Jesus shocked his Jewish people when he, a human being, forgave the sins of the paralytic lowered down by his friends through the roof of a house (Mark 2:1-12). The scribes asked, “Why does this man speak like this? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus replied to them [the scribes], “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to paralytic—‘I say to you take up your pallet and walk.”
After His resurrection, he passed His power to forgive sins to his Apostles, instituting the sacrament of penance: “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.”
To progress in the spiritual life, the Church recommends that we examine our conscience each day, which takes only a few minutes.
Follow this link to learn more: The Daily Examen.
The Catholic Church also teaches that to advance in the spiritual life, we must not only follow our conscience but also educate our conscience so we actually understand what is right and what is wrong.
Follow this link for alternative guides to a: Catholic examination of conscience.
If you are still uncertain, then you can ask a priest, even in the confessional.
Many of us suffer from “hidden faults” which are ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that have become deeply ingrained in us. Now is the time to let them go, stop carrying them around with you, you don’t have to live this way any longer!
Our parish offers the sacrament of confession for 45 minutes before the Saturday vigil Mass at the Sacred Heart site. If you cannot make that time, you can ask Fr. Aron or any priest to go to confession at any time. Don’t worry if has been some time since you have been to confession and you don’t exactly remember how. Let the priest know and he will help you.
Alternatively, follow this link for a refresher on: how to go to confession.
We recommend that you find a regular schedule for confession. Many Catholic devotions incorporate monthly confession, such as the popular First Fridays devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Confession is good for advancing in the spiritual life even if there are only minor faults to confess. To remain a Catholic in good standing, the Church requires confession once a year.
When we sin, we deprive ourselves of God’s grace. And by doing so, we make it even easier to sin some more. The only way out of this downward cycle is to acknowledge our sins, to repent of them, and to ask God’s forgiveness. Then, in the Sacrament of Confession, grace can be restored to our souls, and we can once again resist sin.
The following video is a good reflection on the Sacrament of Penance:
What Is Required?
Three things are required of a penitent in order to receive the sacrament worthily:
- A penitent must be contrite—or, in other words, sorry for his sins.
- A penitent must confess those sins fully, in kind and in number.
- A penitent must be willing to do penance and make amends for his sins.