Given that sin destroys our relationship with God and undermines our relationship with other human beings, reconciliation designates that precise effect of Christ's redemption of the human race that restores our relationship with God and our human fellowship. Christ breaks down the barriers that sin raises between us and God, and within the human community.
Our conversion from sin and reception of divine mercy are continually renewed by confession. Serious sin separates us from the body of the church, and sacramental penance reconciles us with God and the community of his people. This sacrament is also referred to as the sacrament of penance or confession.