Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I just read the post Ego Te Absolvo on the blog Fioretta ( about being forgiven and accepting it.

Something I heard in my sacramental theology class, which has thrown a different light for me on the sacrament of reconciliation is that the difference between the protestant notion of forgiveness and the Catholic notion of forgiveness is like the difference between a murderer being saved from punishment but still being a murderer and a murderer being saved from punishment and even being given the dignity of a king. Our professor said that for the reformers such as Luther, forgiveness just obtained a stay of the punishment, yet the sinner is still a wretch, while the Catholic notion of "remission of sin" not only includes not being punished but even being restored to the state before having commited the sin. I couldn't help but think about the parabel of the merciful Father (Luke 15) where the Father restores the prodigal son to his status of son. It's a completely different concept and maybe can help us understand better what we believe happens in reconciliation.

In the prayer for the sacrament we hear "God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen"

After what my professor said, I can't help but make a connection with the role of the Holy Spirit in the forgiveness of sins and in making us children of Godcalling out "Abba, Father." It makes sense that it would happen at the same time, I just never thought of it that way before.


Jean said...

Br. Chris,
I very much enjoy reading your reflections - keep them coming! I hope you are doing wonderfully! Jean

Br. Chris Gaffrey, ofm said...

Thanks Jean. You wouldn't happen to be a GMU alum, would you?

Jean said...

How'd you guess? ;o) That's me! I can't even remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but it is listed on my "Favorites" now! Happy second Sunday of Advent!