II. THE EFFECTS OF FREQUENT CONFESSION
There can be no doubt that the effects of Confession vary according to the disposition of penitents; the effects can be relatively small, but they can also be very great.
Often after a long life devout souls say that their spiritual state has not changed much and that frequent Confession has had no effect. But this complaint is usually not really justified. For one ought not to overlook the fact that even the preservation of the state of grace or the ability to stand up again quickly after serious falls are effects of frequent Confession the true worth of which is inestimable. Moreover, one can surely say that frequent Confession allows one to have greater contrition for one’s sins, since they are still fresh in the memory. One can also point out that the regular reception of this Sacrament makes one’s conscience more sensitive, so that any deviation from the right path is more easily detected than if a long period of time has elapsed since the last time one attempted to examine one’s conscience. So there are a number of points that make it clear what a blessing frequent Confession really is, and it would be a sign of ingratitude and weak faith if one were to ignore them.
Finally there can be no question that a man who confesses frequently and regularly will be granted an interior transformation, even if he has to confess the same sins his whole life long, since at the end of his life he will realize his sinfulness more than he could at the beginning, feeling more ashamed of his weakness than if he had fallen but once. Thus he will easily say with full conviction: “Lord have mercy on me a sinner!” And precisely on account of that realization enter the Kingdom God justified.
It is thus clear that frequent Confession is a blessing, but it is also clear that one ought not to be satisfied with its minimum effects. One ought rather to strive to make the reception of this sacrament as efficacious as possible, so that one can attain to perfect purity of heart. Now in order to do this certain conditions have to be met.
(to be continued)