Guide Catholic Christian Spirituality for NEW AGE DUMMIES

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What was the Great Awakening?

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  3. The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation
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Mother forgives the disobedience and absolves from the punishment—but she still expects her son to make satisfaction for his rebellious outburst. And it is this debt which the sacrament of Reconciliation at least partially reduces , in proportion to the degree of our sorrow. Still another effect of the sacrament of Reconciliation is that it restores to us the merits of our past good works if these have been lost by mortal sin.

As we know, every good work that we perform in the state of grace and with the intention of doing it out of love for God is a meritorious work. It entitles us to an increase of grace in this life and an increase of glory in heaven.


Even the simplest actions—kind words spoken, thoughtful deeds performed—have this effect, not to mention prayers said, Masses offered, sacraments received. However, mortal sin wipes out this accumulated merit, much as a man might lose his life savings by one reckless gamble. God could with perfect justice allow our past merits to remain forever lost even when he forgives our sins.

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But in his infinite goodness he does not make us start all over again from scratch. The sacrament of Reconciliation not only forgives our mortal sins; it also restores to us the merits which we had so willfully cast away. Finally, besides all its other benefits, the sacrament of Reconciliation gives us the right to whatever actual graces we may need, and as we need them, in order that we may make atonement for our past sins and may conquer our future temptations.


It is a spiritual medicine which strengthens as well as heals. That is why a person intent upon leading a good life will make it a practice to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation often.

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Frequent confession is one of the best guarantees against falling into grave sin. All these results of the sacrament of Reconciliation—restoration or increase of sanctifying grace, forgiveness of sins, remission of punishment, restoration of merit, grace to conquer temptation—all these are possible only because of the infinite merits of Jesus Christ, which the sacrament of Reconciliation applies to our souls.

In the sacrament of Reconciliation we simply give God a chance to share with us the infinite merits of his Son. You can return to the main article on the Catholic Sacraments , or go to our home page to see the other articles about the Catholic faith. New to this edition, the book covers the succession of Pope Francis, the "People's Pope," whose message of reconciliation among religions and focus on social issues like poverty and inequality have made him immensely popular, even among non-Catholics.

In this accessible guide, you'll take a full and rich look at this diverse and vibrant religion and understand what it is to be a Catholic today. John Trigilio Jr.

The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation

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