Confession is an opportunity to feel the presence of God’s love and mercy. It is an occasion to feel a graced moment on our spiritual journey. Confession is an opening to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ. After we have confessed our sins, received guidance and penance from the priest, we receive a blessing and absolution. In that blessing we are reminded that our sins are forgiven. “How good it feels to come back to him when we are lost” Pope Francis tells us. We are reminded of how much God loves us and we are challenged to do our best to avoid sin and live in God’s love.
WHAT IS RECONCILIATION?
Reconciliation (also known as Confession or Penance) is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in his love and mercy to offer sinners forgiveness for offenses committed against God. At the same time, sinners reconcile with the Church, because it is also wounded by our sins. Every time we sin, we hurt ourselves, other people, and God. In reconciliation, we acknowledge our sins before God and his Church. We express our sorrow in a meaningful way, receive the forgiveness of Christ and his Church, make reparation for what we have done, and resolve to do better in the future.
The forgiveness of sins involves four parts:
CONTRITION: a sincere sorrow for having offended God, and the most important act of the penitent. There can be no forgiveness of sin if we do not have sorrow and a firmly resolve not to sin again.
CONFESSION: confronting our sins in a profound way to God by speaking about them, aloud, to the priest.
PENANCE: an important part of our healing is the “penance” the priest imposes in reparation for our sins.
ABSOLUTION: the priest speaks the words by which one is reconciled through God’s love, mercy and forgiveness.
AN ACT OF CONTRITION
“My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.”
To celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation join us for an Evening of Confession on WEDNESDAY, February 28 from 5:00-8:00 pm at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.