Archive for March, 2012

Why do so many have difficulty with the Catholic teaching on the sacrament of reconciliation. Why not just go straight to God to ask for forgiveness? Actually that is a prerequisite for even going to confession and receiving the sacrament of reconciliation.

Nowhere in the bible or in the early writings of the church fathers was confessing your sins to a priest condemned. In reality it’s just the opposite. Many places in the gospels Jesus forgave sins as a Man to convince us that God the Father can forgive sins through man. He passed this ability on when He gave the Apostles and their successors the power to forgive sins when He said “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (Jn 20:23).

It is really God the Father that does the forgiving but Jesus gave man the authority through the sacrament to forgive. James also tells us we are to “summon the priest” and “Confess your sins” (James 5:16). Saint Paul also speaks of the sacrament “Christ has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Cor 5:18)

Jesus did not leave us to rely on subjective feelings to know the beauty of forgiveness. He knows as people we need to physically hear the words “your sins are forgiven”. There is a supernatural grace that is poured out through the sacrament that heals us mentally as well spiritually. The sacrament does not take anything away from God. It adds to His ability to touch us on a personal level.

It is because Jesus died for our sins that we have the ability to be forgiven and a chance at salvation. So after receiving the gift of forgiveness through the sacrament of reconciliation don’t forget to go straight to Jesus and thank Him.

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