Sacramentum Mundi Online

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Penance - Virtue of Penance
(1,209 words)

Part of Penance:

1. Virtue of Penance

2. Sacrament of Penance

1. Essence. Penance as a virtue denotes the morally and religiously appropriate human attitude, bestowed by the grace of Christ, in regard to one’s own sin and to sin generally. Its central act is contrition in its various forms, but its full nature includes not only the specific act of contrition as a turning to God and away from past personal sin, but also all the other interior and external Christian attitudes to sin: courage to face the fear …

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Karl Rahner, “Penance - Virtue of Penance”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 02 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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