Confession


#1

Is wanting to receive communion a form on contrition when going to confession? So if I go to confession so that I don't miss out on recieving communion on Sunday, would that be valid?

The reason I ask this is I committed a sin, thought that it was of grave matter, and went to confession the next day so that I wouldn't miss out on recieving Jesus. I realise now that it was most likely not a mortal sin, however I still feel guilty for some reason.


#2

[quote="gcm101, post:1, topic:300577"]
Is wanting to receive communion a form on contrition when going to confession? So if I go to confession so that I don't miss out on recieving communion on Sunday, would that be valid?

The reason I ask this is I committed a sin, thought that it was of grave matter, and went to confession the next day so that I wouldn't miss out on recieving Jesus. I realise now that it was most likely not a mortal sin, however I still feel guilty for some reason.

[/quote]

To commit a mortal sin three conditions must be satisfied:

  • grave matter
  • full knowledge
  • full consent of the will

In short if you know the Church teaches something is a sin of grave matter and you still go ahead and commit the act then that is a mortal sin.

However, if the sin is only of venial matter but you thought it was of grave matter then that satisfies the grave matter condition and if you go ahead and commit the act then you have committed a mortal sin.


#3

[quote="thistle, post:2, topic:300577"]
To commit a mortal sin three conditions must be satisfied:

  • grave matter
  • full knowledge
  • full consent of the will

In short if you know the Church teaches something is a sin of grave matter and you still go ahead and commit the act then that is a mortal sin.

However, if the sin is only of venial matter but you thought it was of grave matter then that satisfies the grave matter condition and if you go ahead and commit the act then you have committed a mortal sin.

[/quote]

Thank you for your reply, however I believe you misunderstood my question.

If I go to confession because I do want to receieve Jesus in communion in an unworthy matter, is that contrition/attrition? Is that enough to make the sacrament valid?


#4

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have always been taught that there are two types of contrition, imperfect and perfect. Obviously, perfect is solely based on love of God, and sorrow for having offended Him. Imperfect is just as valid, but is based on fear of hell. Both qualify as contrition. So I feel that your reason is a very good one indeed! :) Hope that helps you.


#5

[quote="thistle, post:2, topic:300577"]
However, if the sin is only of venial matter but you thought it was of grave matter then that satisfies the grave matter condition and if you go ahead and commit the act then you have committed a mortal sin.

[/quote]

That is not true. In order to constitute mortal sin, the matter MUST BE grave, as you yourself noted. That is not "must be thought of as possibly being grave", it must in and of itself be objectively grave. If someone pockets a piece of candy, that is not grave matter whether they think it is or not.

HOWEVER, to clarify: willful disobedience to God is ITSELF grave matter, so when you encounter this situation there IS mortal sin, even if pocketing a piece of candy remains itself only a venial sin. In effect, when someone thinks something which is venial matter is grave and does it anyway, they commit TWO sins: 1) the venial sin of stealing the candy and 2) the mortal sin of willful disobedience to God.


#6

[quote="gcm101, post:3, topic:300577"]
Thank you for your reply, however I believe you misunderstood my question.

If I go to confession because I do want to receieve Jesus in communion in an unworthy matter, is that contrition/attrition? Is that enough to make the sacrament valid?

[/quote]

Yes, that is a form of imperfect contrition and is valid enough to drive one to confession.


#7

gcm101, you made me think hard this morning:thumbsup: I think that what you are asking is if the fact that you want to go to communion but you need to go to confession first in order to receive is that a good enough reason to go to confession. I will say that if you feel you can not go to communion until you go to confession, then that is a good reason to be going and furthermore, if you are in a state of mortal sin a necessity before you go to communion. Frankly, the process of confession is so healing that you should go and ask this question in the confessional as the priest would be the one to give you the best answer after he hears what you need to confess. God bless you.


#8

Thanks very much for all the answers. I was worried I was being selfish in some way by going to confession, just to go to communion. I still feel guilty about this however, because I didn't need to go (as it was not grave matter) and I think the priest may have implied that I didn't need to go again in such a short amount of time since my last confession. I think this may have made me feel bad about it, therefore doubting the validity of the sacrament. Of course I wouldn't had gone if I didn't love the Lord, but how can I get over the guilt factor? If i still think it was invalid, should I confess this at confession tomorrow? Thanks


#9

[quote="Actaeon, post:5, topic:300577"]
That is not true. In order to constitute mortal sin, the matter MUST BE grave, as you yourself noted. That is not "must be thought of as possibly being grave", it must in and of itself be objectively grave. If someone pockets a piece of candy, that is not grave matter whether they think it is or not.

HOWEVER, to clarify: willful disobedience to God is ITSELF grave matter, so when you encounter this situation there IS mortal sin, even if pocketing a piece of candy remains itself only a venial sin. In effect, when someone thinks something which is venial matter is grave and does it anyway, they commit TWO sins: 1) the venial sin of stealing the candy and 2) the mortal sin of willful disobedience to God.

[/quote]

That is not true.

The matter actually has to be grave or thought to be grave. Both satisfy the first condition for a mortal sin to be committed.
If a person commits a sin which is really venial in matter but they think it is of grave matter and they go ahead anyway and commit the act then that is a mortal sin.


#10

Can you provide a church reference that states that the first condition of mortal sin is that the matter must be either grave or thought to be grave?

I certainly find no such reference in the catechism, which clearly states:

1854 Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. The distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture,129 became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.

Especially when the specific gravity of pocketing a piece of candy is not increased simply by the fact that one thinks that it is mortal (unless, as I said, there is a SEPARATE sin of willful disobedience to God involved). To wit: the impact of stealing a piece of candy is unchanged based on whether or not the person thinks it is grave matter, thus the impact is NOT grave (objectively) and, not being grave, the sin of pocketing the candy will ALWAYS be venial, regardless of whether or not someone believes it to be so.

The Catechism further goes on to state:

1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”

The Catechism makes NO provision that a sin THOUGHT to be grave matter becomes grave simply because a person THOUGHT it was grave matter. The condition is that the object actually IS grave matter.

I think, however, I sense where your confusion is coming from. You might be thinking of where the Catechism says:

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

At first glance, that APPEARS to indicate that willful sin is automatically grave. HOWEVER, what this paragraph addresses is how ignorance LESSENS the gravity of a particular sin… not increases it. In other words, when we rank a mortal sin such as missing mass, the person who was ignorant of the sunday obligation is less culpable than the person who is under social pressure not to go, who is less culpable than the person who feels they don’t have time to go, who is less culpable than the person who simply doesn’t feel like going, who is less culpable than the person who doesn’t go to spite God.

But those are ways of determining who is LESS culpable within actions partaining to a particular grave matter.

No such provision whatsoever is given to determine that venial sin is MORE than venial when someone believes that it might be grave matter. The only provision is that ignorance of the gravity of a matter might LESSEN the culpability for acts involving grave matter.

In other words, the Catechism offers no such teaching that a venial sin becomes mortal simply because someone believes that the matter may have been grave when it was not.

So, back to my original question: if the Catechism offers no such statement, can you produce an official document of the church that DOES support that position?


#11

I don't have time to offer a long response to this, but, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "An erring conscience binds." (ST I-II, Q. 19, A. 5c). Every faithful Catholic moral theologian that I have ever read agrees with this.

Conscience can err in one of two ways: it can judge something to be good that is not, and it can judge something to be bad that is. In the former, that type of ignorance can be either invincible (meaning there is no moral culpability) or vincible (meaning there is moral culpability).

But, suppose someone believed something to be bad that was in fact either morally neutral or even morally good. In such a case, the individual is still bound to follow his/her conscience.

In short, even if ones conscience is poorly formed, that person is still bound to follow it. So, if I think that eating tomatoes is a sin, and I freely choose to eat tomatoes, then for me there is a sin, simply because I have acted contrary to what I judge to be the good. It makes no difference that eating tomatoes is morally neutral. What matters is that I have chosen to act in accord with what I determine to be an objective moral good.

See CCC 1776-1802 for more information.


#12

[quote="buc_fan33, post:11, topic:300577"]
I don't have time to offer a long response to this, but, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "An erring conscience binds." (ST I-II, Q. 19, A. 5c). Every faithful Catholic moral theologian that I have ever read agrees with this.

Conscience can err in one of two ways: it can judge something to be good that is not, and it can judge something to be bad that is. In the former, that type of ignorance can be either invincible (meaning there is no moral culpability) or vincible (meaning there is moral culpability).

But, suppose someone believed something to be bad that was in fact either morally neutral or even morally good. In such a case, the individual is still bound to follow his/her conscience.

In short, even if ones conscience is poorly formed, that person is still bound to follow it. So, if I think that eating tomatoes is a sin, and I freely choose to eat tomatoes, then for me there is a sin, simply because I have acted contrary to what I judge to be the good. It makes no difference that eating tomatoes is morally neutral. What matters is that I have chosen to act in accord with what I determine to be an objective moral good.

See CCC 1776-1802 for more information.

[/quote]

Yes, and that is the basis for why I say that when someone commits a venial sin but thinks that it was mortal before doing the act, that they incur TWO different sins, one of which is venial and one of which is mortal.

The first sin is venial, such as stealing the piece of candy, and it is venial because its gravity is not great. The second sin is the willful disobedience to God, and willful disobedience to God is itself grave matter.

So just as you say, if one believes that eating tomatoes is a sin, but chooses to do it anyway, they incur sin... but not the mortal sin of eating a tomato, that would be ludicrous! They incur the mortal sin of willful disobedience to God, while incurring NO sin for eating the tomato (assuming that they owned the tomato and in objective reality had every right to eat it)


#13

[quote="Actaeon, post:12, topic:300577"]
Yes, and that is the basis for why I say that when someone commits a venial sin but thinks that it was mortal before doing the act, that they incur TWO different sins, one of which is venial and one of which is mortal.

The first sin is venial, such as stealing the piece of candy, and it is venial because its gravity is not great. The second sin is the willful disobedience to God, and willful disobedience to God is itself grave matter.

So just as you say, if one believes that eating tomatoes is a sin, but chooses to do it anyway, they incur sin... but not the mortal sin of eating a tomato, that would be ludicrous! They incur the mortal sin of willful disobedience to God, while incurring NO sin for eating the tomato (assuming that they owned the tomato and in objective reality had every right to eat it)

[/quote]

Using eating tomatoes as an example is ridiculous to the extreme. Come back down to earth.

There is nothing complicated about this.

If an act is sin is of grave matter and a person knows this then they commit a mortal sin by going ahead with the act.
If an act is a sin is of grave matter but a person does not know this then going ahead and committing the act does not constitute a mortal sin.
If an act is a sin of venial matter but a person thinks it is of grave matter then that satisfies the grave matter condition and the person commits a mortal sin by going ahead with the act.


#14

[quote="Actaeon, post:5, topic:300577"]
That is not true. In order to constitute mortal sin, the matter MUST BE grave, as you yourself noted. That is not "must be thought of as possibly being grave", it must in and of itself be objectively grave. If someone pockets a piece of candy, that is not grave matter whether they think it is or not.

.

[/quote]

No, moral theologists have stated that if you think something is grave, if it is not grave, but commit it anyway, it is still a mortal sin as you show you were willing to commit a grave sin anyway. Such is also true if you intend to commit a grave sin, but something happens that prevents you from doing so. For example, you intend to rob a bank, but before you do, a police car drives past and scares you away.


#15

[quote="thistle, post:13, topic:300577"]
Using eating tomatoes as an example is ridiculous to the extreme. Come back down to earth.

[/quote]

Hey, don't look at me, I didn't come up with that example. I merely responded to another person's post.

If an act is sin is of grave matter and a person knows this then they commit a mortal sin by going ahead with the act.
If an act is a sin is of grave matter but a person does not know this then going ahead and committing the act does not constitute a mortal sin.
If an act is a sin of venial matter but a person thinks it is of grave matter then that satisfies the grave matter condition and the person commits a mortal sin by going ahead with the act.

I'm going to assume that you scrolled to the bottom of the thread and just read my post to someone else assuming that it was my response to you, and that you missed this post.

In that post, I asked you to back your statement from church teaching, since the Catechism apparently disagrees with what you have tried to teach here. You did not do that, but merely restated your position... which is less than convincing evidence to support a particular belief.


#16

[quote="thistle, post:13, topic:300577"]
Using eating tomatoes as an example is ridiculous to the extreme. Come back down to earth.

There is nothing complicated about this.

If an act is sin is of grave matter and a person knows this then they commit a mortal sin by going ahead with the act.
If an act is a sin is of grave matter but a person does not know this then going ahead and committing the act does not constitute a mortal sin.
If an act is a sin of venial matter but a person thinks it is of grave matter then that satisfies the grave matter condition and the person commits a mortal sin by going ahead with the act.

[/quote]

I'm sorry you didn't like my example. I don't mean for this to in any way come across as condescending, but are you a trained moral theologian? Again, because of the nature of an anonymous message board, that probably sounds more condescending that it is. I am really asking that...are you a trained moral theologian, or have you at least studied the matter formally, even if just one or two classes?


#17

[quote="buc_fan33, post:16, topic:300577"]
I'm sorry you didn't like my example. I don't mean for this to in any way come across as condescending, but are you a trained moral theologian? Again, because of the nature of an anonymous message board, that probably sounds more condescending that it is. I am really asking that...are you a trained moral theologian, or have you at least studied the matter formally, even if just one or two classes?

[/quote]

Are you suggesting that only trained theologians know what the Church teaches?


#18

[quote="thistle, post:17, topic:300577"]
Are you suggesting that only trained theologians know what the Church teaches?

[/quote]

No. Not at all. That's why I said, twice in my post, that my intention may come across as disingenuous, even though it wasn't, given the nature of an anonymous message board.


#19

some times i feel that I've treated confession lightly and committed the same mortal sins again and felt lously.

what should i do ?


#20

[quote="Singapore_Nick, post:19, topic:300577"]
some times i feel that I've treated confession lightly and committed the same mortal sins again and felt lously.

what should i do ?

[/quote]

Hi Nick,

You should start a new thread so we can discuss it without derailing this one...

Thistle,

still awaiting your response to my last post... are you researching and I should wait or should I stop checking this thread?


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