Catalina Rivas of Cochabamba, Bolivia, who now dwells in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. She is said to receive messages from Jesus, Mary, and the angels since 1993. She has the approval of her Bishop, Rene Fernandez Apaza, who has given his imprimatur to her messages. The following is a message that Catalina received about the sacrament of confession.
"What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.'I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance." (Luke 15:4-8)
"You take away the sins of the world…" On Tuesday July 8th, we travelled to Cozumel because we had been invited to speak there at a conference. The Lord dictated to me a message for a young lady, saying: "Tell her that I have waited for a long time for this moment and I await her surrender."
She was a young lady who had gone looking for our spiritual director to make her life's confession. When I handed her the message she cried. Then the Lord asked me to help her.
We spoke until the arrival of the priest. When they left the room together, heading toward another for the [Sacrament of] confession, I saw unexpectedly that there were a great number of people around her, possibly ten or twelve who wanted to enter with her into the [confessional] room. I was surprised to see that but soon understood it to be a mystical experience and I began to pray.
You could hear, on the one hand, some voices speaking loudly and with music to the rhythm of drums that was shocking. And at the same time you could hear a choir, people singing the Ave of Fatima, and another choir sang in the distance: "Glory and praise to God the Creator, to the Son the Redeemer, and to the Holy Spirit…!" I knelt down and asked the Lord to enlighten that Confession.
Suddenly I heard the rumble of many people screaming. I immediately looked towards the place where all the noise was coming from, and it was the balcony of the room where the young lady was having her confession heard.
What I saw was frightful: absolutely unpleasant figures, deformed creatures that would go out running and screaming, throwing themselves from the balcony into the empty space below. As I reached my window to see the fall, which was my first impulse, I no longer saw anybody.
At that moment the friend, who had asked Father [the spiritual director] to hear her [the young lady's] confession, came in and we both could clearly hear the noise from chains and rubbing of metal that seemed to be ripping off the roof and walls. We began to pray, and I told him not to be afraid, that they were the typical noises and annoyances from the devil because he had a soul being taken away from him. He accompanied me for some minutes in prayer and then he had to leave.
I remained alone in prayer for a few minutes. I do not know for how many, and suddenly a light made me open my eyes. I realized that the wall in front of me, which separated my room from the room in which the confession was being heard, had disappeared.
I could see then the young lady seated in confession, but not in front of the priest, but in front of Jesus Himself. I did not see the priest; it was Jesus who had taken his place. Our Lord was visible from the side with His hands entwined, as in a praying position, and His chin resting on them, listening attentively.
Behind the young woman and near the door of the room, was a group of people. Among them I could make out a nun dressed in blue with a black veil. Next to her an Angel stood out with very large wings, a very majestic character with a very big lance in his right hand, looking left and right on the alert. I thought that it might be St. Michael the Archangel or one of his captains from his Celestial Militia.
In the background, to the right hand side of Jesus and the young lady in Confession, I recognized the Virgin Mary, standing, dressed like Our Lady of Perpetual Help, in a gown that seemed of silk, pearl in color, with a dark yellow or caramel mantle with the emblems usually associated with that image.
Two very tall Angels stood and held their lances in one hand, watching attentively, in the same way as the Angel at the door.
They were vigilant and alert, as guarding the Blessed Virgin, who remained standing with her hands in prayer, looking towards Heaven, while the Angels appeared to be guarding the whole place.
There were many small Angels that went and came, as if they were transparent. At a certain moment, Jesus raised His right hand, positioning His palm a certain distance from the young woman's head. His whole hand was full of light from which golden rays were coming out and covering her entirely in all splendor, transforming her. I could see how the face of the penitent was changing progressively, as if someone was removing a mask from her… I saw how the hard face from before was transforming itself into another, a more noble, sweet, and peaceful one.
At the instant that Jesus was imparting absolution, the Holy Virgin genuflected and bowed Her head and all the beings that were around Her did the same. Jesus stood up, approached the penitent, and, just then, I could just see the priest seated where Jesus was before.
The Lord embraced the young lady and kissed her cheek. He then turned around, embraced the priest and also kissed his cheek. At that instant, everything filled with an intense light, which disappeared as it ascended towards the ceiling at the same time that the whole vision was disappearing and I was once again looking at the wall.
After having presented me with such an exceptional mystical experience, the Lord spoke to me and said: "If you [My children] only knew how a soul who has made a good confession is transformed, all those near it would welcome this soul on their knees, because by virtue of sanctifying grace, such a soul is filled with the Holy Spirit."
When the young woman came out of confession, I felt a true desire to kneel before her, but instead I embraced her with all my love, for I knew that I was embracing the person who earlier had been embraced by the Lord. She looked different, much younger and very happy. I told everything to my spiritual director, and we both remained in prayer, giving thanks to God.
That night the Lord asked me to prepare to write down everything that I had seen in a publication dedicated to the Sacrament of Mercy – Reconciliation, which is this present text.