The Sacrament of Repentance - Confession
Repentance with humble, obedient contrition is a necessity to enter the Kingdom of God. The question of the believer is, "What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life". The recognition of sin through Scriture, sincere contrition, the pledge not to repeat, invocation of the Grace of God and many other deeds of sincere repentance and confession, are essential to repentance of sins. In the Old Testament as well as in the New repentance is the foundation for the hope of man's salvation. The first word of Christ's ministry was "Repent".
The Sacrament of Repentance-Confession is God-ordained for the absolution of sins. God in His compassion designed means for the absolution of sins, as in the Sacrament of Baptism, which absolves, ancestral and personal sin. As sin is the barrier between man and God, so forgiveness of sin is the reconciliation of man with God. Absolution is the foundation of the Sacrament of Repentance-Confession. Christ granted this power to the Apostles.
The power of absolution of sins, the most significant treasure of the Church, includes not only forgiveness, but also the removal of penances. This power, as a perceptible sign of the Church, is the carrier of divine Grace for the sanctification of believers. This Sacrament for the forgiveness of sins has its source with Christ and His Apostles. Absolution of sins has no limitations; the act of forgiving does not distinguish between sins.
Absolution of sins comes from sincere repentance. Repentance and confession are the principles interwoven in the Sacrament of Repentance. The prayers of the sacrament are the perceptible sign by which the Grace of God is conveyed to the believer. Repentance is the first principle of Absolution and Confession is the second principle of Absolution.
The confessor-priest might impose various requirements, penances on the confessee, depending on the gravity of the sin. The penance imposed on the confessee is not to satisify God nor extinguish His righteous wrath, but for the betterment of the confessee.