Returning to the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Reconciliation (also known as Confession or Penance) is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in his love and mercy to offer sinners forgiveness for offenses committed against God. In Reconciliation, we acknowledge our sins before God and his Church. We express our sorrow in a meaningful way, receive the forgiveness of Christ and his Church, make reparation for what we have done, and resolve to do better in the future.
An important part of our healing is the “penance” the priest imposes in reparation for our sins.
Confession is not difficult, but it does require preparation.
Before we enter the Confessional, we should begin with prayer. We should review our lives since our last confession, searching our thoughts, words and actions for that which did not conform to God’s command to love Him and one another through His laws and the laws of His Church. This is called an examination of conscience.
Begin with a prayer asking for God’s help.
Review your life with the help of questions based on the Ten Commandments.
There are various types of examinations of conscience but regardless of which one you use to prepare yourself for the Sacrament it should be rooted in Scripture; particularly, the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes.
CLICK HERE for a few examples of Examinations of Conscience that can help you prepare for the Sacrament.
Tell God how truly sorry you are for your sins.
Make a firm resolution not to sin again.
Ask the priest to help you - This is what Father became a priest to do: to make us friends with God again.
Place your trust in God - Our Heavenly Father is merciful.
Remember that God loves you - He wants to give you this free gift of His mercy and His love.
Listen to this sermon - A priest reminds us about the amazing love of God in the confessional.
Receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation may be face-to-face or anonymous, with a screen between you and the priest. Choose the option that is the most comfortable for you.
When you enter the confessional, the priest will give you a blessing or greeting. He may also share a brief Scripture passage. Make the Sign of the Cross and say, "Bless me Father for I have sinned, It has been [X days, weeks, years] since my last confession."
Confess all of your mortal sins to the priest in number and kind. Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful.
Say "I am sorry for these and all of my sins." The priest will then offer you advice to help you be a better Catholic, such as how to better work with the graces that God is giving you in your life, or ways to combat your weaknesses or habitual sin. He will then assign a penance.
This is a way of expressing your sorrow for your sins.
Oh 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 they offend 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, do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
Restoration of friendship with God
When the priest absolves you, he will say these words:
God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and the resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and sent the Holy Spirit among us
for the forgiveness of 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
For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, Reconciliation is usually followed by peace and serenity.
Completing the penance imposed by the priest
Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate" his sins.
This satisfaction is also called "penance."
This page contains multiple excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 4, VII - The Acts of the Penitent and Article V, IX - The Effects of This Sacrament, as well as quotes from the General Audience of Pope Francis, February 19, 2014
What’s missing in my spiritual life?
Am I missing something by not going to Mass and practicing my Catholic Faith?
God’s gift of faith strengthens us and helps us to live as members of the Body of Christ—the Church. The Church is made up of unique individuals, each with his or her own gifts to share. In turn, the gifts of the church community strengthen and support the whole.
We need each other.
I’ve been away from the Church for so long I wonder whether it’s too late to return?
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been away from the Church.Your return will bring tremendous joy to God! Through His grace, your faith can deepen and grow like never before.
So much has changed since I went to Church. How will I ever get caught up?
The Catholic faith is rich in its teachings and tradition. Even the most scholarly among us does not know everything.
Learning about our Church and our faith is a lifelong process that can be enriched by adult formation classes and personal study. Anyone concerned that they need to catch up will feel right at home with other Catholics.
I’m not sure I agree with everything the Church teaches.
The teachings of the Church provide guidance and help us to know, love, and serve God so that one day we may be united with Him forever in heaven.
If you have questions about Church teaching, we invite you to speak with a priest or other knowledgeable person.
I’ve made so many mistakes.
Will the Church really welcome me back?
The Church teaches that Jesus is our Savior; He came not to condemn, but to save. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) Christ forgives all our sins, strengthens us spiritually, and restores us to a state of grace.More on Reconciliation
I was hurt by someone in the Church.
How would returning to the Church help me?
The Church is made up of imperfect people with human problems and issues. If you have been hurt by clergy or any church member, in any way, we ask your forgiveness.
We believe that healing can be found in the sacraments and through the compassionate support of our faith community.
Jesus said, “Heaven rejoices more for one repentant sinner than for 99 righteous persons who never needed to repent.” The priest will probably be so happy you’ve returned to confession after many years that you will make all the hours he spends in the confessional seem light.
The priest will know that you cannot remember your sins with the precision of someone who came the previous week.
Don’t be afraid to ask the priest for help; most confessors are experts in leading someone in your circumstances through an examination of the “big stuff” in the confessional.
Come back to be reconciled to your loving Father, set off the celebration in heaven, and share your Father’s joy!
What’s missing in my spiritual life?
Am I missing something by not going to Mass and practicing my Catholic Faith?
It is our hope that those who have questions about the Sacrament of Penance may find this page useful in helping to overcome whatever hesitations they may have in coming to receive the sacrament. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your parish priest, or email
That’s the way Jesus set it up on Easter Sunday evening. He told his apostles that just as God the Father had sent him — and God the Father sent him to save us from our sins — so he was sending them.
He breathed on them the power of the Holy Spirit, giving them God’s power to forgive sins, since no one can forgive sins but God alone. He told them that whatever sins they forgive are forgiven and whatever sins they retain are retained (Jn 20:21-23; Mk 2:7).
Since the apostles were unable to read minds, the only way that they would know which to forgive and which to retain is if people told them their sins. Jesus thus established the essential structure of the sacrament of confession. Just as he uses priests to give us his Body and Blood at Mass so he uses them to give us His mercy in Penance.
See also: Video: "Why confess to a priest" by Father Robert Barron
The Catechism teaches:
“Over the centuries the concrete form in which the Church has exercised this power received from the Lord has varied considerably.
During the first centuries the reconciliation of Christians who had committed particularly grave sins after their Baptism (for example, idolatry, murder, or adultery) was tied to a very rigorous discipline, according to which penitents had to do public penance for their sins, often for years, before receiving reconciliation. To this ‘order of penitents’ (which concerned only certain grave sins), one was only rarely admitted and in certain regions only once in a lifetime.
During the seventh century Irish missionaries, inspired by the Eastern monastic tradition, took to continental Europe the ‘private’ practice of penance, which does not require public and prolonged completion of penitential works before reconciliation with the Church. From that time on, the sacrament has been performed in secret between penitent and priest.
This new practice envisioned the possibility of repetition and so opened the way to a regular frequenting of this sacrament. It allowed the forgiveness of grave sins and venial sins to be integrated into one sacramental celebration. In its main lines this is the form of penance that the Church has practiced down to our day” (CCC 1447).
The names emphasize different aspects of the sacrament.
Penance refers to our repentance, sorrow and resolution to amend our life with God’s help.
Confession refers to the act by which we tell our sins to the priest.
Reconciliation refers to the goal of the celebration by which the sinner is reconciled to God and the Church (see CCC 1423-1424).
The ritual for the sacrament is called the Rite of Penance, but is fitting to refer to it with any of these titles. In fact, the Catechism refers to it also as “the Sacrament of Conversion” and the “Sacrament of Forgiveness.”
The sacrament consists of three actions on the part of the penitent:
One does so by asking for God’s help and prayerfully examining one’s actions in the light of Christ’s teaching and example.
Some review their behavior by the Ten Commandments, others by Christ’s command to love God and love others, others by their correspondence to the beatitudes, others by comparing their behavior to the most important Christian virtues, and others by the seven “capital” sins (pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, lust and gluttony).
It is not enough merely to focus on how one’s broken God’s “rules,” but rather how one has damaged his relationship with God and others and hurt himself interiorly. It is also important to examine for sins of omission.
There are two types of contrition: sorrow over hurting one we love (called perfect contrition) and sorrow over getting caught or over the punishment that comes because of sin (imperfect contrition).
We should ask God to help us achieve that perfect contrition in which we are sorry for having wounded the God who loves us and whom we should love in return.
Meditation on the consequence of ours sins — Christ’s brutal death on the Cross — often helps us to grow toward perfect contrition.
When we are truly sorry for our sins, we regret having ever done them. That leads naturally to our trying to remedy the damage caused by sin and to having a firm purpose of amendment to avoid that and other types of sins in the future.
The priest normally assigns us a penance (for example, prayer, fasting or other types of self-denial, sacrifices, almsgiving, spiritual or corporal works of mercy, or service of neighbor) as medicine to begin to repair the damage caused by sin, but this penance is light in comparison to the infinite harm our sins have done in bringing about Christ’s death.
So we should voluntarily do penance to seek, with God’s help, to expiate our sins and repair that damage (CCC 1460).
A good confession is humble, sincere and complete.
Sin is an offense against God that ruptures our communion with Him and with His Church (CCC 1440). It is far more than “breaking the rules,” but is a failure to love God and to love others, which causes real damage in all our relationships.
There are sins totally incompatible with love for God and others (mortal sins, in which genuine love is “dead”), and ones in which love is less grievously wounded (venial or “easily forgiven”).
The Church says that all grave or mortal sins must be confessed as soon as possible (CIC 988).
A mortal sin involves an action whose object is a grave matter that is committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent. Grave matter is generally understood to be something that violates the Ten Commandments.
A mortal sin “results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back” (CCC 1861).
This is why it is so important for mortal sins to be confessed to a priest as soon as possible.
“One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave manner, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.
Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul's progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment.
Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin.
However venial sin does not set us in direct opposition to the will and friendship of God; it does not break the covenant with God. With God's grace it is humanly reparable” (CCC 1862-1863).
That’s what the Church continues through preaching the need for repentance and making Jesus’ mercy available through the Sacrament of Penance.
The Church strongly recommends that we confess our every day faults (venial sins) because it can help us “to form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies (patterns of weakness that can lead us to sin), … be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. (CCC 1458; CIC 988).
Confession of our venial sins shows our hatred of all sin because even venial sins are against the love of God and neighbor.
Yes. We should not stay away from confession if we’ve committed only venial sins, since the sacrament not only forgives our sins but gives us God’s grace to fight against temptation.
The great saints, who were filled with love of God and seem for the most part to have avoided mortal sins, have confessed very frequently, because the sacrament helps us to grow in God’s grace.
It reveals to us our need for God’s help in the “little things” of the day and leads us to ask for that help.
No, you should stay at home and wait for your canonization papers to arrive! Seriously, if it’s been several weeks since your last confession, you have probably not examined your conscience very carefully. “The just man,” the Book of Proverbs tells us, “falls seven times a day” (Prov 24:16).
If you’re struggling to find matter to confess, examine your conscience on your sins of omission, on the seven capital sins or on whether you in fact love the Lord with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength (Lk 10:27).
Yes. If one through bad memory or nervousness forgets to confess a mortal sin, the person’s confession is valid and all his or her sins will be forgiven.
The person should, however, mention that forgotten sin in the next confession to receive advice and a proper penance. If this is a routine occurrence, it is probably an indication that one is either confessing too infrequently or not fully aware of the true horror that is a mortal sin, because one should not forget mortal sins easily.
If, on the other hand, a penitent deliberately refuses to mention a mortal sin in confession, none of the person’s sins will be forgiven, the person will remain in the dangerous state of mortal sin, and will be guilty of the additional sin of sacrilege.
The Church recommends that Catholics receive the Sacrament of Penance frequently.
Strictly speaking, after they’ve reached the age of reason, Catholics are obliged to confess their serious sins at least once a year (CIC 989), but the minimum should not be made a maximum.
Catholics should come to confession as soon as possible after they’ve committed a mortal sin. If they’re seeking to grow in holiness, the regular practice of confession at least once a month is commended.
The Sacrament of Penance is a spiritual resurrection bringing us to life again after we were dead through mortal sin (Lk 15:24).
It reconciles us with God in loving friendship and restores us to his grace. It is normally followed by peace, joy, serenity and spiritual consolation.
The sacrament also reconciles us with the Church, repairing or restoring the damage our sins have done to our communion with others.
The sinner also auspiciously anticipates the judgment that will come at the end of his life, choosing the path of life over the path of death (CCC 1468-1470).
No. A priest can never reveal the sins a person has confessed. This is known as the “Seal of confession,” which admits of no exceptions (CCC 1467). If a priest were to violate the seal of confession he would be automatically excommunicated (CIC 1388).
Over the centuries several priests have died and many have been imprisoned because they refused, even under threat of torture and execution, to break the inviolable seal of confession.
This is one of the most beautiful aspects of the sacrament and of the priesthood: the priest who hears our confession, in order to protect the secrets we have whispered to God through him, will allow himself to be imprisoned, tortured or even killed. That’s how seriously he and the Church take the seal and the sacrament.
“When he celebrates the sacrament of Penance, the priest is fulfilling the ministry of the Good Shepherd who seeks the lost sheep, of the Good Samaritan who binds up wounds, of the Father who awaits the prodigal son and welcomes him on his return, and of the just and impartial judge whose judgment is both just and merciful."
"The priest is the sign and the instrument of God's merciful love for the sinner.”
The priest is called, practically, to lead “the penitent with patience toward healing and full maturity. He must pray and do penance for his penitent, entrusting him to the Lord's mercy” (CCC 1465-66).
Remember, first, that in the sacrament you are fundamentally talking to God through the priest.
God loves you, wishes to forgive you, and desires to embrace you with the joy with which the prodigal son was embraced in Jesus’ parable (Lk 15:11-32). Moreover, know that you will not say anything that the priest has not heard before. Do not be afraid. If you are nervous, please just tell the priest that you’re nervous and he will help you.
Confession is not meant to be a memory test (Thanks be to God!). It is good when Catholics have memorized one of the many beautiful acts of contrition, which sum up all of the sentiments and resolutions a Catholic should have in coming to confession.
But if you do not know an Act of Contrition by memory, you can always express your sorrow and firm purpose of amendment in your own words, ask the priest to help you, or pray, “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner who loves you!”
You can also print out a copy of an Act of Contrition and bring it with you.
If you prefer to go to confession anonymously, that’s fine. Most churches have traditional confessionals or reconciliation rooms with the option to confess either face-to-face or kneeling behind an opaque screen.
In Church law, both the priest and the penitent have the right to opt for the screen if for whatever reason they find that more comfortable.
The most important thing is that you go! You can go to any Catholic priest in good standing with the faculties to hear confessions.
You may find over time, however, that you will be helped more in your struggle against sin by a good confessor who has gotten to know you than by confessing to various priests, none of whom really know you.
You can confess your sins in any number of ways — many have confessed to bartenders and hairdressers over the centuries — but while there are now apps such as Confession that can assist during the examination of conscience, you cannot receive sacramental absolution via the internet or on the phone.
Pope John Paul II once wrote to women in your situation:
“The Church is aware of the many factors that may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed.
Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong, but do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope.
Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.”
Come, begin the process of healing.
If you would prefer to confess to a priest who has experience ministering to women who have abortions, please contact Project Rachel (1-855-377-1351 or 214-544-2273, or email ) and they will put you in touch with such a priest.
The Project Rachel website (http://hopeafterabortion.com/) contains testimonies from dozens of women who have found reconciliation and healing through Project Rachel and some very moving comments about the Sacrament.
Project Rachel also offers an extensive retreat program.
If you are conscious of having committed a mortal sin, then, yes, you must first go to receive Jesus’ forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance and be restored by Him to loving communion before you can come to receive Him in Holy Communion. The reason why young children must receive the Sacrament of Penance before first Holy Communion is to ensure that they have cleaned their inner “temples” to receive the greatest Guest of all.
The same principal applies to all of us. If one has not committed any serious sins since his or her last good confession, then it is not necessary to confess before receiving the Holy Eucharist.
If you are civilly divorced but have not remarried or were validly married in the Church after receiving a declaration of nullity for your first marriage, then, yes, you may receive the Sacrament.
If you have remarried outside of the Church or have entered into a cohabitating relationship, then those predicaments must be addressed before you can receive absolution.
Pope John Paul II addressed this situation in 1981:
“The church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon sacred scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church that is signified and effected by the Eucharist. …
Reconciliation in the sacrament of penance, which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage.
This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons such as, for example, the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they ‘take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples’” (FC 84).
If you’re in these circumstances, you are encouraged to talk to a priest in the light of God about your present situation and possibly begin an investigation of whether your first marriage was valid.
A priest will normally try to do everything he can never to have to deny someone absolution.
But on some rare occasions he will find himself in a situation where he has no choice.
This occurs when the penitent lacks one of the three elements that make for a good confession:
In such cases, the priest will normally pray with the penitent so that he or she may receive God’s help to remedy a situation from which the person may presently see no way out.
The Church teaches, “In case of grave necessity recourse may be had to a communal celebration of reconciliation with general confession and general absolution. Grave necessity of this sort can arise when there is imminent danger of death without sufficient time for the priest or priests to hear each penitent's confession.
Grave necessity can also exist when, given the number of penitents, there are not enough confessors to hear individual confessions properly in a reasonable time, so that the penitents through no fault of their own would be deprived of sacramental grace or Holy Communion for a long time.
In this case, for the absolution to be valid the faithful must have the intention of individually confessing their sins in the time required. The diocesan bishop is the judge of whether or not the conditions required for general absolution exist. A large gathering of the faithful on the occasion of major feasts or pilgrimages does not constitute a case of grave necessity” (CCC 1483).
For practical purposes, outside of an imminent danger of death situation, these conditions would never obtain in our Archdiocese. Moreover, if a penitent sought to have recourse to a general absolution as a means of avoiding individual confession and absolution, the confession would be invalid.
God, who created the sacraments for our salvation, is Himself not bound by them. Our sins are first forgiven, of course, through the sacrament of baptism.
For post-baptismal sins, the Church has always taught that, for example in a danger of death situation without the possibility of recourse to the sacrament of confession, God could forgive our sins if we pray to him with perfect contrition. The reality is, however, that we can never know if we’ve made a perfect act of contrition.
The Church teaches, therefore, that “individual, integral confession and absolution remain the only ordinary way for the faithful to reconcile themselves with God and the Church, unless physical or moral impossibility excuses from this kind of confession” (CCC 1484).
The great gift of this sacrament is that, if we confess all our serious sins with sorrow and a firm purpose of amendment, we do not need to doubt whether our sins have been forgiven.
God created this sacrament so that we might know he has forgiven us through the ministry of priests.
It is very unfortunate that your previous experience in the confessional wasn’t good. Most priests are very understanding and good confessors.
Some are extraordinarily compassionate and very wise and can really help you grow in your spiritual life.
It’s possible that the priest you had was having a bad day; it happens to everyone now and then.
If you’re nervous about it, ask a friend or someone you trust to recommend a good confessor. We hope you’ll try again.
You don’t have to remember every single sin. The Holy Spirit will reveal to you the most important ones for you to confess. Start with the most serious ones first and then go on to all the ones you can remember.
The grace of the sacrament will “cover” the sins you can’t recall at the moment; although it’s important to confess them later if you do remember. A general rule of thumb is that the ones that are hardest to talk about are the ones, once confessed, that will help you grow the most.
Making a good examination of conscience is an excellent way to help you prepare for confession.
You’re not going to shock or disappoint the priest. Every confession reveals something of the human condition, which the priest is very familiar with. He understands.
Rather than feeling shock or disappointment, most priests feel great compassion and mercy. Your confessor won’t be disappointed with you. On the contrary, he will admire your faith and courage.
If you do feel uncomfortable, use the confessional screen. It will help you feel a little less vulnerable.
And remember, although you are confessing your sins to a priest you’re really confessing them to Jesus Christ. If you use the screen, close your eyes and talk to Jesus, it’ll be a lot easier.
Parishes offer Confession regularly throughout the year: if you contact the parish office, they will be able to tell you. Additionally, many parishes have additional times during Advent and Lent. To find your local parish, go to the Catholic Diocese of Dallas Parish Finder.
CCC: Catechism of the Catholic Church
CIC: Code of Canon Law
FC: Familiaris Consortio
These materials have been adapted from the Diocese of Fall River’s “Be Reconciled to God” Initiative in 2009, with permission of Fr. Roger Landry.
Ideas for the Nights of Reconciliation in your chapel, at your confessionals, and general hospitality suggestions
Printable brochures, website and social media graphics, Prayers of the Faithful
Recursos en español
By opening your parish doors and offering Confession and prayer during Lent, you join in the shared commitment from parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Dallas to “keep the light on”.
For the Confessional
† present at the entrance to distribute prayer guide, Benediction prayers (if applicable) and reconciliation brochure.
† praying for the grace of reconciliation during scheduled confession time
† quietly available as a welcoming presence for those who might visit, understanding that some coming to confession may be dealing with difficult issues.
“La luz está encendida para ti” es una iniciativa de la Diócesis Católica de Dallas dirigida a todos los Católicos para poner a su disposición el sacramento de Reconciliación. La confesión es una maravillosa oportunidad para poner a un lado el camino pecaminoso y poder acercarnos a nuestro Señor. Las confesiones se harán los miércoles - 10 de abril y 17 de abril.
Si has estado considerando y dudando hacer uso de este sacramento, si has estado lejos por mucho tiempo o siempre se te ha hecho difícil llegar a las horas de confesión los días sábados, esta es una maravillosa oportunidad para re-encontrarte y reconciliarte con Cristo y su Iglesia.
La Reconciliación (también conocida como confesión) es un sacramento instituido por Jesucristo en Su amor y misericordia para ofrecer el perdón a los pecadores por las ofensas cometidas a Dios. Al mismo tiempo, los pecadores se reconcilian con la Iglesia porque está herida por sus pecados.
Cada vez que pecamos, nos herimos a nosotros mismos, a otras personas y a Dios. En la Reconciliación, reconocemos nuestros pecados ante Dios y Su Iglesia. Expresamos nuestro pesar de una manera especial, recibimos el perdón de Cristo y su Iglesia, reparamos lo que hemos hecho y decidimos comportarnos mejor en el futuro.
El perdón de nuestros pecados incluye cuatro partes que son:
1. El sacerdote le da una bendición o lo saluda.
2. Haga la Señal de la Cruz y diga, “Bendígame Padre, he pecado. Mi última confesión fue [semanas, meses o años].”
3. Confiese todos sus pecados. (Sí no está seguro o se siente incómodo, pídale al sacerdote que lo ayude).
4. Diga, “Me arrepiento por estos y todos mis pecados”.
5. El sacerdote le asigna una penitencia y lo aconseja para ayudarle a ser un mejor católico.
6. Haga el Acto de Contrición, expresando su arrepentimiento por sus pecados. El sacerdote, actuando en la persona de Cristo, lo absuelve de sus pecados.
La confesión no es difícil pero requiere preparación. Debemos empezar con una oración, ubicándonos ante la presencia de Dios, nuestro Padre Amado.
Buscamos sanación con el perdón, a través del arrepentimiento y una decisión de no pecar más.
Entonces revisamos nuestras vidas desde nuestra última confesión, buscando nuestros pensamientos, palabras y acciones que no estuvieron conforme al mandamiento de Dios de amarlo a él y a los demás por medio de la obediencia a sus leyes y las leyes de Su Iglesia.
A esto se le llama examen de conciencia. Para hacer un examen de conciencia:
Recuerde sus pecados. Estando en oración, pregúntese a sí mismo lo que ha hecho con pleno conocimiento y total consentimiento en contra de Dios y los mandamientos de la Iglesia.
La Reconciliación puede ser cara a cara o anónima, con una rejilla entre usted y el sacerdote. Escoja la opción que le sea más cómoda.
Acto de Contrición
¡Dios mío, me arrepiento profundamente por haberte ofendido y detesto todos mispecados porque temo el perder la gracia de ir al cielo y sufrir los dolores del infierno; pero más que nada por haberte ofendido, Dios mío, que eres todo bueno y mereces todo mi amor. Firmemente, resuelvo con la ayuda de tu gracia confesar mis pecados, cumplir la penitencia, y enmendar mi vida. Amén.
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