The part of the Sacrament of Penance in which the priest, by the power entrusted to the Church by Christ, pardons the sin(s) of the penitent
Money or goods given to the poor as an act of penance or fraternal charity. Almsgiving, together with prayer and fasting, are traditionally recommended to foster the state of interior penance
A false statement that harms the reputation of others and leads others to false conclusions about them
The tendency or inclination to sin as the result of original sin. This remain even after Baptism
An essential element of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, which consists in telling one's sins to the priestly minister
Sorrow for sin committed, together with a resolution not to sin again. Contrition is the most important act of the penitent, and is necessary for the reception of the Sacrament of Penance
A fallen angel, who sinned against God by refusing to accept his reign. Satan or the devil, the Evil One, and the other demons were at first good angels, created naturally good, who became evil by their own doing
Examination of Conscience
Prayerful self-reflection on our words and deeds in the light of the Gospel to determine how we may have sinned against God. The reception of the Sacrament of Penance ought to be prepared for by such an examination of conscience
The redemption and atonement for sin which Christ won for us by the pouring out of his Blood on the cross, by his obedient love "even to the end". The expiation of sins continues in the mystical body of Christ and the communion of saints by joining our human acts of atonement to the redemptive action of Christ, both in this life and in Purgatory
(1) Biblical revelation about the reality of sin in human history. The Biblical story begins with the original sin freely committed by the first human beings. This primeval event is narrated in figurative language in the Book of Genesis, which describes this sin as a "fall" from God's friendship and grace, which they had received from God not only for themselves but for the whole human race. (2) In the "fall" of angels, Scripture and Church tradition see the emergence of Satan and the "devil"; the "fall" of these angelic spirits was due to their freely chosen rejection of God and His reign.
Refraining from food and drink as an expression of interior penance, in imitation of the fast of Jesus for forty days in the desert. Fasting is an ascetical practice recommended in Scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers; it is sometimes prescribed by a precept of the Church, especially during the liturgical season of Lent
A grave infraction of the law of God that destroys the divine life in the soul of the sinner (sanctifying grace), constituting a turn away from God. For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must be present: grave matter, full knowledge of the evil of the act, and full consent of the will
The sin by which the first human beings disobeyed the commandment of God, choosing to follow their own will rather than God's will. As a consequence they lost the grace of original holiness, and became subject to the law of death; sin became universally present in the world. Besides the personal sin of Adam and Eve, original sin describes the fallen state of human nature which affects every person born into the world, and from which Christ, the "new Adam," came to redeem us
Interior penance: a conversion of heart toward God and away from sin, which implies the intention to change one's life because of hope in divine mercy. External acts of penance include fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. The observance of certain penitential practices is obliged by the fourth precept of the Church.
The sinner who repents of sin and seeks forgiveness. In the early Church, public sinners belonged to an "order of penitents," who did public penance for their sins, often for years. Penitential acts or practices refer to those which dispose one for or flows from interior penance or conversion; such acts lead to and follow upon the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance.
An act or attitude opposed to the theological virtue of hope. Presumption can take the form of trust in self without recognizing that salvation comes from God, or of an over-confidence in divine mercy
Making amends for a wrong done or for an offense, especially for sin, which is an offense against God. By his death on the cross, the Son of God offered his life out of love for the Father to make reparation for our sinful disobedience. We are obliged to make reparation for personal sins against justice and truth, either through restitution of stolen goods or correcting the harm done to the other's good name.
The return of what has been unjustly taken from another
Satisfaction (for sin)
An act whereby the sinner makes amends for sin, especially in reparation to God for offenses against him. The penance given by the confessor in the Sacrament of Penance constitutes such satisfaction. All true satisfaction for sin must be a participation in the satisfaction for sin made by Christ through his death on the cross
Seal of Confession
The confessor's obligation to keep absolutely secret what a penitent has told to him in the Sacrament of Penance; also known as the "sacramental seal"
Unjustly taking and keeping the property of another, against the reasonable will of the owner. Stealing is a violation of the seventh commandment of God, "You shall not steal."
The attribution of a kind of magical power to certain practices or objects, like charms or omens. Reliance on such power, rather than on trust in God, constitutes an offense against the honor due to God alone, as required by the first commandment
The cardinal moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasure and pro- vides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the mastery of the will over instinct, and keeps natural desires within proper limits
An attraction, either from outside oneself or from within, to act contrary to right reason and the commandments of God. Jesus himself during his life on earth was tempted, put to the test, to manifest both the opposition between himself and the devil and the triumph of his saving work over Satan
A habit acquired by repeated sin in violation of the proper norms of human morality. The vices are often linked with the seven capital sins. Repentance for sin and confession may restore grace to a soul, but the removal of the ingrained disposition to sin or vice requires much effort and self-denial, until the contrary virtue is acquired
An habitual and firm disposition to do the good. The moral virtues are acquired through human effort aided by God's grace; the theological virtues are gifts of God