On Saturday of the second week of Lent, we hear the story of the prodigal son. It is worth noting that before the son received absolution he did have make his confession and act of contrition. Sitting on the side of the road praying to God was not enough.
I say that because there are still those who forget that there has never been a time in the history of Christianity when confession wasn't required. Until about the 7th century you had to do it in front of everybody, including the priest. But it would be a myth to believe that confession was something " the Catholic Church made up."
If we are all one body, as Saint Paul tells us, then when I sin, it is not just against God. It is also against the whole body. At the center of the Christian faith is this concept of inter-connectedness. It's why I have to go to church. It's why I have to go to confession. It's why the Eucharist (communion) is the source and summit of our lives. Simply put there is no such thing as individual Christian.
Am I my brother's keeper? Yes.
Once you are baptized into the body of Christ, it cannot be undone. You are a member of the Church and everything you do, effects the entire body. When one of us does good it lifts up the whole church. When one of us sins, it brings down the whole church.
It is not good for the man to be alone is not just about marriage. It is a statement about human nature. We are not built to function in isolation.
Yes it is hard to go to confession. But isn't anything really worth doing difficult.
Yes, the prodigal son received forgiveness but only after contrition and confession.