The Sacrament of Confession. Renewal of the self in Chris

Peter Tyler

Beginning with texts from St Paul and Thomas Merton, Peter Tyler argues that the Sacrament of Confession – what he calls the ‘Cinderella sacrament’ – offers a unique locus for continual psychological and spiritual transformation. The author is Professor of Pastoral Theology and Spirituality at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

’You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its passions and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness  and holiness.’
(St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians  4.22-24)

A few years ago I began researching a book on the sacrament of reconciliation or confession (Confession: The Healing of the Soul). As I embarked upon that work I was surprised to hear a continual refrain from those I questioned about the practice – ‘Oh we don’t need confession nowadays, people go to counselling or therapy instead...’

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