The Sacrament of Penance


#1

"Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted through the priest's absolution to those who with true sorrow confess their sins and promise to satisfy for the same. It is called a "sacrament" not simply a function or ceremony, because it is an outward sign instituted by Christ to impart grace to the soul. As an outward sign it comprises the actions of the penitent in presenting himself to the priest and accusing himself of his sins, and the actions of the priest in pronouncing absolution and imposing satisfaction. This whole procedure is usually called, from one of its parts, "confession", and it is said to take place in the "tribunal of penance", because it is a judicial process in which the penitent is at once the accuser, the person accused, and the witness, while the priest pronounces judgment and sentence. The grace conferred is deliverance from the guilt of sin and, in the case of mortal sin, from its eternal punishment; hence also reconciliation with God, justification. Finally, the confession is made not in the secrecy of the penitent's heart nor to a layman as friend and advocate, nor to a representative of human authority, but to a duly ordained priest with requisite jurisdiction and with the "power of the keys", i.e., the power to forgive sins which Christ granted to His Church."

This is from Catholic Encyclopedia. For those of us who are not officially part of the Church, what does this mean for us? Is penance what the protestants call repenting? If I can not go to confession, then what do I do?

Dianna


#2

If you can't go to confession you can always make a perfect act of contrition to God (meaning you are sorry simply out of love for Him ....not because of wanting something, fearing hell etc etc.

You can be assured of your forgiveness by you having the right intent, being sincere and trusting Gods mercy and being willing to change your life.

HOWEVER, the church calls all of its members to confession.....it's is the normal and safest way (because it's under the authority of the church) for catholics. WE as catholics are called to use the sacrament at least twice a year ( i believe it's twice...) and we MUST use it to recieve holy communionif we have commited mortal sin.

The church does ask us to examine our conscience and to have a relationship with Christ and to ALWAYS ask forgiveness daily to God as well.

There are special graces given at confession we don't get anywhere else.....confession reconciles us to the body of Christ (by coming to its figure-head the priest ) it also grants us grace to become spiritually stronger, we also get council from the priest and are ASSURED of our forgivness(perfect contrition is not necessary....just a sincere sorrow and willingess to change) Christ instituted the sacrament for a reason....and all the majorly known saints used confession quite frequently....so as they say....the proof is in the pudding.

God bless!


#3

[quote="TwinMommy, post:1, topic:319139"]
For those of us who are not officially part of the Church, what does this mean for us? Is penance what the protestants call repenting? If I can not go to confession, then what do I do?

Dianna

[/quote]

By repenting you experience contrition.

Two kinds of contrition exist: imperfect out of fear of eternal damnation in hell, perfect out of sorrow for having offended God, who is infinitely good.

Here's a bit of advice to be moved to perfect contrition: consider God as He dwells in the infant Jesus. Look at Him in this miracle of love. Consider what it means to offend Him there and then...not as an invisible, almighty creator....not as the strong Christ that unfurls the standards of the Cross before the heavens...but as that kind, pure, innocent infant...and ask for His forgiveness :)

http://www.restoredtraditions.com/images/products/thumb/Chambers_St_Joseph_Child_Jesus_Crying_thumb.jpg

This repentance will move you to reject sin, not just that one occasion, but to wish that it had never happen and to will that it never happen again by God's help and grace. United with the desire to confess as soon as possible (in your case, whenever the Church allows you) this suffices to remove mortal sin and restore sanctifying baptismal grace. But you are still bound to confess the mortal sins you repent from.

Above all else, we ought to live with a penitent heart always, remembering what the great apostle St. Paul once wrote:

For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this justified, because the one who examines me is the Lord.


#4

[quote="MichaelHowling, post:2, topic:319139"]
If you can't go to confession you can always make a perfect act of contrition to God (meaning you are sorry simply out of love for Him ....not because of wanting something, fearing hell etc etc.

You can be assured of your forgiveness by you having the right intent, being sincere and trusting Gods mercy and being willing to change your life.

HOWEVER, the church calls all of its members to confession.....it's is the normal and safest way (because it's under the authority of the church) for catholics. WE as catholics are called to use the sacrament at least twice a year ( i believe it's twice...) and we MUST use it to recieve holy communionif we have commited mortal sin.

The church does ask us to examine our conscience and to have a relationship with Christ and to ALWAYS ask forgiveness daily to God as well.

There are special graces given at confession we don't get anywhere else.....confession reconciles us to the body of Christ (by coming to its figure-head the priest ) it also grants us grace to become spiritually stronger, we also get council from the priest and are ASSURED of our forgivness(perfect contrition is not necessary....just a sincere sorrow and willingess to change) Christ instituted the sacrament for a reason....and all the majorly known saints used confession quite frequently....so as they say....the proof is in the pudding.

God bless!

[/quote]

I was listening to a show the other day and the priest and the other man where talking about the grace that is received from confession. It made me long for it even more. I have sometime, but I know the time between now and next year's Easter Vigil is going to be a time of growth in my faith and it will all be worth the wait.

I am in awe when I read about a Saint each day. What amazing, amazing people. Through all their struggles in life, God was always the focus.


#5

[quote="R_C, post:3, topic:319139"]
By repenting you experience contrition.

Two kinds of contrition exist: imperfect out of fear of eternal damnation in hell, perfect out of sorrow for having offended God, who is infinitely good.

Here's a bit of advice to be moved to perfect contrition: consider God as He dwells in the infant Jesus. Look at Him in this miracle of love. Consider what it means to offend Him there and then...not as an invisible, almighty creator....not as the strong Christ that unfurls the standards of the Cross before the heavens...but as that kind, pure, innocent infant...and ask for His forgiveness :)

This repentance will move you to reject sin, not just that one occasion, but to wish that it had never happen and to will that it never happen again by God's help and grace. United with the desire to confess as soon as possible (in your case, whenever the Church allows you) this suffices to remove mortal sin and restore sanctifying baptismal grace. But you are still bound to confess the mortal sins you repent from.

Above all else, we ought to live with a penitent heart always, remembering what the great apostle St. Paul once wrote:

[/quote]

Wow, that is beautiful. I honestly would not have brought that image to mind. I love the picture. I am going to have to search for more. I have quickly developed a big love for art that for the most part seemed to be used within Catholicism. It beauty is breathtaking and it is so well done, that you can feel the scene that is being depicted.

I am keeping this post, as it is very helpful and you worded this so well.


#6

Yes, amazing people!

They were able to untwist what sin had twisted in their views, their mind, and in their heart. It’s done through grace (a gift of the sacrament of penance itself) and just deepening their relationship with Christ.

Really superhuman people!


#7

[quote="MichaelHowling, post:6, topic:319139"]
Yes, amazing people!

They were able to untwist what sin had twisted in their views, their mind, and in their heart. It's done through grace (a gift of the sacrament of penance itself) and just deepening their relationship with Christ.

Really superhuman people!

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


#8

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