An Experience of the Gift of God's Boundless Mercy
"Those who approach the Sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion."
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 1422
The Sacrament of Penance, also commonly referred to as Reconciliation or Confession, is an experience of the gift of God's boundless mercy.
Not only does it (the Sacrament of Penance) free us from our sins, but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us. We are liberated to be forgivers. We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: "It is in pardoning that we are pardoned."
Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church. The Sacrament of Penance is God's gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven. In confession, we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins. With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. "In him, we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
To learn more about the Sacrament of Penance, visit the US Conference of Catholic Bishops website. There, you can also download the e-version of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults.
Reconciliation at St. Martin:
Confessions are available Tues: 5-5:20 pm; Saturday: 4:30-5:15; Sunday: 7-7:15 am and 10-10:15 am
and also upon request.
As an aid to you, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has collected and developed several "Examinations of Conscience" to assist the laity in reflecting prayerfully on one's thoughts, words, and deeds in order to identify any sins.
There are various types of examinations of conscience but regardless of which one you use to prepare yourself for the Sacrament. The USCCB provides several options, all of them rooted in Scripture particularly, the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes.