A Sacrament of Healing
Christ instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that we might renew and restore our Baptismal grace and the Life of Christ within us. In the Sacrament of Penance, also called Reconciliation or confession, we meet the Lord, who wants to grant forgiveness and the grace to live a renewed life in Him. The Church sees confession as so important that she requires every Catholic go at least once a year.
The Church also encourages frequent confession in order to grow closer to Christ Jesus and his Body, the Church. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we seek forgiveness and repentance, let go of patterns of sin, grow in the life of virtue, and witness to a joyful conversion.
Confessions are heard Saturday, 8:30AM to 9:30AM in Church. Additionally the Holy Hour evenings on Tuesdays at 7:00PM also provide opportunity for individual confessions. Please see our Holy Hour web page for dates.
“Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment.” Acts 3:19-20a
The means by which God forgives sins after Baptism is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Minor, also called venial sins can be confessed directly to God, but for grave or mortal sins, which crush the spiritual life out of the soul, God has instituted a different means for obtaining forgiveness: the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There are four steps in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and understanding the steps makes it easier to go to confession so we can grow in grace.
“For where there is division and wrath, God does not dwell. To all them that repent, the Lord grants forgiveness, if they turn in penitence to the unity of God, and to communion with the bishop.” Saint Ignatius of Antioch
“Come back to the source of Grace. Christ is waiting for you! (Saint Pope John Paul II)
Practical suggestions and tip on “making a good confession” from Father Mike Schmitz.
The Spiritual Effects of the Sacrament of Penance are:
“To prevent a sheep from seeking assistance by her cries, the wolf seizes her by the neck, and thus securely carries her away and devours her. The Devil acts in a similar manner with the sheep of Jesus Christ. After having induced them to yield to sin, he seizes them by the throat, that they may not confess their guilt; and thus he securely brings them to Hell. For those who have sinned grievously, there is no means of salvation but the confession of their sins.” (Saint Alphonsus Liguori)
This thirty-minute video is a powerful witness to the healing power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is also a beautiful reminder of how to pray, just “keep it simple”. Additionally, if you are interested in participating in the Men’s or Women’s CRHP here at St. Mary of Gostyn, please see the Ministries page.
Additional Resources for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
A mature understanding of sin includes reflecting upon our thoughts, actions, and omissions as well as examining the patterns of sin that may arise in our lives. With contrite hearts, we are also called to reflect upon the effects of our sins upon the wider community and how we might participate in sinful systems. Here are a few useful tools.
- Examination of conscience. There are many versions of the examination of conscience; find one that works for you being sure it is rooted in Scripture.
- Act of Contrition Prayer
- Litany of Humility
- The Daily Examen by Saint Ignatius of Loyola