The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Catholic beliefs. Jesus Christ, in His abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Confession or Penance), so that we can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament “washes us clean,” and renews us in Christ.
The Purpose of Reconciliation
Reconciling of man to God is the purpose of Confession. When we sin, we deprive ourselves of God’s grace. Moreover, by doing so, we make it even easier to sin more. Thorough the Sacrament of Reconciliation we ask God’s forgiveness so grace can be restored to our souls, and we can once again resist sin.
Why Is Reconciliation Necessary?
Many people ask whether they can confess their sins directly to God, and whether God can forgive them without going through a priest. On the most basic level, of course, the answer is yes, and Catholics should make frequent “acts of contrition”, to God that we are sorry for our sins and ask for His forgiveness. But, the question misses the point of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The sacrament, by its very nature, bestows graces that help us to live a Christian life. This is why the Church requests us to receive Reconciliation at least once per year.
Reconciliation was instituted by Christ as the proper form for the forgiveness of our sins. We should not only be willing to receive the sacrament, but we should embrace it as a gift from a loving God.
What Is Required?
Three things are required in order to receive the sacrament worthily:
- You must be contrite—or, in other words, sorry for your sins.
- You must confess your sins fully, in kind and in number.
- You must be willing to do penance and make amends for you sins.
How to Make a Good Confession
Confession is not difficult, but it does require preparation. A confession should begin with prayer, to place yourself in the presence of God while you examine your conscience. To learn more, open “How to Make a Good Confession” or make an appointment to speak with one of our priests.
The Act of Contrition
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against You, whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy. Amen
St. Norbert Parish Reconciliation Schedule
You may receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation each Saturday from 4:00 to 4:45PM in the church.
To make an appointment for another time, please call the Parish Office.