Saint Charbel And The Sacrament Of Confession

Saint Charbel hated sin, he used to run away from anything that might cause him to sin, he was even disturbed if it was mentioned in his presence. All those who knew him well witnessed that he never committed intentionally any sin, not even a small one. He was known to abide strictly by the commandments of God and of the church and the Maronite order, he felt pain if others happened to break such commandments. 

The hermitage of Saint Peter & Paul Annaya where Saint Charbel
lived as a hermit for 29 years

He used to make a sincere examination of his conscience on a daily basis, and accounted himself for all his acts of the day. He went to confession on a weekly basis during all his life as monk and later on during his life as priest and hermit. 

Father Charbel used to listen to the confession of the believers when ordered by his superior, as he was not in charge of that. All those who confessed for him or asked for his advice praised his excessive interest about what's best for them and the deep impression he left in their souls. His words used to go straight to one’s heart and left a spiritual impact on the soul. Believers also talked about his wisdom and luminous advices that served to build a spiritual life. Saint Charbel was able to read one’s soul more than anybody else, and he never rejected anyone asking for his guidance or teaching, even religious persons. 

He loved to contribute to the salvation of souls, and suffered when he met those who were far from God. He prayed a lot for sinners and did his best to straighten their way again and draw them closer to Jesus. He listened to their confessions and often blamed people severely upon grave sins and imposed a tough penitence for forgiveness. He often listened to women’s confession when ordered by his superior. 

He strived to give hope for others, including the monks and priests, and if one of them happened to be seriously ill, the Superior called on father Charbel and insisted on him to give the confession or to anoint the patient, to encourage him and give him hope so that he can leave this life looking for the resurrection. Father Charbel often spent the whole night sitting next to the ill, only left him briefly for his midnight prayer at church. His Superior asked him on several occasions to go and pray over patients, and he always did it with great joy and contentment.

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