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
It is called the
sacrament of Reconciliation,
because it imparts
to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: “Be reconciled to
He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to
the Lord’s call: “Go; first be reconciled to your brother.”
“You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified
in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
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.”
apostle John also says: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive
ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
And the Lord himself taught
us to pray: “Forgive us our trespasses,”
linking our forgiveness
of one another’s offenses to the forgiveness of our sins that God
will grant us.
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.”
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
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.
This is the struggle of
directed toward holiness and eternal life to which the
Lord never ceases to call us.
46: formula of absolution.
14 Cf. Council of Trent (1546): DS 1515.
15 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1545;