Thursday, June 16, 2016
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 151 – Part I.
(Youcat answer) 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 976) The Apostle's Creed associates faith in the forgiveness of sins not only with faith in the Holy Spirit, but also with faith in the Church and in the communion of saints. It was when he gave the Holy Spirit to his apostles that the risen Christ conferred on them his own divine power to forgive sins: "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 20:22-23). (Part Two of the catechism will deal explicitly with the forgiveness of sins through Baptism, the sacrament of Penance, and the other sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Here it will suffice to suggest some basic facts briefly.) (CCC 977) Our Lord tied the forgiveness of sins to faith and Baptism: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mk 16:15-16). Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that "we too might walk in newness of life" (Rom 6:4; cf. 4:25).
Reflecting and meditating
(CCC 978) "When we made our first profession of faith while receiving the holy Baptism that cleansed us, the forgiveness we received then was so full and complete that there remained in us absolutely nothing left to efface, neither original sin nor offenses committed by our own will, nor was there left any penalty to suffer in order to expiate them.... Yet the grace of Baptism delivers no one from all the weakness of nature. On the contrary, we must still combat the movements of concupiscence that never cease leading us into evil" (Roman Catechism I, 11,3).
(This question: What possibilities are there for the forgiveness of sins in the Church? is continued)