Sacraments were given to us by Jesus these are Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Reconciliation, Marriage and others.
These Sacraments mark stages of our journey as Catholics. Press or click the buttons below to find out more.
St. John in his First Letter says: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just; he will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1: 8-10). The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the sacrament of conversion: “it makes present sacramentally Jesus’s call to conversion” (Catechism 1423).
It is a beautiful, life-changing encounter with the merciful Heart of Jesus, “usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation” (Council of Trent). If we have committed a serious sin, we should go to confession as soon as we can. The Church obliges us to confess our grave sins.
But the sacrament does not exist only for the remission of mortal sins, but so that through more frequent confession people who are “good” can become “better.” It is like a spiritual checkup or a booster in which we encounter Jesus personally and the mercy of God as well as His help and inspiration. I often recommend to penitents that they avail themselves of the Sacrament of Penance every few weeks, say once a month or every two months. “Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.
Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit” (Catechism 1458). Regular confession helps fight the temptations we struggle with. One of the secrets of a good confession is a thorough examination of conscience. To see in a dark room, we need a light. So before setting off to meet the priest, we need to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to shine the light of Christ in our heart and mind, that we may know our sins and make a good confession. I was always taught to remember a list of things in my mind, but these days it’s often easier to make a simple note or list on a piece of paper, as this helps keep things focused without drifting away into unnecessary contexts and explanations etc