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Sacrament of Reconciliation - Essay Example

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God has created humanity and knows the latter’s limitations and fragilities. Therefore the door to salvation is through forgiveness and mercy. This can be achieved only if the sinner has…
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Sacrament of Reconciliation
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Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Israelites were constantly reprimanded for their transgressions against God through the prophets. The reference about the sacrament of reconciliation can be seen in the history of the Israelites. They were the recipients of mercy and grace due to their covenant with God. Yet at the individual and community level, they would engage in wickedness and evil deeds. Thus there was a need for compromise and exoneration which was the right of the Israelites due to their special status. The New Testament enjoins kindness and mercy for all human beings irrespective of color, caste or creed. Jesus Christ proclaimed the liberation of humanity from sins through repentance and clemency. Faith is a powerful force that enables human beings to abstain from sin and wickedness. Such a state can be acquired only through grace, mercy, and affection. Thus it can be seen that the New Testament modifies the concept of repentance and forgiveness in numerous ways. The early Church devised a system of expiation and atonement that was public in nature. An individual who had perpetrated a sin would have to offer penance through his outwardly actions and behaviors. Such individuals had to perform religious rites and rituals in a systematic manner. They had to engage in worship, charity, and abstain from worldly desires (Coffey, 67). The severity of sins would determine the number of years in which the individuals would complete their penance. The public system of atonement would lead to the ostracism of individuals as they were prevented from participating in Christian rituals. The system was harsh and ruthless since it exerted unnecessary burden on individuals. The system eventually met its demise through the reforms of Irish monks. The new system for expatiation and atonement was implemented at the private level. Further penance had to be completed until a specific time period. The Irish monks devised an ... Read More
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