Jesus - meaning Savior - our Lord, had all His ministry on earth for the redemption of mankind, sinners. He had been at one and the same time Physician of the body as well as the soul. The sick of the palsy received from Him first remission of sins, followed by healing of his infirmity.
More than the resurrection of the body from the grave, he esteems the regeneration of the soul from mortal sin.
The prime object of the Church, His Mystical Body is to continue the redemptive work. Remission of sin should be there, so long as sin is in the world, and our Lord appointed Appointed Ambassadors of Reconciliation in the Church as St. Paul says in 2 Cor.5:18-21
Our Lord gave authority to his Apostles to forgive sins. (1)To Peter Math. 16:18,19 (2)To all apostles 18:18 (3) Again to all Apostles Jn.20: 21-23
The Apostles received the authority from the Lord and by their laying on of hands imparted the same authority to their successors and through them to the Priests.
Absolution by the priest implies the confession by the penitent. "Many confessed and shew their deeds before the Apostles." (Acts 19:18) St. John exhorts us "I we confess our..." (Jn.1:9)
Confession is the Sacrament by which sins committed after Baptism are forgiven through the absolution of the priest. It is a moral virtue that prompts the sinner to detest his sin and incites him to offer satisfaction for them and to amen his life.
Through mortal sin, the soul is deprived of its supernatural life. As the sin is an offence against God, only God can forgive sins. But the priest as God's representative can forgive sins, because God has given him the power to do so.
Effects of this Sacrament.
When we receive the sacrament worthily, the merits of our Lord's redemption are applied to us. it also gives us the opportunity to receive special advice from our confessor.
To receive the sacrament worthily, we should
Confession is the telling of our sins to a priest of the Church fo obtaining forgiveness. We must confess our sins because our Lord obliges us to do so. He spoke to the Apostles (and through them to their successors) "Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." (John 20) these word of our Lord obliges us to confess our sins, because the priest cannot know whether to forgive or retain, unless we tell them to him.
At the confessional, the priest acts as the judge and as the physician of the soul, who should know the details. He is acting as the representative of Christ and hence the shame need not prevent us. because he is bound by the SEAL OF the sacrament of penance; never to reveal anything that has been confessed to him.
The priest in the confessional will advice us, help us , clear our doubts, guide our future conduct and forgive us in the Name of Christ. From the highest dignitary, everyone should confess their sins to a priest. Our confession must be humble, sincere and entire.
The priest gives us a penance after hearing the confession which must be performed immediately or afterwards as the case may be. We have to make some atonement for our sins and make some satisfaction. (see Joel 2:12)
We must seek the divine forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession for that is the direct means of pardon. One may say, apart from the Sacrament of Confession, I prefer forgiveness direct from Jehova.
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