The Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as the Sacrament of Conversion, Confession or Penance, is required for forgiveness of serious sin.

When man commits mortal sin, he loses Sanctifying Grace, harms his relationship with God and others, and condemns himself to hell.

Sanctifying Grace is restored in the Sacrament of Reconciliation through God’s minister who He has given authority to provide mercy and forgiveness in his name and by the power of the Holy Spirit. The ordinary minister of Confession is a priest or bishop who represents Jesus Christ.

For a valid Confession, Catholics must be truly sorry for their sins, confess all of their sins in person and out loud to a priest, and offer restitution to God in the form of penitential prayer or action. These acts of the penitent serve as the matter of the sacrament.

The form of the sacrament is found in the words recited by the priest: “God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church, may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Hearing the words of the priest as he grants God’s forgiveness and absolves the penitent of their sins is an outward sign of inward reality of God’s merciful healing.

Coming clean to Jesus Christ:

[Jesus] said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

John 20: 21-23

Returning home to the father’s house:

Reconciled to God and his Church:

Preparing for Jesus’ return:

From the revelation of the value of this ministry and power to forgive sins, conferred by Christ on the apostles and their successors, there developed in the Church an awareness of the sign of forgiveness, conferred through the Sacrament of Penance. It is the certainty that the Lord Jesus himself instituted and entrusted to the Church – as a gift of his goodness and loving kindness to be offered to all – a special sacrament for the forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism.

Pope John Paul II, Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, December 2, 1984

Naming and claiming our sins:

Releasing us of our sins:

Strengthening our relationship with God:

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.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1440

Sin separates man from God and from others:

Real world forgiveness:

The priest joins his sufferings to Jesus’:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

The centerpiece of the human race:

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