Penance

By the Sacrament of Baptism, it is true, we are washed clean of all sin and fitted for
the Kingdom of God. But we all know that Baptism does not remove from us the
weaknesses in our nature that make us susceptible to sin; we know that we can sin after
Baptism, and indeed, through mortal sin we can throw away the precious gift of salvation
Christ offers us. And if we know this, clearly God knows it even better than we do. And
because of His great love for us, He offers us a special Sacrament of Healing, a “second
chance” for those of us who fall into sin again after Baptism. This Sacrament, by which
our post-Baptismal sins are forgiven, is called many things--Penance, Confession,
Reconciliation, for example. By whatever name it goes, it is our opportunity to begin
anew in our relationship with God, whenever we may have gone astray.
 
This Sacrament is frequently misunderstood by people who ask “Why can’t I just go
directly to God and say I’m sorry for my sins? Why do I have to bother with a priest?”
Such a question betrays a misunderstanding of the true nature of sin. It assumes that
sin is an offense only against God. It is that, of course, but also every sin is an offense
against the entire Church. Because the Church is one body, and each person in the
Church is a member of that one body, when one member of the body is weakened
through sin, the entire body is weakened. Thus, carried to its logical conclusion, if we
were to “go directly to God” to confess our sins, we would also have to confess directly
to the Church. . .each and every member of the Church. At last count, there were over
a billion of us. It is fortunate for us that God provides a Sacrament in which we can
go to one man, the priest, who represents both God and the Church in the person of
Jesus Christ. In this beautiful Sacrament, when the priest says “I absolve you,” we hear
through the ears of faith not merely that priest’s voice, but the voice of Jesus Christ,
forgiving us in the name of God and of the Church.

By the Sacrament of Baptism, it is true, we are washed clean of all sin and fitted for the Kingdom of God. But we all know that Baptism does not remove from us the weaknesses in our nature that make us susceptible to sin; we know that we can sin after Baptism, and indeed, through mortal sin we can throw away the precious gift of salvation Christ offers us. And if we know this, clearly God knows it even better than we do. And because of His great love for us, He offers us a special Sacrament of Healing, a “second chance” for those of us who fall into sin again after Baptism. This Sacrament, by which our post-Baptismal sins are forgiven, is called many things--Penance, Confession, Reconciliation, for example. By whatever name it goes, it is our opportunity to begin anew in our relationship with God, whenever we may have gone astray.  

This Sacrament is frequently misunderstood by people who ask “Why can’t I just go directly to God and say I’m sorry for my sins? Why do I have to bother with a priest?” Such a question betrays a misunderstanding of the true nature of sin. It assumes that sin is an offense only against God. It is that, of course, but also every sin is an offense against the entire Church. Because the Church is one body, and each person in the Church is a member of that one body, when one member of the body is weakened through sin, the entire body is weakened. Thus, carried to its logical conclusion, if we were to “go directly to God” to confess our sins, we would also have to confess directly to the Church . . . each and every member of the Church. At last count, there were overs billion of us. It is fortunate for us that God provides a Sacrament in which we can go to one man, the priest, who represents both God and the Church in the person of Jesus Christ. In this beautiful Sacrament, when the priest says “I absolve you,” we hear through the ears of faith not merely that priest’s voice, but the voice of Jesus Christ,forgiving us in the name of God and of the Church. 

 

Parish Confession Schedule

Weekdays - 7:30 am - 8:00 am

Saturdays - 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

For a personal appointment: 402-551-2313 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .