Taken from The Faith Of The Catholic Church a CTS Publication
179. How can we obtain forgiveness for those sins committed after Baptism?
The forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism is obtained through the Sacrament of Penance. This Sacrament is also called the Sacrament of Conversion, of Confession, and of Reconciliation.
180. When did Jesus speak of this Sacrament?
After his Resurrection, the Lord Jesus showed Himself to His Apostles and said to them: â€œReceive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained
How to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is also known as “Confession”. The sacrament has four elements: three on the part of the penitent (contrition, confession, and satisfaction) and one on the part of the minister of the sacrament (absolution).
The sacrament is usually celebrated in the ‘Confessional‘, a small room or box arranged so that you may talk with the priest in privacy, either face to face, or from behind a curtain or screen. However, the sacrament can be celebrated anywhere.
Before celebrating the sacrament you will need to spend some time in prayer and preparation, acknowledging your need for God’s mercy, and ‘examining your conscience’ to find in what particulars you have strayed from God’s love and Christ’s way
How often should I go?
As often as you wish and are conscious of a serious failure or rift in your relationship with God.
Regular confession helps us review our relationship with God and make choices that will help us to grow and develop in our faith. Through the confession of sins, forgiveness is received through the grace of God if the individual is truly sorry. Catholics try to attend Confession at least before Easter and before Christmas. By doing this, they feel reconciled with God and better ready to represent Him and the Church.