It is only out of delusion we believe we do not need others to see, understand, and treat our spiritual sickness. Anyone who believes that he alone can cure his spiritual diseases has isolated himself from a Mystery of the Church and will come to ruin. Only with the help of others are we saved, for within the Christian faith, salvation comes not in a self-focused void, but in the collective nature that is the Church. The Mystery of Confession, established by Our Lord, is a clear sign of the biblical truth that we need the Church, and we need the Mystery of Confession.
In confession we do not simply regret past evil but recognize the darkened vision of our own condition, in which sin, by separating us from God, has reduced us to a divided, autonomous existence, depriving us of both our natural glory and our true freedom. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
The Sacrament of Confession is important because on it constitutes the cure of spiritual illness. Since the goal of the Christian life is transformation in Christ, ridding ourselves of the corrupt and diseased fallen self, it must begin with the death of the ego. We humble ourselves before the priest, when we confess our sins, for it is not just that Christ hears us. Christ hears us because of our act of humility in baring our souls in front of another person. Thus, Scripture establishes confession, recounts Christ’s gift of authority to the Apostles and their successors to bestow forgiveness to penitents, and exhorts us to confess even to one another (James 5:16), since through one another we achieve humility and, mystically, this joins us to Christ.
With love in Christ,