The Sacrament of Penance (or Confession) is one of the great gifts of the Catholic Church. To get the most from this sacrament it is essential to prepare well. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is above all an act of God’s love; it is a personal moment in a relationship of love with God. It is not a routine to be gone through but very much part of the personal renewal that takes place in each person, especially at Christmas and Easter.
We are invited in the light of God’s love:
- to recognise the sinfulness in our lives
- to have a true sorrow for our sins
- a firm intention to avoid them in the future
These elements are essential to a proper and meaningful celebration of the Sacrament.
Sin is not merely a series of failures. It is also a sharing in what is really negative and sometimes evil:
- unbelief, indifference, selfishness
- violence, contempt for the weak, eroticism
- racism, neglect of the poor
- greed, wastefulness
- pride and a sense of superiority
Every sin, in one way or another, has a community dimension. It is something which tarnishes the Body of Christ, the Christian Community.
Every sin ought to arouse in us feelings of humble regret and a confident request for pardon.