The Sacrament of Penance, also known as Reconciliation or Confession, may be one of the most misunderstood things about the Catholic Church. Only God’s grace can heal a soul wounded by sin which is why Jesus gave us spiritual healing in the form of the Sacrament of Penance (John 20:22-23).
Confession allows us to know ourselves better and brings us peace. Absolution also carries a strengthening grace which helps us resist sin in the future and live more saintly lives.
“Those confessionals scattered about the world where men declare their sins don’t speak of the severity of God. Rather do they speak of his mercy. And all those who approach the confessional, sometimes after many years weighed down with mortal sins, in the moment of getting rid of this intolerable burden, find at last a longed-for relief. they find joy and tranquility of conscience which, outside Confession, they will never be able to find anywhere.”
— John Paul II, quoted in In Conversation with God: Advent and Christmastide