Sacrament of Reconciliation

Stage 1: Alienation
from Self, God, Family or Community
 Through Ignorance
 or Blindness
Stage 2: Awareness
Other names for this:
Raising of Conscience
Coming to our Senses
Waking up
Hitting Bottom
“ I have sinned:” Sacramental Moment
Stage 3: Conversion
“turning around”
change of heart
Metanoia “think again”
Stage 4: Contrition
 Sorrow for doing wrong
Stage 5: Reconciliation
with Self, God, Family, or Community
The Prodigal Son, Rembrandt
The Rite of Reconciliation
Confession—words acknowledging
Act of Contrition—words expressing
Penance— action demonstrating
repentance of the sinner
Absolution—pronouncement of God’s
forgiveness of sins
What is a sin?
 Any action that alienates or cuts us off
from ourselves, others, and God.
Two main types of sin
Mortal sin
Venial sin
Mortal (or Serious) sin
 A very grave or serious violation of
God’s law done willingly and
 Cuts us off completely from God.
 Can only be forgiven through the
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Venial sin?
 Venial means “forgivable.”
 A less serious offense
 Weakens our relationship with God, but does
not cut us off.
 Can be forgiven through any Sacrament, as
long as there is true contrition for one’s sins.
 Reconciliation, Anointing, Eucharist, all
have the power to forgive a venial sin
Sin of Commission vs. Sin of Omission
 A sin of commission is doing something
sinful; an action.
 A sin of omission is NOT doing something
you could have done, usually for someone’s
good; a lack of action.
Biblical example: the two men who passed by the
beaten man in the story of Good Samaritan.
Modern example: passing by a homeless person
without offering to help in some way.
Personal Sin vs. Social Sin
 Personal sin is an individual act of wrongdoing
 Social sin is the wrongdoing of an entire community,
usually against the common good.
 Prophets make us aware of our social sin
Biblical examples:
 The prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures; John the Baptist;
Jesus—all openly challenged the social sins of their leaders
Modern Examples:
 Sins in the economy (homelessness, Wall Street greed)
 Sins against humanity (genocide, racism, Katrina victims)
 MLK Jr., Elie Wiesel—modern-day prophets
Social Sin in the Church
 Sexual Abuse, cover-up of abuse
 Anti-Semitism, Anti-Islamism
Social Sin at SMCHS?
 Bullying?
 Racism, Homophobia, Classism, Sexism,
Originally a list of mortal sins
 Better understood today as underlying attitudes
that can lead to sinful behavior if left unchecked
Lust: excessive sexual thoughts
Gluttony: overindulgence to the point of waste
Greed: excessive acquisition of wealth
Sloth: excessive indifference, failure to act
Wrath: uncontrolled anger or hatred
Envy: excessive desire of what another has
Pride: excessive love of self (considered the worst of
the Seven Deadly Sins because it leads to the others!)