Can a soul experience remission of sin even before confession?

A quote from Saint Faustina’s diary:

In the seventh hour I felt relief as the soul experienced interiorly the remission of its sin, although it had not yet gone to confession.

Sure. God is not bound by the sacraments.

Absolutely. If he or she has perfect contrition (I.e. is sorry for their sins because they love God and is sorry for offending Him as opposed to being sorry for their sins because they are afraid of hell). They must also go to Confession at the first possible opportunity.

Under normal circumstances, a person cannot receive Communion until they have confessed their mortal sins to a priest and been absolved, even if they have perfect contrition.

Why do we need to confess our mortal sins to a priest if perfect contrition has already removed our sins?

So we don’t fool ourselves. To me it is a way to hold myself accountable and acts as a deterrent to sin.


“Fool ourselves” means we thought our sins are gone?

The intention to confess is one of the conditions for perfect contrition.


No. It means “fool ourselves that we have perfect sorrow for our sins based fully on our love of God and contrition that we’ve offended Him.” Can you say with certainty that your love of God and contrition is perfect? If not, then you’re fooling yourself that you have ‘perfect contrition’.

@MockSock brings up an important point, though: perfect contrition only brings forgiveness if you intend to follow up with sacramental confession. So, even if you have perfect contrition, your sins are not forgiven if you don’t intend to go to confession. (And, how could you say that you intend to go, if you never go?)

BTW – one other possibility that no one’s mentioned: our venial sins are forgiven through prayer and the Eucharist.


Is sins of the flesh veniel sin?

That question is unanswerable, as it is phrased.

A sin that is grave is venial if it’s committed without either full knowledge of the seriousness of the sin or without deliberate consent.

A sin that is not grave is always venial.

So, a “sin of the flesh”, it seems, can be either venial or mortal, depending on the subjective considerations at hand.

I think what you’re asking is “if I commit a sin of the flesh, can I just pray and be forgiven?” The answer is “it depends.” But, why take a chance – just go to confession, and whether it’s venial or mortal, it’ll be forgiven!

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Yes, and were we really sorry and did we make a firm purpose of amendment. Plus we need the penance. It just seems to me too easy to say we are sorry, even perfectly, and move on. :love_you_gesture:

Because even though you are forgiven, you still need to be absolved. The two are not the same.

Further, you cannot know with certainty that you DID have perfect contrition. The Sacrament is certain. Even if your contrition was merely imperfect, the absolution takes care of all that with certainty.

The sacraments are for us, not God.

Prior to becoming Catholic I had committed a few sins that burdened me for YEARS. As a Protestant it seemed like no matter how I begged God for forgiveness I never felt forgiven. Then as a non-Christian agnostic I still struggled with forgiving myself and then when I became Catholic and received confession…

That moment was like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I FINALLY felt forgiven. Those sins were so thoroughly lifted from me that I now struggle to remember what they were (God is kind). After literally years of burden, I was free.

God can work outside the sacraments, yes, but they are a beautiful, wonderful gift for those of us who can receive them.

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Yes, this is an old teaching.

Remission occurs at the moment of contrition.

Jesus told the lepers, go show yourself to the priest. On the way, as they acted in obedience to Jesus, they were cured.

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Wait… pardon? That’s not what the Church teaches…! :thinking:

CCC 1452: When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible

Yes, if the person has made an act of perfect contrition. I found this link on how to obtain it on this forum: How to Obtain Perfect Contrition.

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Notice the caveats, though (which have already been brought up in this thread, of course):

  • only when contrition is perfect
  • only when the intent is to nevertheless receive the sacrament of reconciliation

Only in these cases can you make that claim, so I’m not sure you can just say “remission at the moment of contrition” without qualification… :wink:

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