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Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter Misericordia Dei (Mercy of God), he wrote:

  1. Ordinaries are to remind all the ministers of the Sacrament of Penance that the universal law of the Church, applying Catholic doctrine in this area, has established that:

a) “Individual and integral confession and absolution are the sole ordinary means by which the faithful, conscious of grave sin, are reconciled with God and the Church; only physical or moral impossibility excuses from such confession, in which case reconciliation can be obtained in other ways”.(12)

b) Therefore, “all those of whom it is required by virtue of their ministry in the care of souls are obliged to ensure that the confessions of the faithful entrusted to them are heard when they reasonably ask, and that they are given the opportunity to approach individual confession, on days and at times set down for their convenience”.(13)

Then in Catechism of Catholic Church said:

2487 Every offense committed against justice and truth entails the duty of reparation, even if its author has been forgiven. When it is impossible publicly to make reparation for a wrong, it must be made secretly. If someone who has suffered harm cannot be directly compensated, he must be given moral satisfaction in the name of charity. This duty of reparation also concerns offenses against another's reputation. This reparation, moral and sometimes material, must be evaluated in terms of the extent of the damage inflicted. It obliges in conscience.

And in New Testament (Study Bible) Jesus said (Book of St. Mark):

23Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 25Reconcile quickly with your adversary, while you are still on the way to court. Otherwise he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.…

So it seems like just the confession is not enough to unshackle ourselves from the slavery of sins. We have to do reparation for our sins.

When I was in Catechism class before my first confession a nun from Sisters of Charity told the Catechism class Our soul is like a clean white slate when we take the sacrament of baptism. And after that when we commit mortal or cardinal sins that cry toward heaven deep dark marks are left behind on the slate. We can do fair and honest confession and then the dark marks can go away now but the marks won't be filled up as they are scratched with hurt and the slate won't look new again until we do reparation for our sins.

So can anyone tell me how and in what form or ways according to the Catholic approach one can do reparation exactly as Jesus Christ talked about, the apostolic letter and Catechism of the Catholic Church referred to with some examples?

I can give an example where I need to do reparation. The other day my mom was driving the car and I was at Costco parking lot with my family and she was parking the car. Now there was a car in front of us wanting to back up. There was another car just behind us. So couldn't move. We were stuck. But the front driver was honking and telling me to move from his way so he can park. We had no space to move out of the way. He was honking about 20 seconds. And was backing up though there was no space in between his car and ours. So we gave a silent honk so he stops. He came out of his, was angry and was shouting. And I got angry and was yelling at him. He was yelling again. So I quiet down finally. Let him be himself. But later I thought as a Christian I shouldn't have behaved that way. I should have shown compassion and patience. So finally he parked his car. And finally, we understood he did all that because he thought we will get his spot. So I was proved a fool. Felt ashamed also. So need to do reparation for sins after an honest confession.

How does the Catholic Church tell us to do reparation for our sins?

  • I love this question mvr950, but I fear it is quite broad. Each person can do reparation by a large number of ways. – Ken Graham Nov 5 '19 at 1:49
  • As I am not aware consciously how many times I sinned I do small things for people with humility I am not bragging or anything I hold the door, I say Thank you, excuse me, You are welcome, sorry, I appreciate it etc. more often I intentionally go to two organizations that work with disabled people and volunteer there I hear their stories.SometimesI give my toils there After the day am tired but am happy. Help my parents vacuum the rooms, collect the leaves in front of garage,snow blowing, if my youngest brother comes home I help him etc.These ways of reparation? Though nothing compared tomost – mvr950 Nov 5 '19 at 2:39
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    There are all acts of reparation, if offered to Our Lord as such. – Ken Graham Nov 5 '19 at 2:44
  • I am mostly composed when people misbehave with me. Today at a restaurant I forgot to knock on the washroom door so I checked the handle and it was unlocked so I entered and there was already a person and he was swearing at me I didn't say a word. I forgave him right away. So I try small things. Don't know if it is reparation or not. – mvr950 Nov 5 '19 at 2:45
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    Only if offered in a spirit of reparation. – Ken Graham Nov 5 '19 at 2:49
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When the Mother of God appeared in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 to three small children with a plea for prayer and penance, part of her message included the following warning:

“Pray, pray very much, make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to offer prayers and sacrifices for them.”

What Our Lady is asking for in this plea is reparation on behalf of sinners. She is asking that we do for them what her Son did for us. Our Blessed Lord took upon His shoulders the burden of our sins, and paid the price for them. We are not able to shoulder the whole burden, pay the whole price for the sins of others; but what little we can do when placed in the hands of the Blessed Mother of us all, can accomplish much towards lessening their debt of punishment, and opening their hearts to the healing and strengthening grace of God.

We have to do reparations for our sins and others, the souls that have hardened.

Mathew 5:41:

If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

Then:

Blow the trumpet in Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly. Gather the people, notify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom quit his room and the bride her chamber. . . . Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep, and say, “Spare, O Lord, your people!” (Joel 2:15–17).

Pray and do sacrifices for those who persecute you.

If your grandma got attacked by a mugger, you would rush to her side and spend time with her. You’d go out and buy things to replace what was in her purse. You wouldn’t do that for the mugger’s benefit. Doing it wouldn’t lessen his culpability. Hopefully you could also one day bring yourself to pray for him and wish for his conversion. But doing something to lessen the hurt of your grandma is something different than that entirely.

Catechism of Catholic Church states and I quote:

Jesus’ call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, “sackcloth and ashes,” fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures, and works of penance (1430).

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    You should make more clear that acts of reparation should clearly done as such. The Lord done not want us to murmur about making sacrifices. Our Lord prefers a cheerful giver. – Ken Graham Nov 5 '19 at 11:51
  • Sorry for not understanding you. Can you kindly please elaborate on what you mean when you said that You should make more clear that acts of reparation should clearly done as such? – mvr950 Nov 5 '19 at 11:55
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    One has to have the intention of making a sacrifice or an act of reparation. Walking an extra mile without the proper intention is simply walking an extra mile. – Ken Graham Nov 5 '19 at 12:02
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How does the Catholic Church tell us to do reparation for our sins according to Church teachings?

Reparation is the act or fact of making amends. It implies an attempt to restore things to their normal or sound conditions, as they were before something wrong was done. It applies mainly to recompense for the losses sustained or the harm caused by some morally bad action. With respect to God, it means making up with greater love for the failure in love through sin; it means restoring what was unjustly taken and compensating with generosity for the selfishness that caused the injury.

Making sacrifices one makes should be made in a spirit of reparation to be truly acts of reparation. Presents make many sacrifices for their children, but these acts of sacrifice are not order to atone for some sacred intention.

Reparation is a theological concept closely connected with those of atonement and satisfaction, and thus belonging to some of the deepest mysteries of the Christian Faith. It is the teaching of that Faith that man is a creature who has fallen from an original state of justice in which he was created, and that through the Incarnation, Passion, and Death of the Son of God, he has been redeemed and restored again in a certain degree to the original condition. Although God might have condoned men's offences gratuitously if He had chosen to do so, yet in His Providence He did not do this; He judged it better to demand satisfaction for the injuries which man had done Him. It is better for man's education that wrong doing on his part should entail the necessity of making satisfaction. This satisfaction was made adequately to God by the Sufferings, Passion, and Death of Jesus Christ, made Man for us. By voluntary submission to His Passion and Death on the Cross, Jesus Christ atoned for our disobedience and sin. He thus made reparation to the offended majesty of God for the outrages which the Creator so constantly suffers at the hands of His creatures. We are restored to grace through the merits of Christ's Death, and that grace enables us to add our prayers, labours, and trials to those of Our Lord "and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ" (Colossians 1:24). We can thus make some sort of reparation to the justice of God for our own offences against Him, and by virtue of the Communion of the Saints, the oneness and solidarity of the mystical Body of Christ, we can also make satisfaction and reparation for the sins of others.

This theological doctrine, firmly rooted in the Christian Faith, is the foundation of the numerous confraternities and pious associations which have been founded, especially in modern times, to make reparation to God for the sins of men. Thus the Archconfraternity of Reparation for blasphemy and the neglect of Sunday was founded 28 June, 1847, in the Church of St. Martin de La Noue at St. Dizier in France by Mgr. Parisis, Bishop of Langres. With a similar object, the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face was established at Tours, about 1851, through the piety of M. Dupont, the "holy man of Tours". In 1883 an association was formed in Rome to offer reparation to God on behalf of all nations. The idea of reparation is an essential element in the devotion of the Sacred Heart (see Heart of Jesus, Devotion to the).

The Mass, the representation of the sacrifice of Calvary, is specially suited to make reparation for sin. One of the ends for which it is offered is the propitiation of God's wrath. A pious widow of Paris conceived the idea of promoting this object in 1862. By the authority of Pope Leo XIII the erection of the Archconfraternity of the Mass of Reparation was sanctioned in 1886.

There also exists a special mass within the Catholic dedicated to making reparation due to sin committed by cardinals, bishops, priests and deacons, and for all sins committed by clergy and lay people against the commandments of the Lord, as well as to pray for the innocent victims of sin.

Attending such a mass is an excellent way of making reparation. Of course, other forms of reparation include praying and fasting, as well as other forms of penance done in the true spirit of reparation.

Acts of reparation

Reparation is a theological concept closely connected with those of atonement and satisfaction. In ascetical theology, reparation is the making of amends for insults given to God through sin, either one's own or another's. The response of man is to be reparation through adoration, prayer, and sacrifice. In Roman Catholic tradition, an act of reparation is a prayer or devotion with the intent to expiate the "sins of others", e.g. for the repair of the sin of blasphemy, the sufferings of Jesus Christ or as Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary.

In the encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor Pope Pius XI said:

"The creature's love should be given in return for the love of the Creator, another thing follows from this at once, namely that to the same uncreated Love, if so be it has been neglected by forgetfulness or violated by offense, some sort of compensation must be rendered for the injury, and this debt is commonly called by the name of reparation".

Theological perspective

According to Thomas Slater, reparation is a theological concept closely connected with those of atonement and satisfaction, and is considered a sacred mystery in Roman Catholicism. It is the teaching of that faith that man is a creature who has fallen from an original state of grace in which he was created, and that through the incarnation, Passion, and death of Jesus Christ, he has been redeemed and restored again in a certain degree to the original condition. Although God might have condoned men's offences gratuitously if He had chosen to do so, yet in divine providence He did not do this; He judged it better to demand satisfaction for the injuries which man had done Him. It is better for man's education that wrongdoing on his part should entail the necessity of making satisfaction. This satisfaction was made adequately to God by the suffering, passion, and death of Jesus Christ, made Man for us. By voluntary submission to His passion and death on the cross, Jesus Christ atoned for man's disobedience and sin. He thus made reparation to the offended majesty of God for the outrages which the Creator so constantly suffers at the hands of His creatures.

Man is restored to grace through the merits of Christ's death, which grace enables him to add his prayers, works, and trials to those of Our Lord "and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church" (Colossians 1:24). Man can thus make some sort of reparation to the justice of God for his own offences against Him, and by virtue of the Communion of the Saints, the oneness and solidarity of the mystical Body of Christ, he can also make satisfaction and reparation for the sins of others.

The idea of reparation is an essential element in the Roman Catholic devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

History

In the seventeenth century, Christianity had seen some great profanations of the Blessed Sacrament, which renewed attention to the atonement dimension of adoration and gave rise to various societies for the Blessed Sacrament. In 1654 Catherine de Bar founded the Order of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament in Paris.

Some Catholic organizations whose focus was reparation included the Archconfraternity of Reparation for blasphemy and the neglect of Sunday, founded by Bishop Pierre Louis Parisis in 1847; and the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face, founded by Venerable Leo Dupont in 1851. In 1886 Pope Leo XIII authorized the formation of the Archconfraternity of the Mass of Reparation in Rome.

Methods

The Mass, the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary (that is, another presentation of Christ's one sacrifice on Calvary to the Father under sacramental signs), was according to Thomas Aquinas specially suited to make reparation for sin.2 But some caution has been called for here following the impact of Scriptural studies on Catholic theology after the Second Vatican Council; notions of God's wrath that are more characteristic of the early Hebrew scriptures and of tension between the Father and the Son[4] have yielded to a Trinitarian focus on "the self-offering of believers in union with Christ by which they share in his covenant relationship with the Father."

Prayers of reparation

A number of prayers such as the Act of Reparation to the Virgin Mary appeared in the Raccolta, a collection of Catholic prayers and good works with attached indulgences. The Raccolta included a number of diverse prayers for reparation. The Raccolta was deprecated in 1968.

  • the Rosary of the Holy Wounds (which does not include the usual rosary mysteries) focuses on specific redemptive aspects of Christ's suffering in Calvary, with emphasis on the souls in purgatory.

  • the Act of Reparation to Jesus Christ and for the reparation of blasphemy is The Golden Arrow Holy Face Devotion (Prayer) first introduced by Sister Marie of St Peter in 1844. This devotion (started by Sister Marie and then promoted by the Venerable Leo Dupont) was approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1885.

  • the Act of Reparation to The Holy Trinity is based on the messages of Our Lady of Fatima and is usually called the Angel Prayer.

First Friday communion of reparation

Receiving Holy Communion as part of a first Friday devotion is a Catholic devotion to offer reparations for sins through the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the visions of Christ reported by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 17th century, several promises were made to those people that practiced the first Friday devotions, one of which included final perseverance.

The devotion consists of several practices that are performed on each first Friday of nine consecutive months. On these days, a person is to attend Holy Mass and receive Communion. In many Catholic communities the practice of the Holy Hour of meditation during the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during the First Fridays is encouraged.

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