Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession
The Sacrament of Reconciliation, also called Confession or the Sacrament of Penance is ‘one of the greatest graces we can receive again and again in our life. It renews the soul, completely unburdens it, and fills it with strength. God is merciful, and he wants us to claim his mercy.’ (cf. Youcat 226)
Jesus Christ, in His abundant love and mercy, established this Sacrament, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament ‘washes us clean’ and renews us in Christ.
Jesus gave his apostles the authority to forgive sins in His name, and today we can participate in this sacrament through the priests of His Church.
Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ (John 20:21-23).
The Catholic Church recommends we go to Confession at least once a month, and it requires that we go at least once a year.
The sacramental seal of Confession is the obligation of every confessor to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1467)