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9. The Quality of Confession

1. Confession of sins is to be made with true supernaturalsorrow and sincerity of heart. Otherwise, the absolution of thepriest cannotbe effective. Nor does the effect of absolutiontake place in a penitent who confesses without sorrow andafterwards repents.

2. Confession is to be entire; that is, all mortal sins inkind and number, according as they are remembered by the penitent,are to be confessed. Otherwise, the confession would savor ofhypocrisy. And even one remembered mortal sin left unconfessedwould keep the soul from union with God, and it would render theconfession sacrilegious.

3. Confession is made by the penitent sinner in person,not by sending another as agent or proxy, or by mailing a letter.The penitent is to confess his own sins, manifesting them to thepriest in some intelligible manner.

4. The requisite qualities of confession, therefore, arethat it should be humble, sincere, and entire.

"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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"When the devil has failed in making a man fall, he puts forward all his energies to create distrust between the penitent and the confessor, and so by little and little he gains his end at last."
St Philip Neri

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"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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