Am I being too hard on myself?

This summer I went to my brothers wedding, which was not in the Catholic Church. He had been away for about 7-8 years. He left because of the poor example of people in my family who did not practice what they preach. Which left him with a poor impression of the Church, and also he was never well instructed in the faith.

I debated for a long time about whether or not to go. Although in the back of my head I knew that I would probably go because I didn’t think I would have enough courage to deal with my family if I didn’t attend. Plus it wouldn’t really change there mind about anything it would just give them something to gossip about. I read on Catholic Answers, that one is not expressly forbidden to attend an invalid wedding and that one had to use their judgment based on the situation. I also heard on Catholic Answers Live that if one thinks that you are doing the best thing in that situation, you are not committing a sin. I meant to ask a priest at church but I chickened out. In the end I went, but I was not in the bridal party, even though I was asked, and I didn’t give a gift or a card of congratulations. I let my brother know that I came because I didn’t want to ruin or relationship not because I thought what he was doing was right. I told what the Church taught about his situation. Lately he has shown a little bit of openness to coming back to the Church and I didn’t want to make him so mad he would never come back.

I did confess going to the wedding, not because I was sure I had done the wrong thing, but because I thought it was better safe than sorry. At the time I didn’t confess that I had been debating about going for months, and that I had been pretty sure that I would end up going no matter what, because of my lack of courage. I thought I was being too hard on myself, but now I feel I should have confessed it. It has been bothering me. Was I in sin in the time before my brothers wedding when I was struggling with what to do? Is it a sin to know you are probably going to do the wrong thing because of your weakness? Was it a sin to go to his wedding in the first place? Did I make a bad confession?

I think you are being scrupulous. You have read an answer* from a priest *on CAF that states it is not strictly forbidden and is a matter for prudential judgment. Why is that not enough for you?

You didn’t commit a sin and you didn’t make a bad confession. Let it go and be at peace.

Was I in sin in the time before my brothers wedding when I was struggling with what to do
I don’t think so, the struggle is a good thing that means you are forming you conscience.

  • Is it a sin to know you are probably going to do the wrong thing because of your weakness?*
    I am not sure, that would be a good question to ask a conservative Priest.

Was it a sin to go to his wedding in the first place?
With what you have said about the situation, I don’t believe it was a sin.

Did I make a bad confession?
That depends on your conscience and if it was a sin or not. (i guess)

Hope that helped
Your servant in Christ

You did what you thought was right, with an understanding that what you were doing was not sinful. Then you recognized that you might have been wrong, or that your motives were perhaps a bit muddled, so you brought it up in Confession to be safe.

From my perspective, you acted exactly right.

I agree with 1ke that you are probably suffering from scrupulosity. I suffer from it myself often, so I sympathize. Even if what you did was wrong (and I don’t think it was), you brought it to Confession and received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There is no sin too big that God won’t forgive it if you repent. Be confident that you have received absolution

Assuming you did an examination of conscience, were contrite, etc., I have no reason to think there was anything wrong with your Confession. As such, YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN! Thanks be to God!

So yes, you are probably being too hard on yourself ;-). If it is really bothering you though, there is no reason you can’t bring it up again in Confession (if you feel you missed something last time)…but you have to be careful not to spend too much time second-guessing your confessions. If you intended to confess everything and weren’t intentionally withholding anything, you are totally in the clear.

God bless you!

Yes you are being too hard on yourself.

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