Credopedia The Sacrament of Reconciliation


The Sacrament of Reconciliation

Sin destroys us. Sin is not only the evil we do, but also the good we don’t do. Sins and omissions affect our soul like viruses on a computer. They make life slow and sad. The sacrament of reconciliation (confession) is like a healing update that cleanses the soul and enables the best possible restart.

mins read | Stani Mičkovicová

 The truth sets us free. Even if it sometimes hurts.

The truth about our weaknesses, shortcomings and sins can depress us. We feel ashamed and condemn ourselves for what we have done or failed to do. Or we have the courage to admit our own guilt and bear it before God.
We don’t need to be afraid of God. He is love and mercy. He doesn’t condemn anyone! Our sincere desire for inner healing and for full communion with him frees us from the cords of evil. Jesus says: “The truth will set you free… So if a Son frees you, then you will truly be free.” (John 8, 32-36)
There is no sin that God does not forgive, and there is no wound that he cannot heal if we come to him trustingly. In the sacrament of reconciliation, Jesus himself forgives us.

The healing power of repentance

Jesus turned to sinners – including an adulteress – with particular tenderness. No pointing the finger! No reproach! And the adulteress engaged with Jesus and listened to him. She experienced his salvation – and his healing. (Cf. John 8: 3-11)
Jesus wants to bestow salvation on everybody, now as much as he did back then! He desires salvation for those who, like the adulteress, are crushed by the weight of their guilt just as much as those who have striven for goodness since childhood; who have made a sincere effort to love God and their neighbor throughout their lives.
Genuine feelings of guilt and true remorse are not a weakness. On the contrary! Confessing your own shortcomings is an expression of courage and moral strength. Furthermore, the awareness of your own sinfulness is the first step towards repentance and starts a profound healing process.

Ten commandments as a guide to freedom

Our relationship to goodness has been disrupted. And so, sometimes we don’t know exactly whether what we have done was good, bad or very bad. The Ten Commandments, which Moses once received from God on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20,1-17), contain religious and ethical rules you can view as a guide towards freedom or a recipe for a happy and successful life.
You can use the Ten Commandments as a starting point for preparing for confession, just like many other people do. The Commandments are a sort of mirror you can compare your own actions to and thereby reflect on your behavior: What significance does God have in my life? How do I treat my fellow human beings? And how do I treat myself?

Download a confession manual here

 How do I make a good confession?

Preparing for confession requires thorough self-reflection and honesty towards your own thoughts and actions. Through the sacrament of Holy Confession you can experience a cleansing “update”. Of course, acknowledging your own sins always involves a good dose of sincerity and humility.
But by experiencing the healing force of forgiveness and the peace of mind that follows, you will become better at overcoming inner and outer struggles.

What is involved in a sacramental confession?

  • Admitting to the sin, naming it.
  • Regretting or repenting of the sin and confessing it to a priest.
  • Resolving to avoid future opportunities that tempt you to sin.

The Confessional: a place of salvation and healing

Only when you allow yourself to accept God’s forgiveness and then, in turn, grant forgiveness to your fellow human beings can redemption take effect on you. Only then will you be granted peace, TRUE PEACE.
In the sacrament of reconciliation, the Catholic Church offers you the possibility of profound healing. With every confession, the power of sin is broken. Gradually, you will become stronger and more whole.
Be courageous! There is no sin that God will not forgive. In confession, Jesus Himself is waiting for you; through the priest he speaks those comforting and healing words to you: Your sins are forgiven, go in peace.