Reconciliatio et Paenitentia 31: Some Fundamental Convictions, Part 9: Gratitude

Second, it must be emphasized that the most precious result of the forgiveness obtained in the sacrament of penance consists in reconciliation with God, which takes place in the inmost heart of the son who was lost and found again, which every penitent is.

Getting close to finishing up Some Fundamental Convictions. This is an important one, to know the wholeness of one’s relationship with God.

But it has to be added that this reconciliation with God leads, as it were, to other reconciliations which repair the breaches caused by sin. The forgiven penitent is reconciled with (the self) in (one’s) inmost being, where (one) regains (one’s) own true identity. (One) is reconciled with (Sisters and brothers) whom (one) has in some way attacked and wounded. (One) is reconciled with the church. (One) is reconciled with all creation.

As a result of an awareness of this, at the end of the celebration there arises in the penitent a sense of gratitude to God for the gift of divine mercy received, and the church invites the penitent to have this sense of gratitude.

Every confessional is a special and blessed place from which, with divisions wiped away, there is born new and uncontaminated a reconciled individual-a reconciled world!

In order for this to be manifest, the liturgy of penance has to communicate this gratitude in a real way. If it is stripped down to penitent and confessor, it seems like that liturgical aspect is dependent on the latter.

This document is Copyright © 1984 – Libreria Editrice Vatican. The link on the Vatican site is here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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