Confession and Motives

If a person realized after confession that they confessed because of natural motives, would it invalidate the confession or not? To be sincerely sorry for our sins, do we have to be mainly sorry for our sins because of dread of hell and loss of heaven or can we have natural motives be the main reasons and have the other reasons too, or can they be equally the same.

Any desire to sin no more, whatever the motive, is acceptable. If you have specific concerns about a previous confession, it is best to ask your priest next time. Asking for advice on the internet exposes you to mixed answers which are not always applicable to your circumstances. You might also ask “Catholic Answers” directly through the “Ask and Apologist” to get expert advice in a confidential setting.

However things workout, I wish you to find peace and to have a Merry Christmas!

Hello Eric67.

Great. Now go again and again and again until you get it perfect. There aren’t many of us who actually make perfect confessions, but the trying to consistently is what counts. The validity of the Sacrament isn’t contingent upon perfect contrition. You will have many such experiences the more often you confess. You’ll learn by doing. The grace you receive helps you not sin in the future. Expecting too much too soon from a single confession isn’t wise. Grace grows on you. Just keep going and you’ll get better at it. Get yoruself a good little book on the subject too. I recommend a book called The Sinner’s Guide by Venerable Louis of Granada. It will help. God bless.


Yes, the advice I got was just keep going to confession and work on identifying my “root sin”, the one I always confess, year after year… Eventually with repeated confession and God’s great mercy and grace, I will truly “sin no more and avoid the near occasion of sin”.

Scott Hahn’s book “Lord Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession” is also excellent.

you have four posts, almost in a row, about confession. I can understand that you may be worried, but this forum is not equipped to answer your questions. You need to speak with your pastor or another priest about them. It may just be your age, or it may be a problem of scrupulosity, but in either case, posters here are not equipped to help you with these questions.

What is a “natural motive”?

He means remorse or contrition moved by natural consequences, such as behind-the-back comments by his classmates, etc., rather than a supernatural motive such as fear of hell.

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