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872

Glossary

and which produce an inclination

to sin (1264, 1426, 2515).

CONFESSION:

An essential

element of the Sacrament of

Penance and Reconciliation,

which consists in telling one’s

sins to the priestly minister. By

extension, the word confession is

used to refer to the Sacrament of

Penance itself (1455).

CONFIRMATION:

One of the

ensemble of the Sacraments

of Initiation into the Church,

together with Baptism and

Eucharist. Confirmation completes

the grace of Baptism by a special

outpouring of the gifts of the Holy

Spirit, which seal or “confirm” the

baptized in union with Christ and

equip them for active participation

in the worship and apostolic life

of the Church (1285).

CONSCIENCE:

The interior

voice of a human being, within

whose heart the inner law of God

is inscribed. Moral conscience is

a judgment of practical reason

about the moral quality of a

human action. It moves a person

at the appropriate moment to

do good and to avoid evil (1777-

1778). An

examination of conscience

is recommended as a preparation

for the reception of the Sacrament

of Penance (1454).

CONSECRATED LIFE:

A

permanent state of life recognized

by the Church, entered freely in

response to the call of Christ to

perfection, and characterized by

the profession of the evangelical

counsels of poverty, chastity, and

obedience (914).

See

Vow.

CONSECRATED VIRGINS:

Women who have decided with

the Church’s approval to cling

only to the Lord and to live in

a state of virginity “for the sake

of the kingdom of heaven” and

are consecrated in that state by a

solemn rite (922-924).

CONSECRATION:

The

dedication of a thing or person

to divine service by a prayer or

blessing. The consecration at Mass

is that part of the Eucharistic

Prayer during which the Lord’s

words of institution of the

Eucharist at the Last Supper are

recited by the priestly minister,

making Christ’s Body and

Blood—his sacrifice offered on the

cross once for all—sacramentally

present under the species of bread

and wine (1352, 1353).

CONTEMPLATION:

A form

of wordless prayer in which

mind and heart focus on God’s

greatness and goodness in

affective, loving adoration; to

look on Jesus and the mysteries of

his life with faith and love (2628,

2715).

CONTRACEPTION,

ARTIFICIAL:

The use of

mechanical, chemical, or medical

procedures to prevent conception

from taking place as a result of

sexual intercourse; contraception

offends against the openness to

procreation required of marriage

and also the inner truth of

conjugal love (2370).

CONTRITION:

Sorrow of

the soul and hatred for the

sin committed, together with

a resolution not to sin again.

Contrition is the most important

act of the penitent, and is

necessary for the reception of the

Sacrament of Penance (1451).