Loading
September 17, 2012
Called by five names
By Jason Godin *

By Jason Godin *

Sin is the true root of our sorrows. It hurts because it weakens or possibly destroys the new life in Christ we received at Baptism. To restore this most important relationship, Christ has “willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation” through a sacrament called by five names in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC, 1421). 
 
Conversion

The Catechism teaches that the sacrament of Penance begins our “returning to the Father” (CCC, 1423). The Parable of the Lost Son shows a young man admitting sin against both heaven and his father while squandering his inheritance (cf. Luke 15: 18). Sin leaves us a lot like that proverbial young son turning away from God. Conversion, the first name for the sacrament, heals us because it starts our turn back to God. 

Penance

May people know the sacrament by its second name, penance. St. Paul noted in the Second Letter to the Corinthians how God, through Christ, gave the Church the ministry of penance (cf. 2 Cor 5:18). Conversion seeks to rebuild our relationship with God.  But it is also always important to recognize how in penance we appreciate that sin hurts our relationship with his Church. 

Confession

Also widely used is the third name for the sacrament, confession, which acknowledges and praises the “holiness of God and his mercy toward sinful man” (CCC, 1424). Confession admits the guilt of sins, assumes responsibility for those sins, and accepts the possibility of a new beginning with God and the Church (cf. CCC, 1455). It is for precisely this reason that the Church cherishes the moment when a sinner fully discloses his sins. 

Forgiveness

The fourth name for the sacrament is forgiveness. It is in the healing encounter of a sacrament that one finds Christ, through the prayer and minister of the Church, absolving the sinner and granting him pardon and peace (cf. CCC, 1449). Forgiveness observes the true source of compassion in the tender mercies of a loving Father. 

Reconciliation

Reconciliation, the fifth name for the sacrament, expresses how forgiveness in love leads one to live more like Christ – anew, with merciful, responsive love toward others. Here we can recall the healing of the paralytic recounted in the Gospel of St. Luke. Christ asked the scribes and Pharisees: “What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?” (Luke 5:23). Through the sacrament called by five names we know that “the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Luke 5:24).

This week approach a priest in the privacy of a confessional. Christ, through the earthly ministry of the Church, calls for the conversion and penance of sinners. He invites you to take responsibility without fear, when you’ve acted wrongly, and at a place in your life where you feel crushed by burdens of sin. The sacrament called by five names proves such a burden can lead ultimately to greatest blessing if you “repent and believe in the Gospel” once again (Mark 1:15).

Jason Godin teaches United States history at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas. You can find him on Facebook here.

« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A Look at India from Rome
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
Jul
31

Liturgical Calendar

July 31, 2014

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Gospel
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 18: 1-6
Gospel:: Mt 13: 47-53

Saint of the Day

St. Ignatius of Loyola »

Saint
Date
07/28/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: