Friday 27 October 2023

Confession Its Fruitful Practice - TAN Books - With An Examination of Conscience

Confession - Its Fruitful Practice
With An Examination of Conscience
The Benedictine Convent of Clyde
ISBN 9780895556752
eISBN 9781618902474

Confession Its Fruitful Practice - TAN Books - With An Examination of Conscience

This is another excellent resource from TAN Books. It is available as a standalone booklet, eBook, and audio book. It is also available as a supplement at the end of some eBooks from TAN, specifically the eBooks available of books by Mary Fabyan Windeatt, as well as several other volumes from TAN. I first encountered it in one such book and then picked up the stand alone version. The description of this book is:

“This wonderful and practical little booklet explains clearly and thoroughly how to make a good confession—but in much greater detail than covered in most catechisms. It includes an Examination of Conscience (plus a discussion of lax, scrupulous and doubtful conscience), contrition and its necessary qualities, avoiding the near occasions of sin, the actual Confession of sins to the priest, and the penance given by the priest. This booklet also explains perfect and imperfect contrition and how to make acts of perfect contrition. It then considers sacrilegious Confession, how to rectify a bad Confession and the reasons for General Confession. Confession of venial sins is also discussed, as well as the many, unheralded benefits of frequent Confession. After these beautiful, clear explanations, the booklet then guides the reader through preparation for a good Confession, including an Examination of Conscience based on the Ten Commandments of God, the Six Precepts of the Church, the Seven Capital Sins, the duties of one’s particular state of life, and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Also included are considerations to excite contrition and prayers before and after Confession. This is truly a most valuable little handbook about Confession, packed with the traditional teachings of the Church on the Sacrament of Penance—a Sacrament which is both the salvation of those in mortal sin and a much-neglected and easy means of growth in holiness for all Catholics.”
This book was originally published by the Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration. In 2000 Tan revised and expanded it. It received the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur in 1957. The chapters and sections in this volume are:

   The Blessings of Confession 
   The Five Things Necessary for a Good Confession 
        I. Examination of Conscience  
             False Consciences and Their Remedies  
             The Lax Conscience 
             The Doubtful Conscience 
             How to Make a Good Examination of Conscience 

        II. Contrition  
             The Qualities of Contrition 
             Interior Contrition 
             Supernatural Contrition  
             Effects of Perfect Contrition 

            How to Make Acts of Perfect Contrition 
             Universal Contrition 
             Sovereign Contrition  
             Relapses Into Former Sins 

        III. Purpose of Amendment  
             Occasions of Sin 
             Purpose of Amendment Must Be Specific 

        IV. Confession and Absolution  
             1. The Confession of Sins  
             Qualities of a Good Confession 
             Confession of Venial Sins 
             Sacrilegious Confessions 
             General Confessions 
             Frequent Confession 
             Practical Admonitions 
             2. The Absolution of the Priest 
        V. Satisfaction  
             The Sacramental Penance 
             Voluntary Penances 
        Preparation for a Good Confession  
             Prayer before the Examination of Conscience  
             Points for the Examination of Conscience 

             The Commandments of God  
             1. The Honor and Worship of God. 
             2. Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain. 
             3. Remember thou keep holy the Lord’s day (Sunday). 
             4. Honor thy Father and thy Mother (and all Superiors). 
             5. Thou shalt not kill. 
             6. Thou shalt not commit adultery. 
             9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife. 
             7. Thou shalt not steal. 
             10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods. 
             8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. 
             The Six Precepts of the Church 
             The Seven Capital Sins 
             Duties of Special States of Life 

        Considerations to Excite Contrition  
             1. The Enormity of Sin 
             2. God’s Benefits to Me 
             3. The Love of Jesus Christ 
        Prayers before Confession  
             Act of Contrition and Purpose of Amendment 
             Prayer before a Crucifix (or Image of Jesus Crucified) 
             Prayer of St. Gertrude 
             Short and Efficacious Act of Contrition 
             Instructions for Confession 

        Prayers after Confession  
             Psalm 102 
             Prayer of Thanksgiving 
             Prayer before Performing the Sacramental Penance

As can be seen by the contents a lot is packed in this little volume. The first chapter states:

The Blessings of Confession

“BLESSED are they that wash their robes in the Blood of the Lamb.” (Apoc. 22:14). Catholics truly may be called “blessed” in the means they have of washing the sin-stained robes of their souls in the Precious Blood of the Lamb of God in the Sacrament of Penance! There is no question that Confession—especially frequent Confession—is an inestimable blessing to mankind.

Man can hope for no greater blessing on this earth than true peace of soul. The Sacrament of Penance is a perennial fountain of peace. It is a source of untold consolation to human hearts.

This Sacrament gives any and every member of the Catholic Church who has transgressed the holy laws of God an easy and simple means to obtain full pardon and to be restored to His friendship. This is its first and principal effect. Its second effect is to wipe out the punishment due to sin: eternal punishment entirely, and temporal punishment in whole or in part, according to the penitent’s dispositions.
It closes the gates of Hell, which open to swallow up in the infernal abyss souls who deliberately turn away from God by mortal sin and who sunder the ties binding them to Him by preferring their own wills to His. A good Confession opens anew the portals of Heaven, which are barred to souls so long as they remain in the state of mortal sin.

It clothes souls with the beautiful nuptial garment of Sanctifying Grace, or renders that garment still more beautiful if the soul already possesses it.

It restores past merits, which are lost by even a single mortal sin.

It renders the soul capable again of performing acts meritorious of an eternal reward, which is impossible while it is in the state of mortal sin.

It confers sacramental graces, that is, powerful supernatural helps to avoid sin in the future, and to persevere in the service of God.

It gives a claim to the special graces the soul needs in order to lead a God-pleasing life.

Finally, it checks sinful passions and inclinations to evil.

To partake in fullest measure of these blessings of the Sacrament of Penance, it is necessary for the penitent to know how to make a good Confession. The present booklet is an attempt to help souls in this all-important matter by explaining the five requisites of a good Confession, plus various points which are of vital importance for the fruitful reception of this Sacrament.”

I hope that between the contents and that first chapter you will see the value and worth of this little volume. It is an excellent resource. I am glad to have it and know it is one of the books I will return to often for spiritual reading. A great little volume I can easily recommend for your personal or family library.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews 2023 Catholic Reading Plan!

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