Monday, January 23, 2017
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 232 - Part IV.
(Youcat answer – repeated) Essential elements of every confession are an examination of conscience, contrition, a purpose of amendment, confession, and penance.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 1457) According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year" (Cf. CIC, Can. 989; Council of Trent (1551): DS 1683; DS 1708). Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession (Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1647; 1661; CIC, can. 916; CCEO, can. 711). Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time (Cf. CIC, can. 914).
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) The examination of conscience should be done thoroughly, but it can never be exhaustive. No one can be absolved from his sin without real contrition, merely on the basis of “lip-service”. Equally indispensable is the purpose of amendment, the resolution not to commit that sin again in the future. The sinner absolutely must declare the sin to the confessor and, thus, confess to it. The final essential element of confession is the atonement or penance that the confessor imposes on the sinner to make restitution for the harm done.
(CCC 1459) Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused (Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1712). Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate" his sins. This satisfaction is also called "penance."