Monday, November 01, 2010

The Sacrament of Penance

First off, allow me to greet you and wish you a blessed and happy All Saints Day! Today we celebrate all the saints which have been affirmed to have entered Heaven. We can be assured these saints are in Heaven because the Church has so bound that they are there (Matthew 18:18).

It is our goal to be with them in Heaven to worship and glorify our Lord throughout all eternity. The alternative is an eternity separated from Him, bathing in the torments of Hell. So how do we reach this goal? First off, Jesus has accomplished that goal for us! We are victorious over sin and death through Him! All we need to "do" is "accept" His "Free Gift" of Sanctifying Grace into our hearts and then persevere in that Sanctifying Grace until either we die or He comes again in glory. But what happens if we stumble along the way and commit a sin which would separate us from Sanctifying Grace (mortal sin v. venial sin is clarified in 1 John 5:16 and further, all iniquity is sin. And there is a sin unto death [DRB]).

If, or more appropriately, WHEN we commit a "sin unto death" (mortal sin) then we have separated ourselves from Sanctifying Grace. Jesus did not leave us in a state whereby we cannot be restored to Sanctifying Grace! In John 20:23 He empowers the Apostles, our first bishops, with the authority to forgive or retain sins - and sins THEY do not forgive are NOT FORGIVEN! To expect that sins are forgiven by some other means is to be CONTRARY TO SCRIPTURE. Many non-Catholics will claim that they "go straight to Jesus" to have their sins forgiven, but in doing so they are actually DISOBEYING HIM! He told us who has the authority to forgive sins - so to go elsewhere, even to go directly to Him, is in direct defiance of what He said. Bishops in valid succession to the Apostles retain this authority which was bestowed upon the first bishops. Outside this succession, there can be no forgiveness of sins - by the Word of our Lord Himself.



  1. "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." 22* And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23* If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

    "Yes. Well. I know, that's what Jesus said, but that's not what he meant."

    Nothing like being ya own Pope.

  2. You can't seriously think that our Protestant brothers and sisters who sincerely believe (however wrongly) that confessing directly to Jesus is truer confession than to a priest are not forgiven??? That would be wrong. Jesus looks at the hearts of the precious people who can't help being raised Protestant. It's all they know. You really think God condemns them for doing the best they can with what they know? That's not disobedience, man. That's sweet searching. I should know. I am glad to be a convert, but my Protestant years were full of graces, love, and healing, including supernatural experiences and yes, a lot of delicious forgiveness. I don't know...maybe I owe it all to the priests who were faithfully praying the Angeles for me and the whole world. Maybe I owe it to the many times I thought that I was taking true communion and received Christ sincerely in my heart. Whatever the ultimate source of the forgiveness (somehow through the apostles), it was there. So don't be so simple-minded on the subject.

  3. Hi Betsy,
    I happily take your criticism. Of course God alone is the final Judge of all. If HE decides those who, through no fault of their own, did not come into the Catholic Faith are not culpable - then most certainly, it is His call. However, it is our duty as Catholics to promote THE means Jesus provided for the forgiveness of sins. It could be quite scandalous and dangerous to souls for us to promote that their is a possibility of forgiveness outside that which Jesus provided His Church.

    The risk truly remains out there that ALL Protestants who remain outside the Catholic Faith are damned to Hell in eternity. So, I am not being "simple-minded" about this, but promoting the ONLY WAY which Scripture says our sins can be forgiven. I repeat, Scripture says that sins THEY (the Apostles) do not forgive, are not forgiven. John 20:23.

    In JMJ,


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