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10. The Effect of Confession

1. Confession is a part of the sacrament ofpenance, and therefore shares the effect of the sacrament itself;it delivers the penitent from sin when it is made with perfectcontrition and with the qualities mentioned above, that is, when itis humble, sincere, and entire. If confession is made withimperfect, but supernatural, contrition, it does not deliver thepenitent from sin, but disposes him proximately for the absolutionwhich removes his sins.

2. Confession with absolution takes away the guilt ofmortal sins and the eternal punishment that is due to them; it alsolessens, in greater or smaller degree, the temporal punishment owedto forgiven mortal sins and to venial sins.

3. The power of forgiving sins, imparted by Christ to hispriests, is called "the power of the keys." For thesacrament of penance, rightly received, opens the gate of heaven tothe forgiven sinner. Hence we rightly speak of penance as the keyor keys to heaven, and of the power of conferring this sacrament asthe power of the keys.

4. We hope for forgiveness through Christ. By confessing,we submit ourselves to the power of the keys which has its efficacyfrom the Passion of Christ. Hence, an effect of confession is therenewed hope of heaven.

5. A man must confess all mortal sins that he rememberscommitting. If there be other mortal sins not remembered, theyshould be included in a general way in the confession, by use ofsome such phrase as, "For these sins that I have confessed,and for any others that I may have committed, I am sorry, and seekabsolution from them all."

"When the devil has failed in making a man fall, he puts forward all his energies to create distrust between the penitent and the confessor, and so by little and little he gains his end at last."
St Philip Neri

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"It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come."
Thomas á Kempis

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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