Lesson 19 : On Confession
208. Q. What is Confession?
A. Confession is the telling of our sins to a duly authorized priest, for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness.
209. Q. What sins are we bound to confess?
A. We are bound to confess all our mortal sins. but it is well also to confess our venial sins.
210. Q. Which are the chief qualities of a good Confession?
A. The chief qualities of a good Confession are three: it must be humble, sincere, and entire.
211. Q. When is our Confession humble?
A. Our Confession is humble, when we accuse our selves of our sins, with a deep sense of shame and sorrow for having offended God.
212. Q. When is our Confession sincere?
A. Our Confession is sincere, when we tell our sins honestly and truthfully, neither exaggerating nor excusing them.
213. Q. When is our Confession entire?
A. Our Confession is entire, when we tell the number and kinds of our sins and the circumstances which change their nature.
214. Q. What should we do if we cannot remember the number of our sins?
A. If we cannot remember the number of our sins, we should tell the number as nearly as possible, and say how often we may have sinned in a day, a week, or a month, and how long the habit or practice has lasted.
215. Q. Is our Confession worthy if, without our fault, we forget to confess a mortal sin?
A. If without our fault we forget to confess a mortal sin, Tour Confession is worthy, and the sin is forgiven; but it must be told in Confession if it again comes to our mind.
216. Q. Is it a grievous offense willfully to conceal a mortal sin in Confession?
A. It is a grievous offense willfully to conceal a mortal sin in Confession, because we thereby tell a lie to the Holy Ghost, and make our Confession worthless.
217. Q. What must he do who has willfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession?
A. He who has willfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession must not only confess it, but must also repeat all the sins he has committed since his last worthy Confession.
218. Q. Why does the priest give us a penance after Confession?
A. The priest gives us a penance after Confession, that we may satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to our sins.
219. Q. Does not the Sacrament of Penance remit all punishment duo to sin?
A. The Sacrament of Penance remits the eternal punishment due to sin, but it does not always remit the temporal punishment which God requires as satisfaction for our sins.
220. Q. Why does God require a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin?
A. God requires a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin, to teach us the great evil of sin and to prevent us from falling again.
221. Q. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin?
A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.
222. Q. Which are the chief spiritual works of mercy?
A. The chief spiritual works of mercy are seven: To admonish the sinner, to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to comfort the sorrowful, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive all injuries, and to pray for the living and the dead.
223. Q. Which are the chief corporal works of mercy?
A. The chief corporal works of mercy are seven: To feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to ransom the captive, to harbor the harborless, to visit the sick, and to bury the dead.