Confession penance question?


If a confession penance was “suggested”, should I take that as a nice way of saying to go do it, or should I take it for what it was?

The priest: “as for your penance I suggest that you go-----------…”

Thanks for all the answers.


A penance is part of the Sacrament. So I would suppose one would take such as ones penance.

Now if it is unreasonable or not doable --one can bring the matter to a Priest in confession.


I can only say how I have responded in a similar situation when a penance was suggested, which was to do it. If it is something too difficult or we believe we cannot do it, then I understand we should go back (preferably to the same priest) and confess to not doing the penance and explaining why.

For me, not doing a penance means that the Sacrament is incomplete. Fortunately, it is extremely rare for me to receive anything other than very specific and strict instructions on the penance to be undertaken.


Just to clarify, the absolution is not dependent on doing the penance.


I was told that the penance prescribed by the priest in the confessional is integral to the Sacrament and is obligatory. Absolution does take away the sin, but some atonement must be made. A penance in the form of prayer or work of mercy or sacrifice is required.


I don’t think it is accurate to say that the penance is integral to confession. as how can someone at the point of death comply?


I think there’s a difference when a priest obviously would not give a penance to a dying person. But for the most part, in confession, penance is part of the sacrament.
We teach children to try to do their penance as soon as possible. :shrug:


All I know is that for the most part I have had a penance, and a time when absolution was conditional on a penance. I took time out to look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) which states:

1440 Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. 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.

[quote]1469 This sacrament reconciles us with the Church. 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.76 Re-established or strengthened in the communion of saints, the sinner is made stronger by the exchange of spiritual goods among all the living members of the Body of Christ, whether still on pilgrimage or already in the heavenly homeland.


I would suggest reading the paragraphs in between the two quoted passages as it links each of the sacraments together into the whole time spent in the confessional or sacrament of reconciliation. The whole piece is a bit long. With regard to a dying person, they are in a different position and only God is able to judge in His infinite love and mercy. All we can do is pray for their souls.


Receiving a penance is one thing… deliberately rejecting it or later refusing to do it is another.

As for those at the point of death --if they are able they may for example kiss a crucifix or something…


Thanks for all the answers. I think I’ll go ahead and do it.


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