Confession - could we still be tainted?

Hi everyone, I appreciate your time and effort in advance!

I am confused as to the extent of pardoned sins in Confession. I have many questions, because I regard salvation as the utmost priority when it comes to living out my life. With the ultimate goal of God’s presence in Heaven, I consider the following heavy questions on the way that I live! It is very difficult to even begin when there are so many conflicting views or teachings, and the extent of one’s own heart when it comes to committing sin, or asking for forgiveness for such things.

My inquiry boils down to this:
After Confession, are we completely forgiven of all sin, of all nature?

If not -

**Are all venial sins forgiven after Confession, regardless of mention? Or can they still be tied to the soul?

Do mortal sins have to be individually and directly mentioned to be forgiven?

What failings in Confession cause these sins to remain with us?

Can forgiveness be obtained, in any way, outside the confessional?

To what extent do the partial and plenary indulgences forgive/absolve?**

I understand the criteria of mortal sin, and such teachings as the time spent (and its extent) in Purgatory with venial sin(s) still associated with us. I apologise in advance if any of the above is incorrect in teaching - I seek truth! :slight_smile:
I also hope that God’s mercy goes beyond any human teaching, and that the hope of God’s presence may be more possible than the boundaries we have in our world.

Thank you for your time and consideration, may the Spirit be with you! :slight_smile:

Yes, if you make an honest and good confession (meaning you went in with the intent to change your life and amend yourself out of love for Christ, that you have some sorrow for having offended such an awesome God, and if you don’t purposely hold something that you known you should be mentioning in confession back…than you can be assured that you are forgiven for ALL of your sins up to that point, are put back in the state of grace and friendship with God and are given special grace to strengthen yourself not to sin again.

all veinial sins are forgiven regardless of mention (however, it’s a good practice to mention what you can remember…especially those that will get to your conscience and cause you to question or doubt later.

all KNOWN mortal sins have to be mention by number and kind…meaning the priest doesent need a story… he simply needs to know the extent to which you have sinned and how persistant you’ve been in that sin. Think of talking about a sickness to a doctor…the doc needs to know what’s going on, how intense it is and to what degree or how many flareups you’re having. So for instance: masturbation is usually considered a mortal sin… I would tell the priest “I have commited the sin of masturbation and have looked at pornography on the internet once in the past week”… I told the priest the sin, offered the entire full extent of the sin and told him what kind of problem I have "its a once a week problem, OR a daily issue for me OR I rarely if ever fall into this sin.

There is no failings with the sacrament whatsoever… the failing comes from the one asking forgiveness: The penitent is human, lives in time (unlike eternity) where they are able to change their mind and make decisions in different circumstances over and over. The human has a fallen nature…although it is redeemed and growing and trying…sin, because of that fallen nature is sometimes appealing to the soul.

When we go to confession we need to go in having a firm amendment at that point in our lifes history to be willing to change ourselves and “sin no more”…once we walk out… we are once again at the mercy of both grace AND temptation! It’s ok…it’s part of our nature and Jesus understands! Think of confession like this: You are walking and you get a splinter in your foot… confession is able to remove that splinter …to the extent your soul is trusting and open and ready to change … that new open wounds can be cleaned and bandaged and givien the most optimal healing environment…but when we leave confession… a wound remains! (there still remains…although weakened! addiction, a possible feeling, a possible connection to a sin). These things are fixed by daily taking up ones cross and following Christ and trusting in His grace and power to heal you…it’s not fully something we can do for ourselves. We can do what we do and trust in God…it’s His victory!

Yes, forgivness can be obtained outside of the physical confessional. When we use the sacrament of confession we don’t need perfect contrition. One who asks for forgivness outside of the confessional specifically when dealing with mortal sin… must have what is called perfect contrition: meaning you are sorry not because of fearing hell or because you want something from god…but because for His sake ONLY…100% sorry because you have offended a loving God and intend to change your life accordingly. The church is VERY supportive of it’s members talking to God personally…this is a good thing! It’s part of our supported personal relationship with God. HOWEVER…Christ DID institute the sacrament for a reason! He knew how we’re made, what we need and HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING!..Sin is not just a personal thing…we as members of the body of Christ …Sin is also a communal thing…it affects the other members around us!. This is partially why God also asked us to seek out the public representative (the priest) to ask for forgivness not only from God but also on behalf of all the people. You are not only forgiven by God, but also welcomed back into the community of the believers of Christ. Also, the sacrament offers things you may not receive outside of the sacrament (again, Jesus knew what we humans needed)… we get to actually hear and are confirmed by the priests authority that we are forgiven and absolved from ALL our sins…this is very powerful! and is often needed to begin our healing. Also, we are sometimes given spiritual council and advice by a spiritual leader about our personal spiritual issues, we are humbled in the sacrament (therefore attacking our pride where ALL sin begins)…through talking to a stranger about our shortcomings and weakness, also…we are given grace to strengthen ourselves the next time we’re tempted and usually given a penance we are to submit to out of obedience to better ourselves. Most importantly…confession is proven to work! ALL of the past saints went to confession on a regular basis (often daily)…the proof is in the pudding! So if we have the chance …confession is always a good choice! It’s also how God set up things in the old testament… you, like now…went to the priest to be forgiven…whenever people were forgiven or healed when Jesus was around…he always told them to show themselves to the priests…it’s the same now! Go to the priest.:thumbsup:
As catholics who have the fullness of revelation and the gifts of the sacraments…we are obligated to use the safety of the confessional if we commit mortal sin.

As to partial and plenary indulgences… these are prescriptions by the church (suggestions to help heal and build up your soul under the power in the churches God-given authority) that if completed under certain circumstance) can remit the PUNISHMENT connected to sin either partially (partial indulgence) or completely (plenary indulgence). All sin leaves a wound…and although we are forgiven in confession or speaking with God…we still, as we are painfully aware of…harmed by sin and in need of rehabilitation and healing (this is the “punishment” I speak of)…either we go through it here on earth or in purgatory after death. Indulgences make up for our wounds and help in the healing:

An indulgence may be plenary or partial, according as it remits all or only part of the temporal punishment due to sin.[clarification needed][15][16] To gain a plenary indulgence, a person must exclude all attachment to sin of any kind, even venial sin, must perform the work or say the prayer for which the indulgence is granted, and must also fulfil the three conditions of sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and praying for the intentions of the Pope.[17] The minimum condition for gaining a partial indulgence is to be contrite in heart: on this condition, a Catholic who performs the work or recites the prayer in question is granted, through the Church, remission of temporal punishment of the same worth as is obtained by the person’s own action.[18]

One example of a plenary indulgence granted by the church is to pray piously before the blessed sacrament for a half an hour…if you do this, are also not attached to sin of any kind, receive communion, pray for the popes intention and make a good sacramental confession…you will be in the state you were in when you were first baptized! You will owe NOTHING for your sins and will have a clean slate before God and God will make up at that very moment for anything you spiritually lack! AMAZING is Gods mercy! And he offers it daily to us! You can also offer certain plenary indulgences for those in purgatory!

Wow! :slight_smile:

Thank you for such a rich and informative answer, thanks so much for your time! A lot of things have now been cleared up for me and I feel a huge amount of weight and stress has been lifted! I very much look forward to the next opportunity to be as close to Christ as possible! I will certainly be more relaxed the next time I am in the confessional!
You will be in my prayers, and anyone else who has glanced over my chicken scrawl!

Thanks again! Our God is Great! :slight_smile:

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