I’ve recently emerged from a four month period of intense scrupulosity. Though God has given me inner peace, I haven’t been able to find a satisfying answer to this question, though now I am only considering it abstractly.
My question is this: how soon should you go to confession after having committed a mortal sin?
Most answers to the question seem to be something along the lines of “go at the next opportunity” or, “as soon as possible.” After all, you know neither the day nor the hour when you will die, and you will go to hell if you die unexpectedly. The problem I have is this, suppose you committed a sin at 2:30am: driving across town and banging down the door of the rectory at 3am groveling at the priests feet begging him to hear your confession would strike any reasonable person as pathological and obsessive, but it is “the next opportunity”. You’d do something similar if a mobster threatened to light you on fire, why wouldn’t you do it if you faced an eternal fire and you could die at any moment?
It seems like the Church wouldn’t want us to take the “bang down the door of the rectory at 3am” approach, but it still makes sense that you’d want to get to confession very quickly, because no inconvenience seems to great if eternal damnation is at stake :shrug: