“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,” Jesus showed himself to his apostles. “He breathed on them, and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”‘ (Jn 20:19, 22-23).
This sacrament also the sacrament of conversion, confession, penance and reconciliation where a person is called back to communion with God and the Church.
To return to the full communion with God and the Church is a process born of the grace of God who is rich in mercy and gracious for the salvation of all. One must ask this sacrament of forgiveness; it entails sorrow for the sins committed with the firm purpose to sin no more in the future.
The Penitent’s three whole consisting actions in this sacraments are:
a. Act of repentance,
b. Confession or disclosure of sins to the priest,
c. Intention to make reparation and do works of reparation
One experiences perfect contrition and the liberating power of God’s forgiveness through the priest’s (In Persona Christi) sacramental absolution if repentance arises from love of charity for God. It is “imperfect” when it is founded on other motives.
The confessor (priest) proposes the performance of certain acts of penance to be performed by the penitent in order to repair the harm caused by sins and to re-establish habits befitting a disciple of Christ
It is necessary to have carefully examined one’s conscience before going to confession. Here are some guidelines for the Sacrament of Reconciliation:
The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are:
– reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;
– reconciliation with the Church;
– remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;
– remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;
– peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
– an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.
Only an individual confession of sins followed by absolution by a confessor (priest) remains the only ordinary means of reconciliation with God and with the Church.
For non-Catholics who whishes to go to confession to a Catholic priest may do confession of sins but it would not be a sacramental confession and the priest cannot give a sacramental absolution. Except for the following circumstances:
a. Danger of death
b. Or if the diocesan bishop or the Bishops’ Conference, for some other grave and pressing need allow the sacrament to be conferred.
Jesus, Our Risen Savior Catholic Church has a regular schedule for confessions every Saturday 3:30-4:30 PM. Seasonal penance service will be announced and for private and homebound may call the parish office for appointment.
Sources: Catechism of the Catholic Church 1422-1498
Code of Canon Law 844