Home Sacraments Penance
Thursday, 25 July 2024

The Sacrament of Penance - Reconciliation

This is the Sacrament we all need when, having sinned, we wish to say sorry to the Saviour. We tell Him what we have done wrong, or in what way we have failed Him. We promise that, with His help, we will avoid wrongdoing in the future and that we wish to be reconciled with Him, our Saviour, whom we have deeply offended.

The Saviour forgives sin.

His ordained priest prays: "through the ministry of the Church, may the Lord grant you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. May the Lord heal the wounds of sin; May you grow in holiness and be rewarded with eternal life"

As he prays, he raises his hand in blessing and absolution over the one who seeks reconciliation. This prayer and absolving blessing are the signs of God's compassion, forgiveness and love for the sinner.

Sin: It is a wilful breaking of God's law. Hence, it is an act of disobedience to God, an offence against Him; for it is the choice of our own will in preference to His. It is an attempt to strip the almighty of His supreme rights over us, to deprive Him of the glory, respect and honour we are bound to give Him, the one true God.

God punishes sin:

1) The rebel angels committed the Sin of Pride. God loved them, but punished their rebellion by casting them into hell. There they will remain separated from God and deprived of happiness.

2) Our first parents became proud and committed the Sin of Disobedience. They were banished from Paradise. The gifts and graces bestowed on them were taken from them.

In order not to let man perish forever, and to safeguard His rights as God, the Eternal Father sent his Son into the world and laid the charge upon Him of atoning for sin on our behalf. He lived thirty-three years of humiliation and pain ending in the unspeakable torture endured in Gethsemane, before the Sanhedrin, in the Pretorium, and upon Calvary.

If we would learn what sin is, let us follow the Saviour of the world from the Stable to the Cross, and face this truth:

" He was wounded for our iniquities: He was bruised for our sins "
Isaiah 53: 5

Benedict XVI
The Call to Confession