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358

Part Two

acknowledgment and praise—of the holiness of God and of his

mercy toward sinful man.

It is called the

sacrament of forgiveness,

since by the priest’s

sacramental absolution God grants the penitent “pardon and

peace.”

6

It is called the

sacrament of Reconciliation,

because it imparts

to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: “Be reconciled to

God.”

7

He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to

the Lord’s call: “Go; first be reconciled to your brother.”

8

II.

W

hy a

S

acrament of

R

econciliation

after

B

aptism

?

1425

“You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified

in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

9

One must appreciate the magnitude of the gift God has given us in

the sacraments of Christian initiation in order to grasp the degree

to which sin is excluded for himwho has “put on Christ.”

10

But the

apostle John also says: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive

ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

11

And the Lord himself taught

us to pray: “Forgive us our trespasses,”

12

linking our forgiveness

of one another’s offenses to the forgiveness of our sins that God

will grant us.

1426

Conversion

to Christ, the new birth of Baptism, the gift of

the Holy Spirit and the Body and Blood of Christ received as food

have made us “holy and without blemish,” just as the Church

herself, the Bride of Christ, is “holy and without blemish.”

13

Nev-

ertheless the new life received in Christian initiation has not abol-

ished the frailty andweakness of human nature, nor the inclination

to sin that tradition calls

concupiscence,

which remains in the bap-

tized such that with the help of the grace of Christ they may prove

themselves in the struggle of Christian life.

14

This is the struggle of

conversion

directed toward holiness and eternal life to which the

Lord never ceases to call us.

15

6

OP

46: formula of absolution.

7

2 Cor

5:20.

8

Mt

5:24.

9

1 Cor

6:11.

10

Gal

3:27.

11

1 Jn

1:8.

12 Cf.

Lk

11:4;

Mt

6:12.

13

Eph

1:4; 5:27.

14 Cf. Council of Trent (1546): DS 1515.

15 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1545;

LG

40.

1449

1442

1263

2838

405, 978

1264