An extract from 'The Baltimore Catechism #1'
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187. Q. What is the Sacrament of Penance?
A. Penance is a Sacrament in which the sins committed after Baptism are forgiven.

191. Q. What must we do to receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily?
A. To receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily we must do five things:

1. We must examine our conscience. 2. We must have sorrow for our sins. 3. We must make a firm resolution never more to offend God. 4. We must confess our sins to the priest. 5. We must accept the penance which the priest gives us.

192. Q. What is the examination of conscience? A. The examination of conscience is an earnest effort to recall to mind all the sins we have committed since our last worthy confession.

195. Q. What is contrition, or sorrow for sin? A. Contrition, or sorrow for sin, is a hatred of sin and a true grief of the soul for having offended God, with a firm purpose of sinning no more.

201. Q. Why should we be sorry for our sins? A. We should be sorry for our sins, because sin is the greatest of evils and an offense against God our Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer, and because mortal sin shuts us out of heaven and condemns us to the eternal pains of hell.

206. Q. What do you mean by a firm purpose of sinning no more? A. By a firm purpose of sinning no more I mean a fixed resolve not only to avoid all mortal sin, but also its near occasions.

207. Q. What do you mean by the near occasions of sin? A. By the near occasions of sin I mean all the persons, places, and things that may easily lead us into sin.