By Deacon Frank Agnoli
(Editor’s note: Deacon Frank Agnoli presents the fifth in his series of articles on the healing sacraments. He is director of liturgy and of deacon formation for the Davenport Diocese.)
Two weeks ago we talked about sin’s “double consequence” (CCC 1472) — the damage to our communion with God and others as well as the other long-term consequences of sin; what have traditionally been called “guilt” and “temporal punishment,” respectively.
So, how are these effects healed? To begin with, moved by the Holy Spirit, we have to be sorry for our sins. And we need to admit that we are powerless to heal sin’s effects on our own. It is only by the gift of God’s grace that we can be healed, and we encounter that healing grace in a particular way in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. There we encounter Christ, who — through the ministry of the Church — addresses and heals both consequences of our sin.
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