Avoiding Cars on the way to confession?

hey guys,

I want to know if this is considered OCD or some sort of wrong way to think here concerning my spirituality,…

when I am not in a state of grace I plan for confession at the earliest available time… and when I have a choice between taking an automobile or a bike… I choose the bike because I know that the chances of me getting into a fatal car accidents are less…

is this considered OCD? or am I thinking wrongly here about gods grace to forgive? the only reason I do this is becausei don’t want to die without being in a state of grace… so I do anything to do so

Yeah, it sounds a little OCD to me. Besides, bicycling may not be safer than driving, anyway - I’ll forego the statistics. The important thing to remember is that God knows your intent and you won’t go to hell if your intention was to go to Confession but were prevented due to death on the way there.

I second Mary Ellen but think it’s scrupulosity, not necessarily OCD. You should talk to your confessor about being overly scrupulous about such things. :slight_smile:

ok thanks guys

You’re theology is correct, but I think you’re being OCD. The odds of dying in any particular car or bike ride are so remote that I don’t think it really matters either way.

Catholic teaching is that the effects of confession can only be effected extrasacramentally by perfect contrition.

Yes, you are being very OCD. If you are on your way to Confession and die, God is not going to say “too bad, down you go”.

Your odds of surviving car–> bike are lots worse than surviving car --> car.

Catechism #1452-1453

God Himself is not bound by the sacraments.

Exactly, besides this, only God can know if anyone has made perfect contrition or not. This is why I advised the OP to talk to his confessor about his qualms.

Yet he has revealed how he works in many cases, such as in regards to perfect contrition.

Yes, He has given us certain “best practices” to give us the best chance of salvation, but He is all-powerful and infinitely merciful as well as being infinitely just. Do you think damning a guy to hell who was on his way to confession because he got hit by a bus at the last second is just or merciful? God loves us, He is not trying to trick us or keep us OUT of Heaven. He wants us all there with Him.

God doesn’t damn anyone, rather the damned damn themselves. If the guy is in a state of mortal sin and doesn’t have perfect contrition, then he will go to Hell. That is De fide


True, but only God can say who has had perfect contrition. The intention to confess–so much so that he is worried about dying on his way there–tells me he is sincere in his contrition. Whether or not God would see it as perfect is not up to us to say. We are not to live in fear but in hope. I too cannot see that God would send a contrite soul to hell on a technicality. Perhaps purgatory would be his destination since he was repentant and contrite.

It should be noted that contrition can be sincere without being perfect.

Certainly, but again, that is up to God to determine, not us. We can say all the right words and not truly be contrite or we can say no words and be truly repentant. This is where the Holy Spirit helps us–when we don’t know/can’t say what we would want to say.

Right. My point was simply that we shouldn’t say “God definately won’t allow a person in a certain situation to go to Hell” if the Church teaches that such a person could go to Hell.

True, but I don’t think anyone here was trying to say that. We’re trying to allay the fears of a scrupulous brother whose heart in the right place. It’s not like he was saying he won’t go to confession or he doesn’t see why he needs to go, etc. We’re saying that God is merciful and knows the intentions of the heart, and that’s all we’re saying. Again, the OP needs to talk to his confessor about his fears and his scrupulosity. We’re trying to encourage him to trust in God and not be afraid.

This is a subject that bothered me profusely as I was converting. It terrified me.

We can all potentially go to Hell. But God wants to save us, more than we can imagine. Fr. Vincent Serpa said in the Ask an Apologist section that if one makes the best act of contrition they can, they can trust in God’s mercy. Is this a sure way to Heaven? Of course not. But despair is not right either. God is merciful, loving, and wants us to trust Him. Read St. Faustina and St. Thérèse. It’s very comforting. Read about God’s love, think about it, and most importantly talk to Him about it. :slight_smile:

The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior,
Who will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
Who will sing joyfully because of you,
as on festival days. – Zephaniah 3:17-18 (NABRE).

A priest pointed that verse out to me last week and said, “Can you believe that? God singing because of us.” :slight_smile:

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