Of God and His Creatures

What St Thomas here calls 'satisfaction,' answers fairly well to the French amende honorable. As St Thomas here teaches, it is not correct, in the strictest theological parlance, to say that Christ was 'punished' for the sins of the world. Great authorities may speak popularly and loosely on this as on other topics. But in strict theology we say that Christ made the amende honorable for the sins of all His brethren, and that in the manner most humiliating, painful, and costly to Himself. When any sinner, identifying himself with this amende honorable and satisfaction of his Saviour, cries with Him: 'Father, forgive me, for I knew not what I did'; that is to say: 'I was a fool in doing as I did, and now I see my folly and repent of it': the satisfaction that Christ made becomes available for that man, and according to the nature of his sorrow he is either forgiven or on the road to forgiveness.

Of God and His Creatures: 4.55