Tuesday 18th January 2022

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

A Beacon Of Light… Peace And The Sacrament Of Penance

January 11, 2022 Frontpage No Comments

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON JR.

(Editor’s Note: Fr. Richard D. Breton Jr. is a priest of the Diocese of Norwich, Conn. He received his BA in religious studies and his MA in dogmatic theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Conn.)

  • + + We continue our survey of the Catechism on the sacraments, in particular, Penance and the Anointing of the Sick. This week’s article will focus on the Sacrament of Penance.
    In order to fully understand the significance of this sacrament, we need to return to the Garden of Eden. The fall of Adam tarnished humanity with original sin. Through the unconditional love of God, however, the process of redemption would begin. This involved the lifesaving sacrifice offered through Christ, the Son of God. Jesus took on our human nature, the very nature that was lost by original sin, restoring us to His Grace once again.
    We were left, however, with the effects of original sin. These effects include death and suffering, concupiscence, and the absence of sanctifying grace. The effects of death and suffering are linked to the death of the body, which is the punishment of sin and the death of the soul.
    The effect of concupiscence leaves humanity with an Inclination to sin. This is seen in our struggle with temptation. The father of darkness continually attacks us, beating us down, trying to draw us away from God. Baptism erases original sin, but the inclination to sin remains.
    Another effect of sin is the absence of sanctifying grace. This is the consequence of Adam’s sin. Adam, having received holiness and justice from God, lost it not only for himself, but for all of humanity. Baptism confers sanctifying grace, lost through Adam’s sin, thus eliminating original sin.
    We need God’s mercy and forgiveness in our lives. Where do we find it? We find it in the Sacrament of Penance. The Sacrament of Penance is a beautiful encounter with Christ. When a person approaches this sacrament, he opens himself to the healing and merciful love of God. Within the Sacrament of Penance there are four important moments the penitent participates in.
    The first part is contrition. Contrition is the most important part of this sacrament. Through contrition the penitent shows, or demonstrates, heartfelt sorrow for the sins he committed. This is seen in their resolve to sin no more. Contrition enables the priest to ascertain the genuineness of the penitent’s resolve to sin no more.

Venial Sins And Mortal Sins

The second part of penance is confessing one’s sins. In this part of penance, the penitent verbalizes, or confesses, his sins to God. The confessing of sins includes two kinds of sin. First we confess venial sins. These are sins like impatience, gossip, stealing, lying, selfishness, not forgiving others, and laziness. These venial sins, if not confessed, can lead us into committing the next kind of sins, which we call mortal sins. Mortal sins separate us from God’s love and can cause us to forfeit everlasting life.
A mortal sin is defined as a grave infraction of the law of God that destroys the divine life of the soul, and by doing so, constitutes a turning away from God.
There are three criteria necessary for sins to be mortal and these are: 1) the sin is of a grave matter, 2) we have full knowledge that the act is evil, and 3) we fully consent in our will to perform the act. Basically, the sin is of a grave matter, we know it is wrong, and we do it anyway! Some examples of mortal sins include: murder (including the abortion of a child in the womb), premarital sex (of both heterosexual and homosexual nature), masturbation, the use of contraception, missing Mass on Sundays and holy days, and any sin against the Holy Spirit.
The action of confessing our sins requires us to properly prepare ourselves by performing an examination of conscience. An examination of conscience is time we put aside, hopefully daily, to see where we have failed in living our faith by loving God and our neighbor. This examination is usually done by looking over the Ten Commandments as a guide. Every penitent should be fully prepared to confess his sins.
Sometimes we may forget some of our sins. In this case, we should end confessing our sins by adding a phrase like: and for all the sins I cannot remember at this time. In confessing our sins, we must make sure to mention the kind of sin (by saying what we did) and the number of times we committed the sin.
The third part of Penance is the act of penance itself. The act of penance is a sign of true conversion from the heart. The action of performing a penance for our sins is a remedy through which we are healed. When the priest gives us a penance, we are required to do it. Sometimes a penance can be either a prayer to say, or an action we are asked to perform. In any case, the penance is our way of making amend for our sins. After fulfilling our act of penance, we can forget the past and focus on the road ahead.
The fourth, or final, moment of the Sacrament of Penance is absolution. The action of absolution belongs solely to God Himself; however, the priest is the minister through which forgiveness is imparted. When we are absolved we hear these words: “God, the Father of mercies, through the death and Resurrection of His Son, has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of our sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
The words of absolution are so important for us to hear! This is because they help us to know we have been truly forgiven. With these words the sacrament is concluded, and we are reminded to go in peace and sin no more.
So often penitents are afraid of confessing their sins. They fear that the priest will think differently about them. Sadly, this absurd mentality has caused a decrease in the number of people who make use of this sacrament.
When we come to the Sacrament of Penance, we are sitting or kneeling before Jesus Himself. The priest acts in the person of Christ, but it is Christ who is there in our midst as we confess our sins. Whenever I go to the Sacrament of Penance, I feel the loving hand of Jesus on my shoulder as I confess my faults and failings. I feel Jesus there helping me to make a good Confession of my sins. I don’t hear the voice of the priest, but, the voice of Jesus!
Reminding myself that it is Jesus speaking comforts me. As I admit my failings and confess my sins, I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Then it happens…I hear those beautiful words: I absolve you from your sins! When I hear those words, I feel like crying because I feel the warm embrace of Jesus as He reminds me of His merciful love. Why should we fear the Sacrament of Penance? It is Jesus we encounter!

Jesus Is Waiting

In our earthly lives we see various doctors who help us to stay healthy. Many of us have a primary care physician who tends to our medical needs. In the spiritual life we also have a physician. Jesus is the physician on our spiritual journey. Everyone needs to be seen by the spiritual physician. Jesus is the remedy for healing our souls! Jesus touches us with His healing hand, and we are healed.
In the Sacrament of Penance, Jesus heals our souls from the grip of sin and restores us to sanctifying grace.
Through the comforting voice of the priest, we hear Jesus absolve us of our sins. If you have been away from the Sacrament of Penance, now is the time to return to the fount of mercy. Now is the time to seek out the love and mercy or Jesus!
Feel His healing touch! Hear His comforting voice! Listen as He says: Your sins are forgiven — go in peace! Jesus is waiting!

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Pro-Life Group Calls for Removing Fauci After He's Caught Funding Aborted Baby Parts - https://t.co/kqxQXGgoG8

LifeNews.com - The Pro-Life News Source

.

LifeNews.com

Load More...

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

Alice von Hildebrand . . . Catholic Icon . . . Dead at 98

The readers of The Wanderer have been blessed to read the wisdom and the vast understanding of the Catholic faith that Alice Von Hildebrand shared in her columns with the readers of The Wanderer for over four decades. Her contribution to the Church and to the defense of Catholicism is immeasurable. The countless people she touched in her witness to the Catholic faith will not be fully known until the end of time. Her words are even more valuable today as our…Continue Reading

Brazil to have a statue of Jesus larger than Christ the Redeemer

A statue of Christ is being built in Brazil that will be larger than the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue of Rio de Janeiro. The image, which has been under construction since 2019, will be called Cristo Protector and is being erected on the Cerro de las Antenas, a hill near Encantado in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The project was planned to be completed by the end of 20

Vatican orders forced concelebrations, new restrictions on traditional Mass and sacraments

The document released restricts the traditional celebration of the sacraments, hints at a future withdrawal of permission to celebrate the traditional Mass at all , and issues penalties for priests who will not concelebrate.

Top European court rules all EU countries must recognize same-sex parents

(LifeSiteNews) – The top court of the European Union ruled Tuesday that all EU countries must recognize homosexuals and their legal children as family members regardless of national laws on same-sex parenting or homosexual “marriage.” In a ruling that applies to the entire 27-nation bloc, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) in Luxembourg declared that member countries must allow a same-sex couple to move and reside freely with a child legally recognized as their son or daughter…Continue Reading

Court won’t stop Texas abortion ban, but lets clinics sue

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Friday left in place Texas’ ban on most abortions, though it ruled that clinics in the state can sue over the most restrictive abortion law in the nation. The decision, little more than a week after the court signaled it would roll back abortion rights and possibly overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, was greeted with dismay by abortion rights supporters. They said the outcome, by limiting…Continue Reading

COVID Gloom Shadows World

By JOHN J. METZLER As the New Year brings hope and possibility for a global reset and renewal, the tragic reality remains that COVID-19, with all its deadly variants, continues to plague the planet now fully two years after the malady emerged from Wuhan, China. Thus, despite much justified optimism over wider vaccinations, the pandemic…Continue Reading

Voter ID Requirements Make Sense

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY A young man who looks like a teenager walks into a liquor store and pulls a bottle of cheap whiskey off a shelf.He puts it down at the checkout counter and pulls out his wallet.The clerk at the counter looks at him skeptically. “Can I see your ID?” he asks.“Yes,” says…Continue Reading

The Road To Emmaus

By DONALD DeMARCO The road that stretched from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus, as Luke informs us (Luke 24:13-35), was about seven miles (60 estadia). What transpired in the story of the “Road to Emmaus,” however, has a far richer meaning than the route on which two people, and then a third, traveled. It…Continue Reading

Where Does NATO Enlargement End?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Warsaw Pact dissolved, the breakup of the USSR began. But the dissolution did not stop with the 14 Soviet “republics” declaring their independence of Moscow.Decomposition had only just begun.Transnistria broke away from Moldova. South Ossetia and Abkhazia seceded from Georgia. Chechnya broke…Continue Reading

Our Entire System Of “Sexual Liberation” Depends On The Abortion Industry

By JONATHON VAN MAREN (Editor’s Note: Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as in print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator, and others.) + + (LifeSiteNews) — If…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Spirit Of The Lord Is Upon You

FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Neh. 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-101 Cor. 12:12-30Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21 In the second reading today, St. Paul states: “You are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.” This truth is of great importance to all of us, but we need to look at the Gospel reading to see what God teaches…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Are archaeologists still looking for the original pieces of Christ’s Cross? – J.B., Pennsylvania.A. No, the true Cross was found by St. Helena in Jerusalem in the fourth century, and pieces of this holy relic can now be found in many churches and shrines throughout the world. Helena was sent to Jerusalem by her son, the Roman Emperor Constantine,…Continue Reading

Practicing Catholics: The Moral Connection

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK A Catholic acquaintance recounts having been asked, while being interviewed in preparation for hiring by a particular agency concerned with national security, “Have you slept with your friend’s girlfriend or wife?” His impulse was to answer, “No, I’m Catholic,” but only yes or no answers were allowed.That reminded me of an occasion in the Army…Continue Reading

From The Christmas Cycle… An Overlooked But Powerful Reading

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Pope posted this commentary on January 4, 2022 and it is reprinted here with permission. His website is msgrpope.com.) + + There is a Scripture reading proclaimed at the Christmas Liturgy that usually gets overlooked. And yet it should elicit considerable reflection since it is proclaimed at the Christmas Midnight Mass, one of…Continue Reading

Our Lord Gave Himself Entirely

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Isaiah 62:1-51 Cor. 12:4-11John 2:1-11 In calling Israel into a covenant relationship with Himself, God took His Chosen People into a relationship that is akin to a marriage. This marital relationship is mentioned many times in the Old Testament. Often it is because Israel was like an unfaithful…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Vincent Mary Pallotti (1795-1850)

By DEB PIROCH He lived during a different era . . . the same as the Curé of Ars. He attended a special Jesuit high school, the Collegio Romano where St. Aloysius Gonzaga had been schooled. And like his fellow alumnus, he came from a large family and was called early to religious life.One of ten, as a child Vincent…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… The Blessed Carmelites Of Compiègne

By DEB PIROCH There are those who make the capital error of equating France’s French Revolution with the American one. Bastille Day may have liberated the people from autocracy, but beyond that, the Revolution was vile. While phrases like “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” were bantered about, it was actually only one motto used and it really had nothing whatsoever to…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)