Scene from Moonstruck - Rose and Loretta Castorini after Confession.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
I loved that line in "Moonstruck". Rose tells her husband ' and go to confession' - if memory serves me, she told Loretta that too. Then there was the scene of both of them in the church for confession.
Fr. Z often recommends confession too - as a way to be ready for death in these uncertain times. Think Boston, Sandy Hook, storms and earthquakes and meteors falling unexpectedly. We not only need to be in the state of grace, we want to be in the state of grace. So go to confession is good advice.
No mortal sin - that you are aware of? You have to be aware of it right. Full knowledge, grave matter, deliberate choice - criteria like that, right? Right. You go to confession because you need to and because you want to be clean - restored to grace. Venial sins can be confessed - but you know you don't really need to go to confession for those. Technically... I wouldn't dance around rationalizing too much. When in doubt - just go to Confession.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
It seems to me it's a good idea to confess venial sins as well - frequent use of the Sacrament of Penance is a source of spiritual growth and conversion. What do we get out of it? Isn't that enough? We're already clean by an act of contrition, even through the reception of Holy Communion - venial sins are remitted.
The Holy Eucharist remits venial sins by disposing us to perform acts of love and contrition. It preserves us from mortal sin by exciting us to greater fervor and strengthening us against temptation. - Source
So why go to Confession? What if we go to Communion and come home and blog and call people we never met and don't know subhuman? Bad Catholics? Losers? Idiots? Assholes? Do we ever consider we may be lacking something when we do that stuff? I think it just may indicate a lack of charity - call me a liberal, loser, idiot, or an asshole - but that's the impression I get. I eventually know when I lack charity - when I'm unkind, impatient, jealous, self-righteous, angry, offended... and I begin to experience rancor in my heart.
The Sacrament of Penance restores grace to the soul, restores charity to the soul when we repent and confess mortal sin. Likewise, it increases charity in the soul even though we may not be in the state of mortal sin. I'm only aware of my sins - not yours - so I'm not judging any other souls here - just commenting on what appears to be a lack of charity in the blogosphere - my own blog included. Confession can help with that.
What we write and how we say things creates an impression on one another. Do you know some people even stay away from Sunday Mass because they are disillusioned by Catholics behaving badly online? If they stay away from Mass, surely they stay away from Confession. This demonstrates to me at least, how much we need the Sacrament of Penance - just to be faithful to the ordinary duties of our state in life.
"Love never fails."
To be sure, the Eucharist restores and increases charity to souls who devoutly communicate... That is, if we communicate, and if we are so disposed. However, if we have something against our brother, maybe we should leave our gift at the altar and go to Confession first - then go to Communion. Maybe don't just go to confession so we can feel squeaky clean and all self-righteous again - go to be restored, to be healed; for an increase of charity, for pardon and peace in our soul. Pardon and peace begets pardon and peace.
Go to confession to grow in holiness.
"THE GIFT OF PEACE"By the very fact that it imparts or increases grace, the sacrament of Penance offers the gift of peace.
"HIGHER PEACE"In the sacrament of Penance the faithful legitimately seek to begin that interior process which leads...to the progressive conformity of their own psychological state with that higher peace which consists in compliance with God's will.
EXPECTED EFFECTS OF PENANCEOne of the effects of the sacrament of Penance that the faithful can rightly expect and desire is to mitigate the impulses of passion, to correct intellectual or emotional defects..., to refine all our free action, as a result of restored and growing supernatural charity. - Bl. John Paul II