31 Days: Why I am Catholic  {The Sacrament of Reconciliation}

The first three Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist, are Sacraments of Initiation. They usher in a new life in Christ. However, because of the fall, this new life is damaged by sin. Both original and personal. Jesus heals us just as He healed those during His public ministry, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 

Also called Penance and Confession, but I like Reconciliation the most. As it was explained to me during RCIA, confession is your action in the sacrament, but reconciliation is how God works through it.

Our sins damage our relationships with God and with His Church and this sacrament repairs, or reconciles us. 

There are a lot of misconceptions about this sacrament. For instance, people do not understand that one cannot just admit or confess their sins and repair their relationships. First, their must be an interior conversion of heart. We must be truly contrite. Our interior truth then manifests it’s self through three traditional practices: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. These three actions work to cause a conversion and reconciliation, with outselves, with God, and with others.

Also, many mistakenly think we believe the priest is forgiving our sins. Only God forgives, the priest stands in person of God for us to receive the material, outward symbol of the inner truth. Also, confessing through the priest acts to repair our damaged relationship with God’s Church, just as Jesus’ healing a in His ministry often brought people back into their community. 

God gave Peter the authority to forgive sins when he said. “I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loosen on earth small be loosened in heaven.”


3 thoughts on “31 Days: Why I am Catholic  {The Sacrament of Reconciliation}

  1. I love this one. I’m struggling – hard – to get myself to Confession, but there’s no interior conversion right now which is making it doubly hard. I’m not actually sorry for a few of the sins I’ve committed. Gah.

    But anyway, just dropping a note to give you a high five for this one. 🙂 Spot on, true, and timely (for me, anyway). 🙂


    1. Gina- I think you can be sorry that it offends God without being personally sorry and still be contrite and receive absolution. Take it to confession. Talk it out with a priest. Because you recognize that it’s wrong toy just aren’t there yet? Maybe I am way off.


      1. It sounds like I am contradicting myself, but I am not meaning to. In the Act of Contrition don’t we say we are sorry for having offended you, to God? Perhaps that’s step one toward moving toward full contrition?


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