Forgiveness Essay Research Paper Forgiveness

7 July 2017

Forgiveness Essay, Research Paper

Forgiveness Essay Research Paper Forgiveness Essay Example


Christ Jesus some two thousand old ages ago came into this universe to convey

salvation for our wickednesss. He did this through his decease and Resurrection, or what

we refer to as the pascal enigma. We still encounter the salvaging presence of the

Lord in the sacraments and in the Word. In each and every sacrament we come face

to face with & # 8220 ; the grace of God our Savior & # 8221 ; ( Titus 2:11 ) . It is this salvation

of wickednesss facet of the sacraments that I will be examine. In the past twosome of

century we have focused are attending chiefly on the Sacrament of Penance as

the agencies to obtain forgiveness of wickednesss after Baptism. We have come to concentrate on

it so much that it has come to be, for most Catholics, understood as the lone

sacrament though which forgiveness of wickednesss is obtained. This belief as we will

see is an wrong apprehension because we encounter the salvaging presence of

the Lord in other sacraments and ways non merely in the Sacrament of Penance.

However the Sacrament of Penance is ever to be understood as the primary

sacrament for forgiveness of mortal wickednesss after Baptism.

To better understand how this can be allow us first expression at the general

background of the development of the Sacrament of Penance. The Sacrament of

Repentance has it & # 8217 ; s roots even as far back as the twenty-four hours of Resurrection when Jesus

breathed out the spirit on the adherents and said to them, & # 8216 ; Receive the Holy

Spirit. If you forgive anyone & # 8217 ; s wickednesss, they are forgiven ; if you retain anyone & # 8217 ; s

wickednesss, they are retained. & # 8217 ; ( John 20:22-23 ) . In Paul & # 8217 ; s 2nd missive to the

Corinthians we see Paul developing this instruction of Christ, when he says & # 8216 ; All

this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the

ministry of rapprochement ; that is, God was in Christ accommodating the universe to

himself, non numbering their trespasses against them, and intrusting to us the

message of rapprochement. So we are embassadors for Christ, God doing his

entreaty through us. We beseech you & # 8230 ; be reconciled to God. For our interest he made

him to be sin who knew no wickedness, so that in him we might go the righteousness

of God ( 2 Cor. 5:18-21 ) . These two transitions would look to be portion of the

sacrament & # 8217 ; s scriptural foundation. The sacrament itself would look to hold come

approximately as a consequence of the early Church & # 8217 ; s battle to acknowledge that Baptism may

forgive wickedness but it didn & # 8217 ; t stop the battle against wickedness. People fell into wickedness

even after Baptism, so in order to convey these fallen members back into the

Christian community the Sacrament of Penance was established.

In the second and up to the 6th century A.D. a Christian could merely

have the Sacrament of Penance one time after Baptism. The penitent would hold to

foremost confess before his or her bishop. The penitent would so be required to

participate in the & # 8220 ; order of penitents & # 8221 ; of the early Church. This required the

penitent to have on particular apparels, and the penitent would hold to travel to a particular

topographic point with other penitents when idolizing with the community. The community

would pray for those in the & # 8220 ; order of penitents & # 8221 ; during the worship serves, and

the bishop would put his custodies on the penitents. But this puting on of custodies did

non take on the character of absolution until it was done during the worship

serves on Thursday of Holy Week. The penitents were non allowed to have

Holy sacrament because the penitents were excommunicated, excluded from Communion.

After a period of probation, prescribed by the bishop, the penitent would be

absolved of the wickednesss the person committed. The bishop would make this by

puting his custodies on the penitent. The typical clip for this rapprochement to

take topographic point was on Thursday of Holy Week before the Baptisms took topographic point. The

ground it was done at this clip was because the early Church believed that both

Baptism and Repentance were both sacraments that brought about forgiveness of wickednesss

and that they should be prepared for at the same clip. It was merely this type of

believing that besides led the early Church to the belief that the sacrament could

merely be received one time. This clip of readying, for the Sacrament of

Reconciliation, has come to be what we refer to now as the liturgical season of

Lent. This belief that the sacrament could merely be received one time and due to the

rigorous repentance received for wickednesss it became customary among Christians of these

earlier centuries to wait to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation until merely

before decease. The early Church merely saw public confession necessary if you had

committed the wickednesss of slaying, apostasy, or criminal conversation. Sense confession was merely

necessary in the instance of these three serious wickednesss, which were serious Acts of the Apostless

against the Christian community, and make to its connexions with Baptism on

Thursday of Holy Week it was viewed as a portion of public worship. It was

considered portion of public worship up to the terminal of the 6th century A.D. and

the beginning of the 7th century A.D. at which clip a passage took topographic point

in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Due to the badness of the repentance imposed on people for wickednesss committed,

and the belief in being merely allowed to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation

one time. Peoples avoided the public canonical repentance till the terminal of their lives.

This caused a diminution in the public repentance to the point of about entire

extinction towards the terminal of the 6th century A.D. Another passage was

taking topographic point in the Sacrament of Baptism about this same clip that besides raised

inquiry of concern in respects to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. During the

fifth and 6th centuries A.D. there was a larger figure of grownup converts

accepted into the Christian community that lacked proper direction and

catechizes. This occurred make to the fact that it was customary to fall in the

faith that the leader of a society was portion of, so if the leader of the

society was Christian all those who followed that person would go

Christian. This resulted in a big Numberss of grownup Baptisms. But at the terminal

of the 6th centuryA.D. and get downing of the 7th century A.D. the Church & # 8217 ; s

baptismal policy changed. The Church started to stress infant Baptism instead

them adult Baptism. This alteration in accent to infant baptism and the diminution in

the figure of people take parting in the public canonical repentance presented

some new pastoral jobs that needed to be addressed. First, how could the

Church keep its high moral criterions, and at the same clip, present to those

members of the Church that fell into wickedness the ability to be reconciled based on a

more realistic plan? Second, it was one thing to necessitate those Baptized as

grownup to make public repentance. But it would be a whole regardful thing to inquire those

Baptized as babies and immature kids, who had to still populate and fight

through all the phases of growing prior to adulthood, to make the same public

repentance and merely be allowed to make it one time.

To turn to these issues a new signifier of repentance emerged in the 7th

century A.D. , which is frequently referred to as & # 8220 ; private & # 8221 ; or & # 8220 ; duty & # 8221 ; repentance by

bookmans. It was referred to as & # 8220 ; duty & # 8221 ; repentance because a priest would delegate

repentance to persons who confessed their wickednesss in private from a aggregation of

enchiridions called a Penitential Books. Penitential Books were enchiridions that

listed wickednesss and customary repentances, which was normally some period of fasting,

that were given by other priests for the peculiar wickedness listed. This new signifier of

private or tariff repentance was deferent from the earlier, and still practiced,

signifier of public canonical repentance. It was different in that the whole rite was

done in in private and by a priest instead so the bishop. Private repentance could

besides be received as many times as one felt the demand for it. These three new

feature of privateness, priest as presider, and the ability to have the

Sacrament of Reconciliation more so one time addressed the pastoral issues that

had emerged at the terminal of the 6th century A.D. This made the new rite popular

among the Christian community.

It seems to be a consensus among bookmans that tariff repentance has its

beginnings in the British Isles, most bookmans would state chiefly in Ireland. They

besides belief that monk-missionaries are responsible for duty repentance doing its

manner on to the European continent between the old ages 543 A.D. and 615 A.D. After

it had arrived on the European continent, the duty repentance the monastics had

brought was modified because some of the repentances given in the Penitential Books

appeared to be to harsh. This demand to cut down the abrasiveness of the repentance gave

birth to a system called & # 8220 ; commutation. & # 8221 ; Commutation is a system by which the

P >

abrasiveness of the repentance given for a wickedness was reduced or commuted. Several types

of this commuting system emerged, but it was easy for the unfair priest to

manipulate this system to profit themselves. In some instances the penitent would

be forced to give an offering to the priest for the intent of observing Mass

for the penitent & # 8217 ; s forgiveness, but some priests found this to be more of a

profitable endeavor instead so that of an acceptable repentance. There were

other maltreatments of the commuting system, but all such maltreatments were condemned by

the Church. It finally became the norm of the Church that the fasting that

was imposed by the Penitential Books was to be replaced by supplications. Another signifier

of repentance that was replaced by supplications was that of public repentance. The populace

canonical repentance emphasized the public nature of wickedness, and the repentance given for

wickednesss was of a public nature. The penitent would be required to make such things as

visit and take attention of the hapless, ill, and imprisoned. Private repentance on the

other manus accepted the penitent & # 8217 ; s confession as satisfactory for forgiveness of

wickednesss with the judicial admission that the penitent do the supplications given as repentance.

This accent on supplication instead so fasting and public repentance made private

repentance even more popular among Christians. Private repentance finally won out

over all the other signifiers of rapprochement in the Western Church. The Church

began to acknowledge this and in 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council made it a

demand that all Catholics at & # 8220 ; the age of discretion & # 8221 ; must squeal their

serious wickednesss to a priest one time a twelvemonth and attained the Eucharistic Holy Eucharist and

have the Eucharist during the Easter season. We can see that private repentance,

due to its popularity and from this authorization made by the Fourth Lateran Council,

by the 13th century had all but replaced the other signifiers of rapprochement

found in the earlier centuries of Christianity. The Catholic Church besides during

the Reformation of the 16th century defended private repentance against

reformists who believed that private repentance was non necessary for the

forgiveness of wickednesss. The Council of Trent, in 1551, stated that & # 8216 ; private

confession was perfectly necessary for mortal wickednesss, which had to be confessed

to a qualified priest harmonizing to figure, type, and particular circumstance. Trent

besides made it clear that the Sacrament of Penance was necessary for the redemption

of individuals who sinned earnestly after Baptism. & # 8217 ; The criterions set by the Fourth

Lateran Council and the Council of Trent have been restated clip and once more by

official Church paperss up to the present twenty-four hours.

Reconciliation was ne’er meant to be entirely attached merely to the

Sacrament of Penance. We find forgiveness anytime we encounter the economy

presence of the Lord in other sacraments and ways non merely in the Sacrament of

Repentance. One manner of demoing the truth of this statement is to look at the function

that Lord & # 8217 ; s Prayer plays in different liturgical rites. St. Augustine shows that

he holds this point of position himself when he says & # 8220 ; The remittal of wickedness takes

topographic point non entirely in the sacred ablution of Baptism, but in the day-to-day recitation

of the Lord & # 8217 ; s Prayer. In it you have, as it were, your day-to-day baptism. & # 8221 ; Most

bookmans believe that during the first six centuries of Christianity daily

mistakes and wickednesss were believed to be forgiven by the devotional patterns and

supplication, most significantly the Our Father. Because the lone sins that called for

public canonical repentance were those of slaying, apostasy, or criminal conversation. The Lord & # 8217 ; s

Prayer was an of import portion of worship in the early Church, and still is today.

It was so of import that the campaigners for Baptism had to declaim the supplication

before they received Baptism. The Our Father was besides recited by the priest or

bishop in public repentance for the interest of all, and the one to be annoited besides

had to declaim it before the annoiting took topographic point. The early Church, I dare state,

believed that all the sacraments were sacraments of rapprochement, of which the

Lord & # 8217 ; s Prayer was the & # 8220 ; perfect verbal expression. & # 8221 ;

The Liturgy of the Hours is besides a beginning of rapprochement because it

terminals with the Our Father. St. Benedict himself emphasizes, in his Rule, that at

forenoon and eventide supplication the Lord & # 8217 ; s Prayer is to be said aloud so all the

monastics may here the phrase & # 8220 ; forgive us as we forgive. & # 8221 ; He emphasized this so

that there might be perfect rapprochement between the monastics each eventide and


The Our Father is besides found in the Liturgy of the Eucharist which is

the ultimate look of rapprochement in itself because it is the ultimate

look of the pascal enigma. The Lord & # 8217 ; s Prayer has ever held a climatic

function in the Eucharist. It has ever been the debut to Communion in the

Eucharistic Liturgy. One ground given for it being the debut to Communion

was the request & # 8220 ; forgive us as we forgive. & # 8221 ; St.Augustine says the ground we

pray the Lord & # 8217 ; s Prayer at this point is so that & # 8220 ; after these words & # 8216 ; forgive us

as we forgive & # 8217 ; we may near the alter confidently and literally & # 8216 ; with washed

faces. & # 8221 ; What St. Augustine meant by this is that the Our Father makes it

possible for Christians to have the Eucharist because they had in a religious

sense & # 8220 ; washed their faces & # 8221 ; of wickedness.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist is itself another look of

rapprochement The topographic point in the Eucharistic Liturgy that forgiveness is most

apparent is in the readying to have Communion. The readying consists of

the Our Father, the supplication that follows, & # 8220 ; Deliver us, O Lord from every

evil & # 8230 ; , & # 8221 ; so the supplication for peace, & # 8220 ; Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your

apostles, I leave you peace & # 8230 ; , & # 8221 ; and eventually the private supplications said by the

priest. This little group of supplications combined with the acclaim & # 8220 ; Lamb of God & # 8221 ;

is in itself a penitentiary rite. This penitentiary rite emphasizes the

forgiveness offered to all in the Eucharist. If we take a closer expression at these

supplications, we can see how they emphasize the power of forgiveness found in the

Body and Blood of Christ. Lashkar-e-taibas take for an illustration one of the private supplications

recited by the priest merely before Communion is distributed to the faithful, & # 8221 ;

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the life God, by the will of the male parent and the work

of the Holy Spirit, your decease brought life to the universe. By your sanctum Body and

Blood free me from all my wickednesss and from every immorality & # 8230 ; .. & # 8221 ; This private supplication of

the priest is seting stress on the fact that it is the Body and Blood of

Christ Jesus that frees us from our wickednesss. It would look so that by having

the organic structure and blood of Christ we are besides having forgiveness.

We can see by looking at Church history that the Sacrament of Penance

was chiefly for the forgiveness of mortal wickednesss. We can besides easy see how

forgiveness is offered to us in other sacraments and ways, such as in supplications

like the Our Father. Based on these two facts, and many non mentioned, I would

hold to state that it is wrong to state that after Baptism we can merely obtain

forgiveness of wickednesss through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Because we can see

how this other sacraments and ways enable us to meet the salvaging presence of

the Lord. We should ever understand the Sacrament of Penance as the primary

sacrament for forgiveness of mortal wickednesss after Baptism. Because history shows us

that these wickednesss are sins that harm more so merely the one sinning and demand a

signifier of rapprochement that reconciles the evildoer with the whole Body of Christ,

the Church. It would look to me feel the early Church did non see all wickednesss as

necessitating the Sacrament of Penance there is no ground non to belief that venial

wickednesss are forgiven in other sacraments and rites. We even have cogent evidences that

saints such as St. Benedict and St. Augustine held that we could happen

forgiveness in other ways so merely that of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


Dudley, Martin: Confession and Absolution: 1990, The Liturgical Press ( 243.4,

D848 ) .

Hamelin, Leonce: Reconciliation in the Church: 1980, The Liturgical Press ( 243.4,

H213 ) .

Jeep, Elizabeth: The Rite of Penance: Comments Volume Two, Implementing the

Rite: 1976, The Liturgical Conference ( 243.4, L782r v.2 ) .

Keifer, Ralph: The Rite of Penance: Comments Volume One, Understanding the

Document: 1975, The Liturgical Conference ( 243.4, L782r v.1 ) .

Longley, Alfred: Healing and Forgiveness, A New Penitential: 1976, World Library

Publications Inc. ( 243.4, L856 )

Mitchell, Nathan, OSB: The Rite of Penance: Comments Volume Three,

Background and Directions: 1978, The Liturgical Conference ( 243.4, L782r v.3 ) .

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