Vatican City, Mar 28, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Addressing the participants of a course on the “internal forum” organized by the Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Pope John Paul II said on Saturday that frequent confession is a must to achieve personal holiness.
The Pontiff said that the fruit of the sacrament of reconciliation is not only the remission of sins: “It also performs an authentic ‘spiritual resurrection,’ restores the dignity and the good of the life of the children of God, the most precious of which is friendship with God.”
“It would be illusory to desire to reach holiness, according to the vocation that each one has received from God, without partaking frequently of this sacrament of conversion and sanctification,” that, together with the Eucharist, “accompanies the path of the Christian towards perfection,” he added.
“Penance, by its nature,” he explained, “involves purification, in both the acts of the penitent who lays bare his conscience because of the deep need to be pardoned and reborn, and in the effusion of sacramental grace that purifies and renews.”