10. The forgiveness of sins

Our sins wreck our relationship with God and separate us from him.  God’s forgiveness puts that relationship right again and he treats us as he did before we sinned.


But first, before we can be forgivable and forgiven, we must:

  • be sorry (contrition);
  • say we are sorry (confession);
  • show we are sorry (purpose of amendment, that is, mean to make a new start).

As Our Lord gives us his Holy Spirit through the Sacrament of Confirmation, so he gives us his forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance), which he instituted immediately after his Crucifixion and Resurrection (St John 20:22, 23).  We can be sure of God’s forgiveness by confessing our sins to him in the presence of a priest, who is authorised by Our Lord himself to give us absolution (forgiveness).