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Sacramental Life Unit 4 Reconciliation

Sacramental Life Unit 4 Reconciliation

Author: Jon McGurran
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Unit 4 Study Guide

1.) Define the Sacrament of Penance.

2.) Explain how Sin is the result of a failure to love.

3.) How does Original Sin affect each and every person? How do we commit the same sin of Adam and Eve today?

4.) What is concupiscence? How does it affect us?

5.) Explain the analogy between sin and an unfaithful spouse.

6.) Why would God give us free will if he knew that many would misuse this gift and cause immeasurable human suffering (e.g. Hitler)?

7.) Name at least three people who are affected by every sin. Explain this using an example.

8.) What are the conditions for a mortal sin? Choose an example of a mortal sin and a venial sin, and apply these conditions to each.

9.) How does Jesus continue to forgive sins in the world today? Describe the two specific examples of when Jesus imparted his divine authority to forgive sins.

10.) List the signs of authority that Jesus gave to St. Peter and their significance. What was the role of St. Peter to be in the Church?

11.) Explain what is meant by the “Seal of Confession”? Why is this seal necessary for Confession?

12.) What is the relationship between the Sacrament of Reconciliation and purgatory?

13.) What is accomplished in the Sacrament of Reconciliation? How does it help a person to become a better Christian?

14.) If God is the one who forgives sins, then why is the Sacrament of Reconciliation necessary?

15.) Explain how the Sacrament of Reconciliation addresses the dual nature of sin: sin against God and sin against neighbor.

16.) What is conscience and what is it purpose? How is it formed? What is an examination of conscience, and why is it important?

17.) Why is it a good idea to confess venial sins?

18.) What is the purpose of spiritual direction? Why is it important?

19.) Define contrition. What is the difference between perfect and imperfect Contrition? Give an example of each.

20.) Define fasting, abstinence, and mortification. Give an example of each.

21.) As long as God has forgiven us, why is it important to try and repair the damage caused by our sins? Explain using an example.

22.) What is the “temporal punishment” due to sin? When and where can it be forgiven?

23.) Define an indulgence. Include in your answer the relationship between an indulgence and the temporary punishment due to sin. In your own words and using an example, explain how indulgences work.

24.) What is the difference between a plenary and partial indulgence? What is required to earn a plenary indulgence?

Unit 4 Vocab

Moral law
Mortal sin
Lectio divina
Venial sin
General absolution
Sin of omission
Imperfect contrition
Alms giving
Perfect contrition
Seal of confession
Plenary indulgence


D1 Prodigal Son and the Forgiveness of Sins

1.) In the simple narrative (Prodigal Son) what key aspect of the nature of God does Christ capture?
2.) How is God like the Father in the story?
3.) What is the effect of Original Sin?
4.) What did Jesus do that made the pharisees and scribes upset?
5.) What is concupiscence?
6.) What is the first conversion?
7.) What is the second conversion?
8.) In a paragraph, why do we need the forgiveness of sins even after Baptism?

Read Luke 15:11-32

1.) Do you completely agree with the actions of any of the characters in the parable? (Father, son, older son)
2.) How is God like the Father and how are we like the two brothers?
3.) Who do you think you are personally more like? The younger or older brother and why?

D2 Origin and Early Forms of Penance

1.) When do we first see Jesus imparting his divine authority to forgive sins?
2.) What do the keys mean?
3.) How is the message in Isaiah similar to the message to St. Peter? How are they different?
4.) What is the second scriptural indication of the authority to forgive sins?
5.) What the power to forgive sins limited to the Apostles alone? Explain
6.) What do we know about the practice of the Sacrament in the New Testament times?
7.) How was the Sacrament celebrated in the very early Church? (50-400)
8.) What new form for celebrating the Sacrament was developed by the Irish monks?

**Do the Indulgence reading below, answer these questions.

1.) Why is penance necessary?
2.) What is the proper motivation for undertaking penances?
3.) What are the two kinds of indulgences? Why are most indulgences partial?
4.) What is the result of a person receiving a plenary indulgence?

Indulgence reading

(Questions are part of the homework)


D3 Personal Responsibility for Sin

1.) How does sin damage the sinner?
2.) How does sin harm others?
3.) What is a sin?
4.) Why is sin a form of idolatry?
5.) How does the prophet Hosea portray the sin of the nation of Israel?
6.) How does sin become a personal offense against God in the New Testament?
7.) What is mortal sin? What are the three conditions for committing a mortal sin?
8.) What is venial sin?

D4 Making a good confession

1.) What is an examination of conscience? What is a good example or template to use?
2.) Can there be forgiveness of sins without sorrow? Explain
3.) What can we do if we have a hard time seeing what is wrong about a particular sin?
4.) What are the two types of contrition? Explain both of them.
5.) Why must you confess mortal sins in kind and number?
6.) What is the act of contrition?
7.) List all the steps of Confession.

D5 Benefits of Confession and Conclusion

1.) How can a bishop or priest forgive sins if only God can forgive sins?
2.) What is the "seal of Confession"?
3.) What is spiritual direction?
4.) Why is it wrong to receive Communion while in a state of moral sin?
5.) How can one do penance through prayer?
6.) What is the main season of penance the Church has established?
7.) What is mortification?
8.) What is almsgiving?

Make sure you do the reading and work below.

St. John Nepomucene

Read the story

In a half page essay, what act made St. John Nepomucene a martyr for the Seal of Confession?