Confession and Contrition


I know that for your confession to be valid, you must have contrition (perfect contrition or imperfect), but do you have to an intent to sin no more, or do you have to an intent to not sin mortally anymore?


I believe that it would be best to have the intent to not sin either venial or mortal, but others would know more than I and you may merely need to have the intent to not sin mortally.


In terms of mortal sin – it is a firm resolution not to commit mortal sin.

In terms of venial sin-- such is a different matter.

We though-- “saints” – struggle with “daily sins” and the Church actually teaches that outside of a special grace from God – one cannot entirely avoid such.

So lets take a person who frequently sins venially via intemperance – his amendment could even take the form of at least working on such – “so there are fewer such sins”.


Wanting to sin is wrong you should never want to harm the relation between you and God. If you sin you do just that. Wanting to commit your sin is a condition to make it a mortal one. Also Jesus wants a completely penitent sinner not one that goes “I follow you Lord but not if I don’t really have to.”

You have to try and stop sinning completely. Also my priest told me that to rationalize a sin as being ok to do because it is venial is a pretty big sin against God. He said it would be like being in a friendship where you ask for help and they always help. But you only do things for them when they threaten you with the end of the friendship and the lose of the benefits being in that relationship have.

Therefore you’re being selfish with God


You have to have the intent not to sin again.

Think about it... If your son apologized for being mildly disrespectful when you KNEW FOR CERTAIN (and God knows for certain) that he fully INTENDED to be disrespectful again in the exact same way, would his sorrow be real? Would you forgive him? Certainly not! To do so would be a sin against justice and would do nothing to repair the damage to your relationship, however slight. You would always be ready and willing, even eager, to do so, but until he expressed sincere sorrow, it would make no sense to forgive him.

If, on the other hand, you KNEW FOR CERTAIN that he was genuinely sorry, and also knew for certain that he would, through weakness, do it again at some point in the future, you would probably forgive him.

It's the same with sin, and it doesn't matter if it's venial or mortal sin. The principle still holds. You cannot be forgiven for any sin for which you do not have true sorrow. It doesn't have to be perfect sorrow because we're not perfect. But it does have to be genuine. You can't fool God.


Great point Matt Collins!

Inquiringperson you see like Matt and I both brought up our relationship with God is exactly that. You need to be good and honest to people your in relationships with.



See my post above.

I would refer readers to the book “Frequent Confession” by Benedict Baur OSB

and other works on the subject.


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