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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

373

1484

“Individual, integral confession and absolution remain the

only ordinary way for the faithful to reconcile themselves with God

and the Church, unless physical or moral impossibility excuses

from this kind of confession.”

95

There are profound reasons for

this. Christ is at work in each of the sacraments. He personally

addresses every sinner: “My son, your sins are forgiven.”

96

He is

the physician tending each one of the sick who need him to cure

them.

97

He raises them up and reintegrates them into fraternal

communion. Personal confession is thus the form most expressive

of reconciliation with God and with the Church.

IN BRIEF

1485

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,”

Jesus showed himself to his apostles. “He breathed on

them, and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you

forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain

the sins of any, they are retained’” (

Jn

20:19, 22-23).

1486

The forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism is con-

ferred by a particular sacrament called the sacrament of

conversion, confession, penance, or reconciliation.

1487

The sinner wounds God’s honor and love, his own

human dignity as a man called to be a son of God, and

the spiritual well-being of the Church, of which each

Christian ought to be a living stone.

1488

To the eyes of faith no evil is graver than sin and

nothing has worse consequences for sinners them-

selves, for the Church, and for the whole world.

1489

To return to communion with God after having lost it

through sin is a process born of the grace of God who is

rich inmercy and solicitous for the salvation of men. One

must ask for this precious gift for oneself and for others.

1490

The movement of return to God, called conversion and

repentance, entails sorrow for and abhorrence of sins

committed, and the firm purpose of sinning no more

in the future. Conversion touches the past and the

future and is nourished by hope in God’s mercy.

95

OP

31.

96

Mk

2:5.

97 Cf.

Mk

2:17.

878