Confession is an act of honesty and courage!
Pope Saint John Paul II
The Sacrament of Confession is one of God’s greatest mercies. The Son of God became man to reconcile humanity with God. Time after time, we see the Lord Jesus bringing healing by forgiving sins. His mission of forgiveness and redemption culminated on the Cross, where He gave His life out of love for us.
Jesus explicitly gave the Apostles authority to forgive sins in His name: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” This authority continues to be excercised by the Catholic Church in the Sacrament of Confession.
Only God forgives sins. Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, “The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” and exercises this divine power: “Your sins are forgiven.” Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name.
Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as “the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.”