“Many times, I have written that Satan is much more enraged when we [priests] take souls away from him through confession than when we take away bodies through exorcism.”
—Fr. Gabrielle Amorth
Fr. Gabrielle Amorth served as an exorcist and then the chief exorcist of Rome from 1986 until his death in 2016. For thirty years, Father Amorth performed over seventy thousand exorcisms. In many of his writings, interviews, and books, he spoke of the immense power of the sacrament of confession. In one interview, he made reference that in some cases of possession, a thorough sacramental confession is enough to liberate a person from the control of the devil.
Listen to the words of Our Lord to Saint Faustina about the power of confession:
Write, speak of My mercy. Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy [the confessional]. There the greatest miracles take place [and] are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one’s misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no [hope of] restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God’s mercy! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late. (Diary 1448)
A sacramental confession frees the sinner from the hands of the devil and immerses it in the love of God. At every confession, the fullness of the graces of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary is poured out on each individual soul; it is as if Christ died for you, and you alone.
Satan, however, tempts us to deny responsibility for our sins, or even worse, presume that God is not offended by them. Our only defense is to take responsibility for our sins and throw ourselves at the feet of our merciful Savior. The only weapon that can defeat the prince of darkness is light; to overturn a kingdom ruled by pride, we need humility. Prior to your confession, you will need to examine your conscience. Even though you may be overtly aware of a grave sin that is prominent in your life, it is worthwhile to read through an examination of conscience pamphlet to see what else might be associated with that sin, or what other areas you have been failing in.
Confession is one of the greatest and most powerful resources we have in fighting the evil one. This is because it frees us from his grasp, heals the inner wounds that cause us to sin, fills us with sanctifying grace, and strengthens us for the battle. Confession is the field hospital for the soul; it puts us back together so we can get back in the fight!