Thursday, June 16, 2016
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 151 – Part II.
(Youcat answer - repeated) Fundamentally the forgiveness of sins occurs in the sacrament of Baptism. After that the sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance, confession) is necessary for the forgiveness of serious sins. For less serious sins, confession is recommended. But reading Sacred Scripture, prayer, fasting, and the performance of good works also have the effect of forgiving sins.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 979) In this battle against our inclination towards evil, who could be brave and watchful enough to escape every wound of sin? "If the Church has the power to forgive sins, then Baptism cannot be her only means of using the keys of the Kingdom of heaven received from Jesus Christ. The Church must be able to forgive all penitents their offenses, even if they should sin until the last moment of their lives" (Roman Catechism I, 11,4). (CCC 980) It is through the sacrament of Penance that the baptized can be reconciled with God and with the Church: Penance has rightly been called by the holy Fathers "a laborious kind of baptism." This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn (Council of Trent (1551): DS 1672; cf. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 39, 17: PG 36, 356).
Reflecting and meditating
(CCC 984) The Creed links "the forgiveness of sins" with its profession of faith in the Holy Spirit, for the risen Christ entrusted to the apostles the power to forgive sins when he gave them the Holy Spirit. (CCC 985) Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of the forgiveness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit. (CCC 986) By Christ's will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized and exercises it through bishops and priests normally in the sacrament of Penance.