The sacrament of the reconciliation
By Sean Martin
God’s greatest attribute is his mercy. After the fall of Adam and Eve, the Lord did not abandon humanity to the powers of sin and death. God sent us His only begotten Son, our Redeemer King Jesus, who died on the cross and resurrected from the dead, so that our sins are forgiven and we may live with him for all eternity. “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath. Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life” (Romans 8-10).
What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Sin damages and may even sever completely our relationship with Christ and the Church, depending on whether it is venial or mortal. Venial sin is a less serious sin. Mortal sin is a serious sin that severs a person’s relationship with God completely. In order to commit a mortal sin, the matter of the act must be serious or grave (such as intentionally missing Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation without serious reason, the use of contraception, intentionally getting drunk or high, etc.); in addition, the person must have full knowledge of the sinful character of the act, and the person must have complete and deliberate consent or freely will the act.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is also known as Confession, Penance, the Sacrament of Conversion, and the Sacrament of Forgiveness. Each name or title for this Sacrament describes or highlights different facets of it.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation has many effects: all of a person’s sins are forgiven, eternal and at least a part of temporal punishment is satisfied, sanctifying grace is strengthened or restored, grace to avoid sin is received, and all merits and satisfactions lost with the loss of grace are restored (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1496).
Who can receive Reconciliation?
What is needed for Reconciliation to be valid?
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