Nov 5, 2012

The Church Offers Forgiveness

Pillar Focus Apostles Creed: "I believe in the forgiveness of sins"

We receive total forgiveness by Christ in Baptism. However, Baptism does not abolish the weakness of human nature towards sin. We continue in our sin. Since sin separates us from God, and therefor from perfect love, we need to continually seek forgiveness. We need to enter into a perpetual state of conversion, of repentance. "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" (Mt 3:2)

On our journey of conversion it is important to know how to receive God's total forgiveness in a sure way. This is primarily done through the Sacrament of Confession. Many Catholics do not participate in this incredible grace, nor do they they understand it (see Cara Study 2008). What a loss!! Consider the following verses of Scripture:
Jesus said to his apostles, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." (Jn 20:21-23) 
Speaking to Peter, the first pope, Scripture has Jesus saying the following:
"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Mt 16:18-19)
Has it been awhile since your last confession? A Guide to Confession 

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