession, and helps us to understand this sacrament in the context of God’s love so we can encounter God’s mercy without fear and shame.

Snippet from the Show

“Connection is more important than perfection.”


Jesus breathed life into the apostles so they can breathe life into us through the power of confession.


Jesus Appears to the Disciples

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

– John 20:19-23

If you feel like you are lacking fervor in the faith and you’re just going through the motions, it might be time to go to confession.  When we don’t go to confession regularly, our prayer life can begin to feel dry and we can lose motivation in our journey towards holiness and virtue. The sacrament of Reconciliation is a powerful invitation from Jesus to rekindle and renew our encounter with him. Without the healing power of confession, our sins and weaknesses begin to fester within our hearts, and our hearts can slowly stop burning for Jesus. If we desire to be faithful disciples of Christ, we should strive to go to confession at least once a month. 

It’s important to understand this sacrament in the context of God’s love because it’s a great gift given to us by Christ himself. In this sacrament, Christ wants to unclog the spiritual arteries of our heart that keep us from a deeper intimacy with him. Every time we go to confession, we encounter the same Jesus who sought the lost and healed the sick. Jesus wants to work miracles in our hearts and free us from our sins and weaknesses that often paralyze us. The sacrament of Reconciliation is a beautiful opportunity to encounter God’s mercy and forgiveness, and to receive special graces to help us overcome our sins. Since sin breaks our relationship with God, this sacrament is ultimately all about uniting us more deeply with him.

The sacrament of Reconciliation is biblical. In John 20:19-23, Jesus himself gives the apostles the authority to forgive sins. Jesus breathes life into the apostles so they can breathe life into us through the power of confession. Priests act as ministers of reconciliation, and their authority to forgive sins was passed down through apostolic succession. As Catholics, we believe in the sacrament of Reconciliation because we trust Jesus, who gave priests authority to forgive sins. Throughout salvation history, God has always used covenant mediators to bring healing and freedom to his people. Biblical figures such as Moses, Elijah, and Jeremiah show us that God uses human beings to manifest his glory, power, and healing.

Practical Tips 

  1. Don’t be scared of confessing your sins to the priest, and remember that Jesus is behind the priest, the priest is just a representative. The priest won’t be scandalized by your sin.  The devil wants us to bury us in shame and fear so that we don’t bring our sins to the light and encounter God’s mercy and healing.

  2. Spend some time in prayer before confession to think about your sins so that you enter into the sacrament intentionally and prayerfully.  


Dr. Edward Sri is a theologian, well-known Catholic speaker, and author of several best-selling books. His work with Ascension includes study programs such as A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion and Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother. Several of Dr. Sri’s programs were filmed on-site in the Holy Land, and feature immersive video explorations of the sacred sites where Jesus, Mary, and the Apostles lived and died.

Dr. Sri is the host of the acclaimed Ascension podcast All Things Catholic with Dr. Edward Sri.  Together with Curtis Martin, Dr. Sri is a founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), of which he serves as senior vice president of Apostolic Outreach.

Dr. Sri lives with his wife Beth and their children in Colorado.

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