Dec 10, 2012


Pillar Focus The Seven Sacraments: Penance (also commonly know as Confession, Reconciliation)

Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Penance for the forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism. Consider the following verse (takes place after Christ's resurrection):
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “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 20:19-23) 
As shown in other Scripture passages, Christ gives his apostles authority on Earth (see Mt 16:13-20) . We are an apostolic church, which means we believe that that authority has been passed down to the present day.

For some good apologetics (how to defend and explain the faith) see: Catholics Come Home: The Sacrament of Confession
Has it been awhile since your last confession? A Guide to Confession 
For further study, see part IV of this book: These are the Sacraments by Fulten J. Sheen

Study the Catechism
part 2, section 2, chapter 2, article 4
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