“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 conversion.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1422
As a result of Original Sin, human nature is weakened. Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, takes away Original Sin, and turns us back toward God. The consequences of this weakness and the inclination to evil persist, and we often commit personal or actual sin.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Catholicism. Jesus Christ, in His abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Penance or Confession, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament “washes us clean,” and we find God’s unconditional love and forgiveness; as a result, we are called to love and forgive others.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance/Confession) is a very beautiful aspect of our faith by which we continue to hear Jesus say, “Neither shall I condemn you,” “My child, thy sins are forgiven thee.”
Through this sacrament we crawl back to our baptism, always beginning our Christian life anew. Frequent celebration (such as monthly) strengthens our resolve to sin no more, deepens our friendship with God who is all merciful, and sensitizes our consciences to the movement of grace, that is the Holy Spirit with us.
Every Catholic should celebrate this sacrament at least twice a year—during the Advent and Lenten Seasons, before Christmas and Easter.
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