The Freedom of Confession!

James 3:2

For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also.

Confession is a time for taking stock, bringing our schlumpiness, failure and deliberately chosen sin to the Lord, and discovering once again the incredible truth of his tender mercy for us.  One of the main ways we mess up is with our tongue.  As James says, if we can control that little rudder, we can manage the whole ship.  And so, with the same tongue that we use to badmouth, berate, and belie ourselves and others, we are called to confess our sins, make supplication of God, and confess his goodness and mercy.  We start the process of healing with the tongue because we usually start the process of sinning there.  And we do that because the tongue has roots in the heart itself, which is the seat of our sin and ground zero for the working of the Holy Spirit.  No wonder then that both Jesus and James pay so much attention to the tongue, it is the bridle in the horse’s mouth.  Control it and you control all.  But the only way to control it is through the heart.  And the only way to control the heart is by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Today, seek the grace of the Holy Spirit in confession and walk (and talk) in freedom and grace once again!

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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