St. Bede on Confession

Bede the Venerable ca. 673-735

Jas. 5:16-17 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for each other, that you may be saved. However, in this statement there ought to be this distinction, that we confess our daily and minor sins to one another as peers and believe that we are saved by their daily prayer; in turn, according to the law (Lev. 13:49, 14:2-3), let us make known the uncleanness of more serious leprosy to the priest and take care to be purified in the manner and for the length of time his judgment has decreed. For the continuous prayer of the righteous person can accomplish much. Elijah was a man like us, subject to suffering, and he prayed assiduously that it would not rain upon the earth, and it did not rain for three years and six months. He illustrates by an appropiate example how much the unremitting prayer of a righteous person can accomplish, when Elijah by praying only once closed up the heavens for such a long time (1 Kgs. 17:8-11), kept showers away from the earth, denied fruits to mortals, and again, when he wished, when he ascertained that it was time, when he saw that the heart of the proud king of an idolatrous people was inclined to repentance because of the prolonged ill results of famine, he prayed only once (1 Kgs. 18:41-45) and restored the fruits of water which he had denied to the earth. (Commentary on the Seven Catholic Epistles)

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