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Satisfaction

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Definition:   The payment of the temporal penalty for sin. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation (a/k/a “Confession” or “Penance”), the Catholic who confesses their sins with the proper disposition receives the remission of their sin and the removal of eternal punishment. However, the temporal punishment for sin remains, and the penitent must offer satisfaction or payment for their sin. The priest prescribes a task to be performed, such as the repetition of prayers such as “ten Hail Mary’s and five Our Father’s.” By performing the satisfaction, the time spent in Purgatory will be reduced, since the penalty for sin is “satisfied” while here on earth.

Discussion: Jesus tells the Christian “The debt is paid” (Jn. 19:30). But the Catholic is told “You gotta keep paying!” While it is self-evident that sin has consequences, “satisfaction” is a dangerous fiction. The Catholic is seduced to think: “If I confess my ‘big’ sins, I will at least sneak in to Purgatory.” The effect of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a false assurance on the part of the penitent Catholic. Penance denies the accomplished satisfaction of sin by Jesus at the cross, for the Catholic must continually confess their sins in a lifelong process of being defiled and then cleansed to achieve heaven. It is ludicrous to believe that repeating several prayers to Mary will somehow remit the consequences of sin, even temporally.

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