[B]y avoiding personal Confession do Catholics miss out on a unique encounter with Jesus himself?I heard more about St. Thérèse's relics coming to the UK on Sunday last weekend; unfortunately you won't be able to hear that now, as they've had another transmission since then. They said the same thing about the spiritual fruits that her relics are bearing, the increase in confession etc.
Of course they do. [...]
I've been assured that when the relics of St Thérèse come then one of the things we must be prepared for is a huge increase in personal Confession. There were a couple of hundred youngsters up at the Brightlights festival in north London last weekend. At one time there were 15 priests there hearing Confessions on and off during the Saturday.
So there is something very precious about Confession and I think Catholics realise that. One of the things it is is a profound human truth, because all sacraments bring together the human realities and the divine intervention. It's a profound truth that we have to confess, that we have to face and name what we have done that is wrong. Otherwise the human process of healing, which grace builds on, doesn't begin. Sooner or later we have to do that.
It so happens that I've been meaning to read her Story of a Soul for some time. She's a Doctor of the Church, which means that it has been officially declared that through her writings the whole Church has derived great advantage. She's known for her "Little Way", a recognition that heroic deeds and great acts are not necessary to achieve great holiness but love can be lived out in the least of actions. Though she undertook the religious life, the "Little Way" has proved especially helpful for the laity.
So where am I going with all this? Well, the wonderful people at Librivox have just made Story of a Soul available in audio format. This is good for people like me, who like the fact that, say, Project Gutenberg has the text online, but would rather gouge out their own eyes than read a book from a monitor.
So, Librivox's Story of a Soul is here, and comes with helpful listening options (MP3s to download directly, individually or zipped, RSS feed, iTunes subscription, Chapter-a-day).
It's slightly less conveniently here in MP3 as well, at Maria Lectrix.
Or if you're a real glutton for punishment, you could read it online at Project Gutenberg.
Well, I hope I didn't just waste my time typing that. I'm really looking forward to listening to it myself.