The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page
The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page

Father John A. Hardon, S.J. Archives


Sin Index

Return to:  Home > Archives Index

First Confession: An Historical and Theological Analysis
The subject of first Confession for children is a late development in Catholic thought. Until recently, about the only literature on the subject was an occasional reference in theological monographs on Jansenism in the nineteenth century. Since the Jansenists had restricted the reception of the sacraments for all the faithful, children were also affected. With the advent of Pius X, however, and his clear legislation in favor of frequent and early Communion and Confession, the moral rigorism of former days had subsided. And until the early sixties, it was taken for granted that children should receive both sacraments shortly after reaching "the age of discretion." But in the last ten years new ideas began to appear that indicate the rise of a problem which deserves the attention of parents, pastors and Catholic teachers.
Conversion from Sin
Our purpose here in this present lecture is to look at the New Testament stories of conversion and then draw some very serious lessons from what the Gospels teach us about what? About what is sin, how we can be reconciled with God after having sinned, and, what is most important, why God allows sin in order to do a greater good than would have been possible had there been no sin.
Forgiveness of Sins
In covering the tenth article of the Apostle's Creed, the catechist should keep in mind that the sacraments of Baptism, Penance and Anointing of the Sick are the divinely-instituted means of forgiving sins. At this point in the religious instruction, it is better to focus on just one truth of our faith: that the Spirit of Christ, through the Church, now continues the same work of mercy that Jesus performed during His visible ministry in Palestine.
Sin and its Consequences
We begin then our reflections on sin and its consequences. The Bible takes sin very seriously. Unlike so many modern writers including theologians and philosophers, the authors of Sacred Scripture consider sin the only real evil in the world, and they measure all other suffering or misfortune in their relationship to sin. Sin appears early in the history of mankind in the first chapters of Genesis, and it remains as a threat of tragic unity all through the Sacred Writings up to, and I have checked it, the closing verses of the Apocalypse.
Personal Sin
I think it is well worth, at least for a moment, as we get into this subject to reflect on the fact that besides the Original Sin, with which we are conceived and born, and the social sin, into which we are born, there is also our own personal sins that we have ourselves added to the sins of mankind.
Sin in the Providence of God
Our plan here is to meditate with you on four aspects or kinds of sin, to see how each is intended by God to serve a providential purpose in our lives. We shall look at Divine Providence and original sin. Divine Providence and our sinful tendencies. Divine Providence and our own personal sins as offenses against a loving God. And finally Divine Providence and the sins of other people who enter our lives and can cause us as we know great anguish and even agony.
Choosing a Good Confessor
But the Church also encourages the faithful to receive the Sacrament of Penance often, and not only after committing grave sin. That is why the faithful today need some guidance in their choice of a confessor.
Confession of Sins: A Divine Institution
Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament of confession on Easter Sunday night. As St. John describes the event, "the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you,’ and showed them His hands and His side."
The Problem of First Confession
It all seems to have happened so suddenly. As late as 1960, few would have dreamed that such complete reversal of policy on the age for first Confessions could take place in so short a time. What makes the situation still less intelligible is that nothing in the sixteen documents of the Second Vatican Council gave warning of what to expect. There are many theories to explain it. Yet theory alone would never explain the unprecedented decline in Confessions, of children and adults, that we have been witnessing since about 1965. Someone must have started a movement which others imitated, and rationalization followed.
The Spiritual and Psychological Value of Frequent Confession
Judging by the drastic drop in confessions in countries like the United States, the false opinion is gaining ground that Confession is not to be received, or made, frequently. No doubt, one reason for this sad state of affairs is the prevalence of some wild theories about mortal sin. For example, the Fundamental Option theory claims that no mortal sin is committed unless a person totally rejects God. Who but the devil hates God? One adultery or one abortion is not a mortal sin. On these grounds, there are parishes in which almost no one goes to Confession.
Looking For Peace? Try Confession (Book Review)
Looking for Peace? Try Confession! This is a masterpiece of simplicity. It spells out what our risen Lord gave to us on Easter Sunday night. He appeared to His disciples and told them, "Peace be with you."
An Integral Part of Confession
The penance assigned by the priest is an integral part of the Sacrament of Confession. According to the Church's Code of Canon Law "the confessor is to enjoin salutary and suitable penances in keeping with the quality and number of sins, but with attention to the condition of the penitent; the penitent is obliged to perform the penances personally" (Canon 98). Over the centuries of the Church's teaching, Christ requires three duties of those who receive the Sacrament of Penance.
Confession and Vocations
The sacrament of confession is closely related to priestly and religious vocations. It is not too much to say, in most cases, the sacrament of penance is a condition for recognizing, following, and remaining faithful to a vocation. How so?
The Seven Capital Sins - Part 1
Redefined capital sins as the "inordinate tendencies from which all sins originate as from their source". They are therefore called capital sins, for as you know in Latin, capita means heads, capita head, capita heads, they are then the sins which are the root or the cause of all other sins in the moral order. When we say they are inordinate tendencies, we affirm that these capital, we call them sins, sinful tendencies are the result of original sin.
The Seven Capital Sins - Part 2
Our next capital sin is, to follow my own sequence I am going to have to shift around, where is anger? What number is anger? Number 98. I put together that memory scheme post factum. It helps to remember the names of the seven capital sins. Number 98, what is anger? Again, the inordinate desire to remove obstacles or difficulties so as to avenge oneself for real or apparent injuries.

search tips advanced search

What's New    Site Index

Home | Directory | Eucharist | Divine Training | Testimonials | Visit Chapel | Hardon Archives

Adorers Society | PEA Manual | Essentials of Faith | Dictionary | Thesaurus | Catalog | Newsletters

Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association
PO Box 1237
LaCrosse, WI 54602
Phone: 608-782-0011
Contact Us

Copyright © 2000 by
All rights reserved worldwide.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior
written permission of