Penance is a Sacrament in which the sins committed after Baptism are forgiven. Penance remits sins and restores the friendship of God to the soul by means of the absolution of the priest. I know that the priest has the power of absolving from the sins committed after Baptism, because Jesus Christ granted that power to the priests of His Church when He said:“Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” To receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily we must do five things:
- We must examine our conscience.
- We must have sorrow for our sins.
- We must make a firm resolution never more to offend God.
- We must confess our sins to the priest.
- We must accept the penance which the priest gives us.
The examination of conscience is an earnest effort to recall to mind all the sins we have committed since our last worthy confession. Before beginning the examination of conscience we should pray to God to give us light to know our sins and grace to detest them. We can make a good examination of conscience by calling to memory the commandments of God, the precepts of the Church, the seven capital sins, and the particular duties of our state in life, to find out the sins we have committed.