The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that His Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, His work of healing and salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of Anointing of the sick.
“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.”4
It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus’ call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father 5 from whom one has strayed by sin.
It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner’s personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.
It is called the sacrament of Confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a “confession” – acknowledgement and praise” – of the holiness of God and of His mercy toward sinful man.
It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest’s sacramental absolution God grants the penitent “pardon and peace.”6
It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: “Be reconciled to God.”7 He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call: “Go; first be reconciled to your brother.”8
Sacramental preparation for First Confession usually occurs during the child’s second grade year. Please contact Mike Acheson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling either Parish to register your child or for more information.
4 LG 11 §2.
5 CF Mk 1:15; Lk 15:18
6 OP 46: formula of absolution
7 2 Cor 5:20
8 Mt 5:24