When go to confession, you can say the act of contrition before or after the confession quietly, is that correct?

If you don’t confess all your sins, if you just choose a couple or if you don’t want to mention something, all your sins will still be forgiven, right?


The priest will tell you when to make your act of contrition. It is even on the wall in our confessional so that you know what to say. I always say it aloud in the confessional after saying my sins but before recieving absolution I think.


Some confessors will ask you to recite it after you confess, and before the absolution.

If the sin is, or could be, “mortal” you must mention it.


If you deliberately do not confess one or more mortal sins then the entire Confession is invalid and you are not absolved (i.e. not forgiven).

As for the act of contrition it would normally be said during or after Confession but of course anyone can additionally make an act of contrition anytime daily if they wish.


I like this example …

Story of a Bad Confession
Johnny has four mortal sins. He goes to Confession. He tell three, but is ashamed of the other. Johnny comes out with FIVE mortal sins.
And no matter how often Johnny goes to Confession after this, no sin will ever be forgiven until he tells the one he deliberately left out. As often as he goes to Confession without telling this sin, all his Confessions will be bad. And if he goes to Communion, this will be Sacrilege too.

… and this image (as they say, one picture is worth a thousand words) …
In the picture above are the five steps to the reception of the Sacrament of Penance. Think of these steps slowly and carefully. Don’t rush. Exact words are not important, but each step must be climbed.


Jack would be proud… LOL



This is from the Baltimore Catechism.


Then, is masturbation a mortal sin?


It is gravely disordered, which meets the first requirement of a mortal sin.

[quote=] Offenses against chastity
2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.
2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."138 “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."139
To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.


It is gravely disordered, which meets the first requirement of a mortal sin.

So it’s not a mortal sin, it’s just bad, but not ad enough to be a mortal sin?


Not quite the right way to think of it. It is always grave matter though. There are three requirements in total for something to be a mortal sin:

  1. that it is grave matter (masturbation is always grave matter)
  2. that you know it is grave matter (which you didn’t until now, so it hasn’t been a mortal sin for you in the past) and
  3. that you freely consent to do it anyway. That means if someone else forces or seriously pressures you to do it it’s not a mortal sin. And other circumstances can also mean lack of consent - a drug addict in the grip of their addiction is much less likely to freely consent to taking drugs, for example.

Finally - if in doubt it’s best to act as if it is a mortal sin, that is don’t receive communion, do make an act of contrition and do confess it as soon as you can.




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