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"For, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." (Romans 1:22)


"When FEAR knocks on your door, send FAITH to answer it."

The Act of Confession

Faith & Forgiveness
Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest?

Confession is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ providing a means for those who fall into sin after Baptism to be restored into God's grace. It involves the admission of one's sins made to a duly approved Priest in order to obtain absolution.

Confession is called the "sacrament of Penance" as:

  • the recipient must be truly repentant of his sins,

  • be determined to try to avoid this sin in the future, and

  • be willing to make reparations as appropriate with any/all injured parties.

Only God can forgive sin

The sacrament of Penance is the way which God has chosen to administer that forgiveness. Jesus exercised the power to forgive sins "that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (Mt 8:6). And Jesus to the Apostles in Jn 20:21-23 reads: "... As the Father has sent Me, so I send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them: 'Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." Note that this power bestowed upon the Apostles is different than the power previously given Peter of binding and loosing, which is the broad power in matters of faith and morals; this power is specific to sin. Knowing that the Apostles, mere men, were incapable of handling such a responsibility on their own power, Jesus Christ gave them a special communication with the Holy Spirit (pneuma) for this special work. In all of the Bible, there are only two instances where God breathed on man, the other was when He gave man a living soul in Gen 2:7 - thus emphasizing the importance of the sacrament of Penance. And as this power was bestowed upon the Apostles, it was to be inherited by their successors, continuing His presence throughout time (Mt 28:19-20). Yes, Jesus is the one Mediator, but that does not deny Him from choosing others to assist Him in his work.

The Apostles certainly understood what Jesus Christ had commissioned them to do

Paul, in the name of Jesus, exercised the power of binding and loosing from sin and the effects of sin in the case of the incestuous Corinthian. In 1 Cor 3, Paul says: "I have already judged him that hath done so"; and in 2 Cor 2:10, Paul justifies his forgiveness of the repentant man by saying "If I have pardoned anything, I have done it in the person of Christ". Further, in 2 Cor 5:18, Paul writes: "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation". And in 2 Cor 5:20, Paul confirms "So we are ambassadors for Christ."

Note: the text above was taken from a PDF found on the St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church website. The message / text is excellent, well written, factual and matters not that they are a Vatican II Catholic Church.

"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is." - Winston Churchill

The Process of Confession

Prayer to My Guardian Angel

Angel of God's light, whom God sends as a companion for me on earth, protect me from the snares of the devil, and help me to walk always as a child of God, my Creator.

Angel of God's truth, whose perfect knowledge serves what is true, protect me from deceits and temptations. Help me to know the truth, and always to live the truth.

Angel of God's love, who praises Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, who sacrificed His life for love of us, sustain me as I learn the ways of Divine love, of sacrificial generosity, of meekness and lowliness of heart.

Thank You, my heavenly friend, for your watchful care. At the moment of my death, bring me to heaven, where the one true God, Who is light, Truth and Love, lives and reigns forever and ever.



Begin your confession with the sign of the cross, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was _______ weeks (months, years) ago."

After confessing all the sins you remember since your last good confession, you may conclude by saying, "I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life."

An Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

At the End of Confession

Listen to the words of absolution, the sacramental forgiveness of the Church through the ordained priest.

As you listen to the words of forgiveness you may make the sign of the cross with the priest. If he closes by saying, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good," answer, "For His mercy endures forever."

After Confession

Give thanks to God for forgiving you again. If you recall some serious sin you forgot to tell, rest assured that it has been forgiven with the others, but be sure to confess it in your next Confession.

Do your assigned Penance.


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