Introducing the Sacrament of Penance to Your Friends

As we prepare for Holy Week, we are reminded of the cost of our sins and the need for forgiveness and repentance. This can be a good moment to experience the mercy of the Sacrament of Confession and to bring others to receive this mercy. 

Introducing the Sacrament of Penance to your friends who have fallen away from the practice, may be a daunting task. We know the typical phrases: “Why do I need to confess to a priest if I can just go directly to God myself?” or “I don't want to tell a random guy my sins or mistakes”. 

As followers of Jesus Christ, He counts on us to show others the way and make straight their paths; and we know it it so much more profound than just talking to a random man. 

So, how do you go about introducing the Sacrament of Penance to your friends? 

Here are a few ways to begin:

  1. Analyze and Pray. Ask God to illuminate you in terms of where your friend is at and if this is something He wants you to introduce to them and if so, when?
  2. Be Natural. If you got the green light then…you know your friend, where, when and how can you say it for them to understand? 
  3. Explain It with Respect. Do not push or insist on something they are not comfortable with, Jesus is not like that with us! He is patient and respects our freedom. Maybe you are just meant to plant the seed!
  4. Lead by Example. Going to confession yourself and talking about the mercy and strength you receive as a result can go a long way in explaining the value and need we have for this sacrament.
  5. Leave it in God’s hands. If they want to know more they will ask you, don't worry! God is the one who transforms hearts, not you. Keep praying for their understanding of the faith.

Need more help? We have a variety of books on the topic to help you deepen your love, need and understanding for this great sacrament of mercy.