The Sacrament of Reconciliation is for our spiritual healing. The reason for this sacrament is to heal our spiritual wounds, which we call sin.
Catholics must confess all known mortal sins to a priest. By doing this, we put ourselves in the state of grace necessary to receive the Holy Eucharist. Any venial or minor sins do not block one from receiving Jesus in Holy Communion.
Confessing sins to a priest is not as difficult as people think. Most people tell sensitive, delicate, and confidential information to their doctor or lawyer, so why not a priest? The priest is bound by the most absolute secrecy and confidentiality known to humankind. Not even the Pope can get the priest to reveal what was said in the confessional. This Sacrament involves the opening of one’s heart, bearing one’s sins before God, and then formally receiving God’s mercy and grace in the absolving of sin. Come drink from God’s fountain of mercy! Do not be afraid – God is waiting to wipe your sins away!
Know that you can ask the priest for help if you may not remember the rite of confession or perhaps need some assistance in determining what commandments you may have broken, or his help in examining your conscience. Priests go to confession too. He is not there to judge you, or make you feel nervous. The confessor is there to help you, to pray with you and to assist you on your path to holiness. Priests help lead people closer to God and to open their hearts to God’s mercy.
Sacraments 101: Penance (why we confess)