I have often wondered how I can tell if my confession was effective. How do I know that I was truly forgiven after my confession? What do I receive in the Sacrament of Confession?
To make a good/effective confession one has to do the following:
- examine our conscience;
- be sorry for our sins;
- have the firm purpose of not sinning again;
- confess our sins to the priest;
- be willing to perform the penance the priest gives us.
If the sinner turns from his sin, observes my decrees and practices what is right and just, he will live; he will not die. (Ezekiel 18:21)
One will know that he is truly forgiven after confession if he has made a good confession like what is described above. The absolution given by the priest in the confession would attest that truly one is forgiven from his sins. Likewise, the experience of serenity, peace, love and joy after confession would help us feel that truly we are forgiven of our sins and would make us feel that our confession is effective.
In the sacrament of Confession one receives:
- the restoration or increase of sanctifying grace;
- the forgiveness of sins;
- the remission of the eternal punishment, if necessary, and also of part, at least, of the temporal punishment, due to our sins;
- the help to avoid sin in future;
- the restoration of the merits of our good works if they have been lost by mortal sin.
If God is the source of everything in this world how come evil, suffering and many other bad elements exist?
First of all, the statement “God is the source of everything in this world” is not quite right. God is the source of everything that has been created – the universe, the stars, our earth, all animals, humankind (Gen 1 and Acts 17:24). God creates all that is GOOD (Gen 1: 31). The Sacred Scriptures says that God is a God of love and He desired to create a person and eventually a race that would love Him. But true love cannot exist unless freely given through free choice to accept God’s love or to reject it. God has given