Am I Contrite Enough?


#1

I have not been to confession for several months, but would like to go before Christmas. As far as I can determine, none of the sins are mortal, but I feel like I should feel "sorrier" for them before I go to confession. My big sin is a habitual one, done frequently out of compulsion. I recognize that it's still a sin, and I don't want to do it anymore, but I also know that it's highly unlikely that I will avoid it. I am pursuing counseling and psychiatric help for the compulsive behavior, but am not in a place where the compulsion has lessened at all. The place I am right now, mentally speaking, could probably be best defined as relapse, after a brief period where I avoided the compulsion almost entirely (I'm aware that there may be more than just my brain at work as far as that goes.) It could also be described using the words of St. Augustine, "Lord, make me chaste, but not yet." :p

How does a person determine that they are contrite "enough" to go to confession? I have caught myself in the self-talk that says to engage the compulsion and then just go to confession, but I know that is sinful, too. It makes me feel like any remorse I feel must not be genuine.


#2

Feelings deceive. Whether or not you "feel" contrite is immaterial. You want to confess your sin. You want to stop committing the sin. Go to Confession. :thumbsup:

Proverbs 24:16 For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.

A disciple came to a certain Elder, one day, and said, "Father, I have fallen!"

The Elder answered, "Get up!"

Again and again he came to the Elder and said, "I have fallen!"

And the Elder invariably answered, "Get up!"

"Until when must I continue getting up?" the disciple asked.

And the Elder answered, "Until the day when you give up your soul to God!"

Thus, every time when we feel that we have fallen, the Sacrament of Repentance tells us to get up.

You do not lose the battle against sin until you quit getting (give up struggling against it).

Abba [St] Anthony [the Great] said to Abba Poemen, 'This is the great work of a man: always to take blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath.'

We will be tempted. We will likely have shortcomings in the future. Thankfully we have the Sacrament of Confession.

"Did you commit sin? Enter the Church, repent for your sin, for here is the physician, not the judge. Here one is not investigated; one receives remission of sins." - St John Chrysostom


#3

[quote="pensmama87, post:1, topic:348650"]
I have not been to confession for several months, but would like to go before Christmas. As far as I can determine, none of the sins are mortal, but I feel like I should feel "sorrier" for them before I go to confession. My big sin is a habitual one, done frequently out of compulsion. I recognize that it's still a sin, and I don't want to do it anymore, but I also know that it's highly unlikely that I will avoid it. I am pursuing counseling and psychiatric help for the compulsive behavior, but am not in a place where the compulsion has lessened at all. The place I am right now, mentally speaking, could probably be best defined as relapse, after a brief period where I avoided the compulsion almost entirely (I'm aware that there may be more than just my brain at work as far as that goes.) It could also be described using the words of St. Augustine, "Lord, make me chaste, but not yet." :p

How does a person determine that they are contrite "enough" to go to confession? I have caught myself in the self-talk that says to engage the compulsion and then just go to confession, but I know that is sinful, too. It makes me feel like any remorse I feel must not be genuine.

[/quote]

Pray about it, only God knows


#4

[quote="Zekariya, post:2, topic:348650"]
Feelings deceive. Whether or not you "feel" contrite is immaterial. You want to confess your sin. You want to stop committing the sin. Go to Confession. :thumbsup:

[/quote]

This. Don't let fleeting emotions deceive you. Actions and your will are what matter. What you have stated and noted above is the necessary contrition. Go to Confession. God bless!


#5

I believe contrition occurs when you feel sorry and if you had it to do
over, you would not do it again. You resolve to avoid this sin in the future.
Perfect Contrition occurs when you when you are sorry not because of fear of punishment, but because "God is all good and deserving of all my love". Resolution not to sin come first, feelings are secondary. Meditation on the Passion will hp strengthen our resolve.


#6

When you go to confession, you are (supposed) to also make a firm resolve to avoid the sin(s) and amend your life. That does not mean you won't ever commit the sin again, but just that you are trying. One who goes to confession and says "I've done this or that and I'll do it again!" is not making a firm resolve to avoid the sin(s).

So, go to confession frequently. The sacraments are how you receive sanctifying grace - sharing in the life of God. The only way you'll ever beat sin is through this grace.


#7

Thanks all for your help and insight. I went to confession this morning and feel very much at peace. :extrahappy:


#8

[quote="pensmama87, post:7, topic:348650"]
Thanks all for your help and insight. I went to confession this morning and feel very much at peace. :extrahappy:

[/quote]

That is awesome! :thumbsup:


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.