“(Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."
Because of human weakness, the new life in Christ, which we receive in the Sacraments of Initiation, is often threatened and weakened by sin. God constantly reaches out to us to reconcile ourselves to God.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation confers the forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism. It is also called the sacrament of conversion, confession, and penance. God is rich in mercy, and reception of this sacrament returns us to full communion with God after having lost it through sin.
Sin harms our relationship with God and damages our communion with the Church. Conversion of heart is the beginning of our journey back to God.
The Sacrament involves a conversion of our hearts to God, a confession of sins to a priest, the forgiveness of our sins, a penance to make some amends for sin, and reconciliation with God and the Church.
When do I need this Sacrament?
Peter wept bitterly over his triple denial of Christ, but received the grace of conversion and expressed it with a three-fold confession of love for Jesus. Sin is rightly evaluated according to their gravity (1 John 5:16-17). Mortal sin (deadly sin) destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns us away from God by preferring an inferior good to God. Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it. A continued practice of venial sin is likened to a virus in the body that continues to grow until it causes irreversible damage. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is required to receive forgiveness and to return to communion with God and the Church when in the state of mortal sin. A precept of the Church is to receive the Sacrament at least once a year if there is serious sin. Frequent reception of the sacrament provides grace and strength to help form our consciences, fight against evil tendencies, and let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit.
Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest?
Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church. Confession liberates us from sins that trouble our hearts. We are asked to look into our souls and honestly identify our sins. In naming our sins to a priest, who represents Christ, we face our failings more honestly and accept responsibility for our sins. Together, the priest and penitent can work to find the direction needed for the penitent to grow spiritually and avoid sin in the future. Using the power received from Christ, the priest sets us free from our sins.
This Sacrament of God's love and forgiveness reconciles us with God and with our Church.
Saturday Afternoon (Church) ........3:45pm-4:45pm
Anytime by calling the church rectory.
During Advent & Lent, the parish offers other Reconciliation times.
Consult the bulletin during these times.