Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer, labors for their salvation.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation, also called Confession or the Sacrament of Penance, is one of the most unique and beautiful Sacraments of the Church. Jesus Christ, in his abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and with the Church. The sacrament washes us clean and renews us in Christ. The Church recommends we receive the Sacrament on a regular basis.
Jesus breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” With these words, Jesus gave his apostles the authority to forgive sins in his name, and today we can participate in this sacrament through the priests of his Church. In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul writes, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It is confession and reconciliation that helps us get right with God and offer up our sinfulness so we can begin anew.
If you haven’t been to Reconciliation in a while, your Church wants to welcome you back, and invites you to participate in this beautiful Sacrament of healing. Take a step of faith. You’ll be surprised how free you feel after taking part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So many people describe incredible feelings of peace, joy, relief, and love that they never expected. Jesus is calling all of us to experience this mercy.
Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer, labors for their salvation. It is called the Sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus’ call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin. It is called the Sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner’s personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.
It is called the sacrament of confession, since confession of sins to a priest is essential in the this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also an acknowledgment of the holiness of God and his mercy toward sinners. It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest’s sacramental absolution God grants the penitent pardon and peace. It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles. He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call to, “Go; first be reconciled to your brother.”
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