Confession is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The risen Christ gave it to us when he conferred on his apostles his own divine power to forgive sins: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (John 20: 22-23). The priest present at confession then becomes the instrument God uses to forgive our sins. Of course, if our sins are venial, we can go directly to the Lord, repent, and ask for forgiveness. What if the sin committed is most serious and you ask for forgiveness from God? How can you be sure that you're forgiven? Well, the Lord totally understands human nature. After you hear the priest absolve you from your sin, you are now certain that you have been forgiven by God because he had given us his word.