Sacrament of Penance
As to Penance. If the Church is to fulfill in its entirely her task of saving mankind she needs the power to forgive sins. It is a power essentially different from her mission to preach the Gospel and baptize. In baptism, indeed all sins and the punishment due to them are remitted. Baptism is the first justification. But the first justification is also the first entry into the realm of the supernatural which works entirely by God's grace and which asks of the person baptized no more than that he turn away from sin and turn in faith to Christ.
Penance is something different. A baptized person who sins again, sins against God to whom, since his baptism in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, he belongs. He also betrays the Church of which he is now a member. Thus, the new atonement assumes the character of a legal trial, with accusation, sentence and satisfaction.
The practice of penance has varied considerably down the centuries. In very early days satisfaction, usually in the form of public penance, was very much to the fore. Re-acceptance into the Church community normally took place only after completion of the penance imposed. More and more, however, penance has withdrawn from the public domain and today only the private administration of the sacrament is still in use.
The development of the system of confession shows that misunderstanding easily arises above the nature of penance. In the face of all attacks - by Wycliffe, the Reformers, liberal dogmatic historians and modernists - the Church has always maintained the judicial character of the sacrament of penance and drawn the necessary conclusion.
THE CHURCH THUS TEACHES:
The Church has the power to forgive all sins. This forgiveness of sins is a true sacrament instituted by Christ, different from baptism, particularly on account of its judicial form. Sins are forgiven only by the sacrament of penance. Sins are forgiven by absolution which can only be given by an authorized priest. It is a real judicial pardon. The Church has the power to reserve certain cases.
On the part of the sinner contrition, confession and satisfaction are required. Contrition is aversion to the sins committed. Perfect contrition remits sin even before confession if it is joined with the intention to confess. Imperfect contrition (attrition) is sufficient if there is confession, and is a good and salutary thing.
Confession must cover all mortal sins committed since baptism and not previously confessed. Venial sins, and sins already confessed can validly be confessed. And satisfaction. The effect of the sacrament is recon- ciliation with God, that is, the remission of sins and the eternal punishment but not all the temporal punishment.
(For more information on the remission of "temporal punishment" refer to the explaination and teaching of the Church regarding INDULGENCES.)
- Your candle will serve as a symbol of your sincere and prayerful intentions.
- Our prayer community will join you in prayer, multiplying the voices in petition with you.
- Your candle can be shared with friends and family, if you wish.
- These candles are perfect for loved ones, as memorials, and for those in need who are far away.
God our Father, Your power brings us to birth, Your providence guides our lives, and by Your command we return to dust. Lord, those who die still live in Your presence, their lives change but do not end. I pray in hope for my family, relatives and friends, and for all the dead known to You ... continue readingMore Prayer of the Day
In the centuries old Catholic tradition, holy cards or prayer cards are small, devotional cards for the use of the faithful. Prayer cards have an endless amount of use and make wonderful gifts and keepsakes.
Pick a Prayer Section
by Catholic Online
- 'Living Lent': Thursday of the Third Week of Lent - Day 23
- St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo: Saint of the Day for Thursday, ...
- Pope Francis defends millennials, but warns them about too much ...
- ISIS deploys child soldiers to keep Christians from returning to Mosul
- Daily Reading for Friday, March 24th, 2017 HD Video
- Adorable girl captured stealing Pope Francis' hat in hilarious ...
- Daily Readings for Thursday, March 23, 2017
- Supreme court nominee faces tough questions on religious freedom during confirmation hearings HD
- Christ's tomb reveals surprise after restoration HD
- Peruvian woman miraculously survives deadly mudslide HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.