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An essay on the concept of confession in the roman catholic beliefs

It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction. In a profound sense it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man. It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest's sacramental absolution God grants the penitent "pardon and peace. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion.

It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism17 that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life. This second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole Church who, "clasping sinners to her bosom, [is] at once holy and always in need of purification, [and] follows constantly the path of penance and renewal.

It is the movement of a "contrite heart," drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first. Peter's conversion after he had denied his master three times bears witness to this. Jesus' look of infinite mercy drew tears of repentance from Peter and, after the Lord's resurrection, a threefold affirmation of love for him. Ambrose says of the two conversions that, in the Church, "there are water and tears: Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation: Rising Again to New Life

At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one's life, with hope in God's mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus affliction of spirit and compunctio cordis repentance of heart. God must give man a new heart. It is in discovering the greatness of God's love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him.

The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced: But this same Spirit who brings sin to light is also the Consoler who gives the human heart grace for repentance and conversion. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving,31 which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others.

Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins: Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance. Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God.

Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. The beautiful robe, the ring, and the festive banquet are symbols of that new life - pure worthy, and joyful - of anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of his family, which is the Church. Only the heart Of Christ Who knows the depths of his Father's love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way.

At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God's forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.

But he entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the "ministry of reconciliation. A remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at his table, a gesture that expresses in an astonishing way both God's forgiveness and the return to the bosom of the People of God.

This ecclesial dimension of their task is expressed most notably in Christ's solemn words to Simon Peter: Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God. The sacrament of forgiveness 1446 Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as "the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.

During the first centuries the reconciliation of Christians who had committed particularly grave sins after their Baptism for example, idolatry, murder, or adultery was tied to a very rigorous discipline, according to which penitents had to do public penance for their sins, often for years, before receiving reconciliation.

To this "order of penitents" which concerned only certain grave sinsone was only rarely admitted and in certain regions only once in a lifetime. During the an essay on the concept of confession in the roman catholic beliefs century Irish missionaries, inspired by the Eastern monastic tradition, took to continental Europe the "private" practice of penance, which does not require public and prolonged completion of penitential works before reconciliation with the Church.

From that time on, the sacrament has been performed in secret between penitent and priest. This new practice envisioned the possibility of repetition and so opened the way to a regular frequenting of this sacrament. It allowed the forgiveness of grave sins and venial sins to be integrated into one sacramental celebration.

In its main lines this is the form of penance that the Church has practiced down to our day. It comprises two equally essential elements: The Church, who through the bishop and his priests forgives sins in the name of Jesus Christ and determines the manner of satisfaction, also prays for the sinner and does penance with him. Thus the sinner is healed and re-established in ecclesial communion. He effects the reconciliation of sinners through the Passover of his Son and the gift of his Spirit, through the prayer and ministry of the Church: God, the Father of mercies, through the death and the resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again. Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible. It is born of the consideration of sin's ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner contrition of fear.

  1. He changes Simon's name to Peter. The more fervent our condition is, the more is our debt of temporal satisfaction reduced.
  2. Presbyter is the Greek word for priest or elder. Note that 2 Peter 1.
  3. Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God. If you read the Father's of the Church their writings correlate with Catholic views on a ministerial priesthood, the sacraments and many other Catholic doctrines.
  4. Just as darkness disappears from a room when the light is turned on, so too must sin disappear from the soul with the coming of sanctifying grace. Is the Sacrament of Reconciliation Confession necessary to have your sins forgiven or can you go straight to God?
  5. Only God has the authority to forgive sins. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused.

Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.

The passages best suited to this can be found in the Ten Commandments, the moral catechesis of the Gospels and the apostolic Letters, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the apostolic teachings. Through such an admission man looks squarely at the sins he is guilty of, takes responsibility for them, and thereby opens himself again to God and to the communion of the Church in order to make a new future possible.

But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, "for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful: God indicts your sins; if you also indict them, you are joined with God.

Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: Destroy what you have made, so that God may save what he has made. When you begin to abhor what you have made, it is then that your good works are beginning, since you are accusing yourself of your evil works.

The beginning of good works is the confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm e. Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes an essay on the concept of confession in the roman catholic beliefs sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused.

This satisfaction is also called "penance. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear.

Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ, "provided we suffer with him. We who can do nothing ourselves, as if just by ourselves, can do all things with the cooperation of "him who strengthens" us. Thus man has nothing of which to boast, but all our boasting is in Christ.

Indeed bishops and priests, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, have the power to forgive all sins "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Since ancient times the bishop, visible head of a particular Church, has thus rightfully been considered to be the one who principally has the power and ministry of reconciliation: In danger of death any priest, even if deprived of faculties for hearing confessions, can absolve from every sin and excommunication.

  1. We are told, as we see clearly in Scripture above, that we are to confess our sins to one another.
  2. Helps us go deep within and think about how we can improve. Grave necessity of this sort can arise when there is imminent danger of death without sufficient time for the priest or priests to hear each penitent's confession.
  3. Forgiveness is a necessary part of growing in holiness. Helps us go deep within and think about how we can improve.
  4. Christ thus heals the relationship through the priest and we are reconciled to both God and His Church and in doing this, we are healed, thus becoming who we truly ought to be.
  5. I know sacramental confession often seems like a frightening, humiliating act for those who have neglected the sacrament for many years.

The priest is the sign and the instrument of God's merciful love for the sinner. The minister of this sacrament should unite himself to the intention and charity of Christ. He must pray and do penance for his penitent, entrusting him to the Lord's mercy. He can make no use of knowledge that confession gives him about penitents' lives.

For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, reconciliation "is usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation. Sin damages or even breaks fraternal communion. The sacrament of Penance repairs or restores it.

In this sense it does not simply heal the one restored to ecclesial communion, but has also a revitalizing effect on the life of the Church which suffered from the sin of one of her members. The forgiven penitent is reconciled with himself in his inmost being, where he regains his innermost truth. He is reconciled with his brethren whom he has in some way offended and wounded. He is reconciled with the Church. He is reconciled with all creation. What is an indulgence?

Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin.

On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory.

21 Reasons To Go To Confession & Why Catholics Confess Sins To Priests

This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.

While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace.

He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the "old man" and to put on the "new man. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin. On the contrary the 'treasury of the Church' is the infinite value, which can never be exhausted, which Christ's merits have before God. They were offered so that the whole of mankind could be set free from sin and attain communion with the Father.

In Christ, the Redeemer himself, the satisfactions and merits of his Redemption exist and find their efficacy.