RECONCILIATION THROUGH PENANCE

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images (16)FOCUS: MAXIMIZING THE SACRAMENTS OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION

At baptism, we received the sanctifying Grace remission of the sins of our forefather.

Sacrament of Penance according to St. Augustine is another plank to save a drowning soul.

Penance is a supernatural disposition to hate sin and make amendments never to go back to it again.

GROUPING OF THE SACRAMENTS

1. Sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist): They confer in our soul an indelible mark by initiating us into family of God.

2. Sacraments of healing (Penance and Anointing of the Sick): They bring about healing on both the body and soul of a Christian.

3. Sacraments of Service (Matrimony and Holy Orders): This sacraments usher us into services or stewardship of the Lord. They enable us to serve both God and humanity.

In Catholic Church, Sacraments of Reconciliation is also called the sacrament of conversion, sacrament of confession, sacrament of Penance and sacrament of forgiveness.

Biblical References
The scriptural references below show that this sacrament was instituted by Christ himself, this was passed down from generation to generation till our present time.
Luke 5:20-25, John 20:23, Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 18:19.

SUBJECT OF THIS SACRAMENTS

The receiver of this sacrament is a baptized person. CCC 96, CCC 842, any one who has not been baptized cannot received this Sacrament.

THE MINISTER OF THIS SACRAMENT

The minister of this sacrament is a priest of God. Those in the sacred order (CCC 1009) are the Deacons, The Priests and the Bishops. (CCC 129) There is a consideration of jurisdiction, the priest in charge of a particular territory (Parish) has the right to minister the Sacrament of Penance. To better understand this subject, read (CCC 1378 -1388) which will also guide you on the sanctions attached.

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WHEN MUST WE CONFESS?

When we sin against God through our words, actions, attitudes and leaving our responsibilities consciously and unconsciously.

MATTER AND FORM

– The matter includes Confession, contrition and Satisfaction

Contrition is an outright disposition and sincere resolution to quit a sin and carefully avoid the occasions.

Confession is the action of speaking out that sin.

Satisfaction is the penance for the punishment due to the sin.

-The forms are the words of the Priest;

“I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit”

BENEFITS OF THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE

When we go for confession, we often feel a burden been lifted out from us. That’s the efficacy of this Sacrament. Some of the benefits includes;

1. It remmits the guilt of sin.
2. It cuts off the eternal punishment due to sin
3. It restores the sanctifying Grace to cancel sin
4. It revives in us the merits of sacramental Grace
5. Restoration to communion with God

WORTHY RECEPTION OF THE SACRAMENT

1. Preparation of the mind
2. Careful examination of conscience
3. Act of Contrition – hardy sorrow for our sin (which are further divided into Perfect contrition “done out of genuine love we have for God” and Imperfect contribution “done out of fear of death or hell fire”)
4. Genuinely resolve not to go back to them again

QUALITIES OF A GOOD CONTRITION

1. It must be Interior
2. It must be Supernatural
3. It must be Universal
4. It must be Sovereign

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QUALITY OF A CONFESSION

1. It must be clear
2. It must be sincere
3. It must be humble
4. It must be prudent
5. It must be entire

Satisfaction is the fulfilment of the penance given by the priest. It is very necessary.

In conclusion

God is calling us in this sacrament for absolute reconciliation in order to build the relationship which has existed from creation and to restore the merits of the sacrifice already made by Christ, a price paid, saving grace purchased through his death on the cross. Do not abuse this Grace by consciously and intentionally deciding to stay in one particular sin. Try to avoid the occasions which create the atmosphere for sin.