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Nathaniel wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What are the responsibilities of a Catholic that has been forgiven of their sins in Reconciliation?


  { What are the responsibilities of a Catholic that has been forgiven of their sins in Reconciliation? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Nathaniel —

I'm not sure, specifically, what kind of answer you're looking for, but I'll say that, as it pertains to the sacrament, the responsibility of a penitent is to:

  1. faithfully execute their penance
  2. firmly intend to avoid the sin in the future
  3. rely on and pray for the grace of God, not only to resist sin, but in all things.

This does not mean that you should despair when it comes to habitual sins that you fully expect you'll commit again, it just means that you can't be planning to commit them; you must put up as best a fight, as you can, to resist them.

More broadly, a penitent Catholic has the responsibility to seek Christ's kingdom and His righteousness first (Matthew 6:33). This means:

  • following Christ
  • obeying His gospel, and
  • living for Him above all things
  • surrendering all for the sake of the Gospel according to our state in life, and
  • offering ourselves as holy and living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

This includes a lot of things, such as:

  • obeying the commandments (Matthew 19:17)
  • assisting at the liturgy on Sundays and days of obligation
  • listening to the Church
  • obeying Her as our Mother, and so forth.

It's important to remember that at the center of our faith is not a list of do's, don'ts and rules, but a Person, Jesus Christ, who invites us to come to know him intimately as a friend, and His father, as our Father. Christ knows what's best for us, and He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life so let us seek Him and His kingdom.


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