What is Confession?
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)
We are conscious that none of us are worthy of so great a gift, yet we must be prepared as well as possible to receive Christ in the Eucharist. This includes receiving forgiveness in the sacrament of Confession for our sins, for anything that separates us from Christ and His Church.
Nowhere did Jesus express more beautifully what happens in the sacrament of Penance than in the parable of the Prodigal Son: we go astray, we are lost and can no longer cope. Yet our Father waits for us with great, indeed, infinite longing; he forgives us when we come back; he takes us in again, forgives our sins. Jesus Himself forgave the sins of many individuals; it was more important to him than working miracles. He regarded this as the great sign of the dawning of the kingdom of God, in which all wounds are healed and all tears are wiped away. Jesus forgave sins in the power of the Holy Spirit, and he handed that power onto his apostles. We fall into the arms of our heavenly father when we go to a priest and confess.” (YouCat 227)
Through the ministry of the Priest, the penitent receives God’s forgiveness, and his guilt is wiped away as if it had never existed. A priest can do this only because Jesus allows him to participate in his own divine power to forgive sins [YouCat 150].