Penance is an experience of the gift of God's boundless mercy
The Sacrament of Penance is an experience of the gift of God's boundless mercy. Not only does it free us from our sins but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us. We are liberated to be forgivers. We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: "It is in pardoning that we are pardoned."
Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church. The Sacrament of Penance is God's gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven. In confession we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins. With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). While all the Sacraments bring us an experience of the mercy that comes from Christ's dying and rising, it is the Sacrament of Reconciliation that is the unique Sacrament of mercy.
-From the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1496 - "The spiritual effects of the Sacrament of Penance are: Reconciliation with God, by which the Penitent (the one Confessing their sins) recovers grace; Reconciliation with the Church (Community); Remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins; remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin; peace and serenity of Conscience and spiritual consolation; an increase in spiritual strength for the Christian battle.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1461 - "Since Christ entrusted to His apostles the ministry of Reconciliation, bishops who are their successors and priest, the bishop's collaborators, continue to exercise this ministry. Indeed bishops and priests, by virtue of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, have the power to forgive all sins, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
John 20: 20-23
And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2490 - "The secret of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is sacred and cannot be violated under any pretext. The "sacramental seal" is inviolable; therefore it is a crime for a Confessor (Bishop or Priest) in any way betray a Penitent by word or in any manner or for any reason.
The best way I could explain the Sacrament of Reconciliation is like this: We have all experienced a loved one or perhaps ourselves being in the hospital. We can all envision the usual IV bag hanging by the patient. The IV bag is like the dispensing of "grace", a slight drip, which is impeded by sin. Sin is what causes physical and spiritual illness. Therefore, upon the absolution of sins (forgiveness) through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Now, imagine a flood gate of grace being opened and poured into the soul that restores our relationship with God, our loved ones and all those we encounter.
1 John 1:8-10
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
The term Sacrament is defined as: an outward sign, instituted by Christ that grants grace. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an invitation from Jesus to free us from sin and lead us to grace. Like all invitations, we must either accept or decline. The Seven Sacraments in the Roman Catholic faith are all aimed at developing and nurturing a faithful Christian journey. Come and experience the gift of healing through this merciful and loving sacrament: Reconciliation.
May the peace of the Lord be with you. Welcome to Mission San Jose Catholic Church.
Reconciliation at Mission San Jose Church is celebrated on Saturdays from 4pm to 5pm at the Saint Juan Diego Chapel.