Baptism brings us into communion with Christ and His Church. Like Confirmation, it can only be received once but freedom remains and so too the possibility of rooting one’s life in unreality and going astray.
Confession – Reconciliation – is one of the two sacraments of healing.
In this sacrament we find God’s unconditional forgiveness and mercy not his judgement or punishment. It can be difficult and may take a great deal of effort at first. But it is one of the greatest graces that we can receive again and again in our life – it truly renews the soul, completely unburdens it leaving it without the debts of the past, accepted in love and equipped with new strength. God is merciful and he desires nothing more earnestly than for us to lay claim to his mercy. Someone who has gone to confession turns a clean, new page in the book of his life (YOUCAT 226)
Consistent with His words and actions until the moment of His death, forgiving those who crucified Him, the risen Christ instituted the sacrament of reconciliation as his first gift to the Church on Easter Sunday night.
Through the words of absolution spoken by the priest, God forgives our sins.
The reality of sin is often repressed. Some people even think that guilt feelings should be dealt with in a merely psychological way. We rationalize our sins away and like to sweep things under the rug. But genuine guilt feelings are important. God wants us to tell our sins and to acknowledge them in a personal encounter. We arrive at contrition when we see the contradiction between God’s love and our sin. Then we are full of sorrow for our sins, we resolve to change our life and place all our hope in God’s help. (YOUCAT 228-229)
“When one is in line to go to Confession, one feels all these things, even shame, but then when one finishes Confession one leaves free, grand, beautiful, forgiven, candid, happy. This is the beauty of Confession!” – Pope Francis, 19 February 2014
For Confession times please see here