200. What is the sacrament of
is the sacrament by which
sins committed after Baptism are forgiven through the absolution of
Whence has the priest the power to forgive sins?
The priest has the power
to forgive sins from Jesus Christ, who said to His apostles and to
their successors in the priesthood: "Receive the Holy Ghost; whose
sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you
shall retain, they are retained."
Receive the Holy Ghost;
whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins
you shall retain, they are retained. (John 20:22-23)
With what words does the
priest forgive sins?
The priest forgives sins
with the words:
the Father of mercies, through the death
and resurrection of his Son has
reconciled the world to himself and sent
Holy Spirit among us for the
forgiveness of sins; through the
ministry of the Church may God give you
pardon and peace, and I absolve you from
your sins in the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
203. What are the
effects of the sacrament of Reconciliation, worthily received?
The effects of the
sacrament of Reconciliation, worthily received, are:
restoration or increase of sanctifying grace;
forgiveness of sins;
remission of the eternal punishment, if necessary, and also of
part, at least, of the temporal punishment, due to our sins;
help to avoid sin in future;
restoration of the merits of our good works if they have been
lost by mortal sin.
What else does the
sacrament of Reconciliation do for us?
The sacrament of
Reconciliation also gives us the opportunity to receive spiritual
advice and instruction from our confessor.
What must we do to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation worthily?
To receive the sacrament
of Reconciliation worthily, we must:
examine our conscience;
be sorry for our sins;
have the firm purpose of not sinning again;
confess our sins to the priest;
be willing to perform the penance the priest gives us.
But if the wicked do
penance for all his sins which he hath committed and keep all my
commandments and do judgment and justice, living he shall live, and
shall not die. (Ezekiel 18:21)
What is an examination of conscience?
An examination of
conscience is a sincere effort to call to mind all the sins we have
committed since our last worthy confession.
What should we do before our examination of conscience?
Before our examination of
conscience we should ask God's help to know our sins and to confess
them with sincere sorrow.
How can we make a good examination of conscience?
We can make a good
examination of conscience by calling to mind the commandments of God
and of the Church, and the particular duties of our state of life,
and by asking ourselves how we may have sinned with regard to them.