Confession enables us to experience God’s love and mercy. When we sincerely tell our sins out loud and are granted absolution by God (acting though the priest), we get a fresh start and put our sins behind us. Through confession, we learn that God’s love and mercy really are boundless.
- See Confession Made Easy flowchart here.
- HD quality charts in English (without the logo of Our Lady Queen of Peace) are available for download at the bottom of this page and also here.
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- Confession Charts in other languages available for download here.
- See also Boston Archdiocese site: The Light is on for you (abundant excellent resources available there)
The Sacrament of Reconciliation Explained
How do I go to Confession?
Don’t be afraid to go!
God Never Tires of Forgiving
“It is not easy to entrust oneself to God’s mercy, because it is an abyss beyond our comprehension. But we must! ‘Oh, Father, if you knew my life, you would not say that to me!’ ‘Why, what have you done?’ ‘Oh, I am a great sinner!’ ‘All the better! Go to Jesus: he likes you to tell him these things!’ He forgets, he has a very special capacity for forgetting. He forgets, he kisses you, he embraces you and he simply says to you: ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more‘ (Jn 8:11). That is the only advice he gives you. After a month, if we are in the same situation … Let us go back to the Lord.
The Lord never tires of forgiving: never! It is we who tire of asking his forgiveness. Let us ask for the grace not to tire of asking forgiveness, because he never tires of forgiving. Let us ask for this grace.” [Pope Francis, Homily, Parish of St Anna in the Vatican, 17 March 2013]
Examination of Conscience
- A shorter Examination of Conscience for Adults is available for download below, as are Examinations of Conscience for Teens and for Children.
Hope in God’s Mercy and Pardon
Take heart, I insist, because Christ, who pardoned us on the Cross, is still offering us his pardon through the Sacrament of Penance. We always ‘have an advocate to plead our cause before the Father: the Just One, Jesus Christ. He, in his own person, is the atonement made for our sins, and not only for ours, but for the sins of the whole world,‘ (1 Jn 2: 1-2) so that we may win the Victory.
Forward, no matter what happens! Cling tightly to Our Lord’s hand and remember that God does not lose battles. If you should stray from him for any reason, react with the humility that will lead you to begin again and again; to play the role of the prodigal son every day, and even repeatedly during the twenty-four hours of the same day; to correct your contrite heart in Confession, which is a real miracle of God’s Love. In this wonderful Sacrament Our Lord cleanses your soul and fills you with joy and strength to prevent you from giving up the fight, and to help you keep returning to God unwearied, when everything seems black. In addition, the Mother of God, who is also our Mother, watches over you with motherly care, guiding your every step. [St Josemaría Escrivá, The Christian’s Hope, Friends of God, no. 214]
“I encourage you to discover anew the sacrament of Reconciliation and to avail yourselves more frequently of the transforming power of its grace.”
[Benedict XVI, Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, 19 March 2010, no. 14]
“The sacrament of Penance is also important. It teaches me to see myself as God sees me, and it forces me to be honest with myself. It leads me to humility. The Curé of Ars once said: ‘You think it makes no sense to be absolved today, because you know that tomorrow you will commit the same sins over again. Yet,’ he continues, ‘God instantly forgets tomorrow’s sins in order to give you his grace today.'”
“Even when we have to struggle continually with the same failings, it is important to resist the coarsening of our souls and the indifference which would simply accept that this is the way we are. It is important to keep pressing forward, without scrupulosity, in the grateful awareness that God forgives us ever anew – yet also without the indifference that might lead us to abandon altogether the struggle for holiness and self-improvement. Moreover, by letting myself be forgiven, I learn to forgive others. In recognizing my own weakness, I grow more tolerant and understanding of the failings of my neighbour.” [Benedict XVI, Letter to Seminarians, 18 October 2010, no. 3]
Pope Francis’ top ten
reasons to go to Confession
Below are some of Pope Francis’ memorable quotes about why Catholics should go to confession:
- Confession helps people feel shame for the wrong they have done and embraces them with God’s love so that they know they are forgiven and can go out strengthened in the battle to avoid sin in the future.
- “But if a person, whether a layperson, priest or sister, goes to Confession and converts, the Lord forgives. And when the Lord forgives, he forgets. This is important,” Pope Francis told reporters July 28.
- The confessional is not a dry cleaners, a business of sorts that just washes out the stain of sin, the Pope said to members of the Vatican’s investment agency April 29.
- “…when the door starts closing a bit because of our weakness and sins, Confession reopens it.”
- “I can’t be baptized two or three or four times, but I can go to Confession, and when I go to Confession, I renew that grace of Baptism,” the Pope said at his general audience Nov. 13.
- It’s not a torture chamber where you’ll be raked over the coals.
- Confession is an encounter with Jesus whose “mercy motivates us to do better.”
- It’s not a psychiatric session that neglects the question of sin or a mental email to God that avoids the face-to-face encounter with the Lord through the priest.
- The sincere and humble admission of one’s weaknesses, of having “a sliver of Satan in my flesh,” shows that the power of salvation comes from God, not oneself,” Pope Francis said in a morning homily June 14.
- Confession “is going to praise God, because I — the sinner — have been saved by him,” who always waits and always forgives “with tenderness.”
See also: Catechism of the Catholic Church: Acts of the Penitent