The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of healing. The life we received at Baptism, strengthened in Confirmation, and nourish in the Eucharist is sometimes lost or severely threatened by our sinfulness and needs healing. And Jesus, in his great mercy, has given us a sacrament whereby we are restored both to our loving God and to the Church. And as a result of receiving this gift, we are restored to our baptismal state of innocence. We are truly forgiven and recreated. But even with this understanding and assurance, going to confession is hard.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is not about our sins; it’s about God’s forgiveness. If a sacrament is an effective sign which does what it says that it does, then the acknowledgement of sin (our confession) and the words of absolution truly bring about the forgiveness of our sins and a return to baptismal innocence.
While confession may be hard—and it may always will be—the consoling words of absolution make it all worthwhile. “I absolve you [set you free from all guilt and blame] from you sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Franciscan Media
Not only does it [the Sacrament of Penance] free us from our sins but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us. We are liberated to be forgivers. We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” USCCB