Contrition for venial sins?


#1

Hello,

I have a bit of an addiction with a certain venial sin - several of them, actually. I recently went to confession to confess a certain mortal sin, as well as all my venial sins, of course. I felt imperfectly contrite for my mortal sin (that is, I felt bad for doing it not because I love God, but because I’m afraid of hell and I thought the sin repulsive). However, while I did feel bad for having done the venial sins on a conceptual level, I didn’t feel at all any desire to stop doing them (‘them’ being the venial sins I’m addicted to) - when I thought about removing the temptations or even not doing the sins in the future, everything in me yelled (and still yells, even as I type) “HECK, no.”

So, were my sins absolved, or some of them, or none at all? Can I recieve Holy Communion? I’d appreciate answers, and especially sources for these answers. I’ve searched high and low myself, but found nothing relevant.

Thank you all in advance for your help.


#2

You must refrain from communion only when in a state of mortal sin. You will receive absolution for your venial sins during Mass and receiving communion will strengthen you and it will help you in fighting them.


#3

So, even if I’m not really repentant for some of my venial sins as I do confession, then whatever mortal sins I confessed (given that I repented for all of them) are absolved?


#4

If at mass, you feel no particular contrition for venial sin when the penitential rite is conducted at the mass, you are approaching the table of The Lord in an unworthy state and you may want to consider not receiving.


#5

Pray and ask God to help you to grow closer to Him. In doing so, God will slowly do “spiritual surgery” with sin (venial and mortal) You will want to give up sin. Remember that venial sins can over time give way to more serious sin so be careful…that is why we must become more serious in our faith growing closer to our Lord or we could drift away from Him. We need each other to encourage one another in faith and love of God always.

My prayers for you,
mlz


#6

So is that a yes or a no to my question?

And I wasn’t aware of this. Am I not supposed to take Communion in a state of venial sin? It isn’t sacrilege or grave if I do so, however? I ask this because I’m a bit of an intellectual self-torturing type - if I take communion and I’m not sure about the state of my contrition, I’m going to go around in cycles of self-doubt and hypothetical guilt like a Dostoevsky protagoniist.


#7

It’s not the venial sin that is the issue, it is what you said was a lack of contrition. Lack of contrition is a sin in and of its self which is grave matter, but if you are unaware of it, or do not fail to show contrition intentionally, then it may not by definition be mortal sin.

You really need to talk to your priest or spiritual director for advice on this topic, because members of the laity on this website can not give you a definitive answer.


#8

Just so you know, there is perfect and imperfect contrition. Imperfect contrition is contrition because you fear eternal punishment, perfect if you repent because you offend God most of all. AFAIK imperfect contrition is enough for forgiveness through confession. But we never know for sure, in fact we don’t know for sure whether stealing, lying, gossipping, etc, are venial sins, so it’s good to have perfect contrition at all times after we’ve sinned. And it’s good that you confess all your sins before communion. I was taught to do this.


#9

From what I’ve learned, that is called ‘attachment to sin’; we enjoy the sin. Imperfect contrition seems to go along with attachment to sin (see above post for definition of imperfect/perfect contrition).

We do not always plan to sin, but we need to make better plans NOT to sin (for me, avoiding the occasion/near-occasion of sin). If being drunk is my sin, then I should avoid places where I can drink, so as to avoid that occasion/near-occasion, especially if the drinking leads to other sins. I do enjoy drinking, but being drunk is not something I should do.


#10

yes venial sins we are sorry for can be forgiven in many ways…but the word “absolution” would not be the proper term there. Just a note.


#11
  1. Note that contrition need not involve any “feeling”. It is not about feeling in essence but our will and the grace of God. Though feeling contrite is good of course…it is better. But feelings are not under our direct command…

  2. Contrition with purpose of amendment for venial sins need not be as it must be with mortal. With venial sin one might for example resolve to work more at lessening a frequent daily venial sin -that sort of thing.

  3. One need not abstain from Holy Communion if one has venial sins. We struggle with venial sins all the time - but yet are “saints” that is “living in Christ” in a state of grace! Venial sins are also called “daily sins” for a reason. And for such we pray “forgive us our trespasses…” in the Lord Prayer (hopefully daily). But yes should seek to be by grace more and more holy - to ride ourselves more and more of our venial sins - to be more free in the life of Charity and Virtue - to Follow Christ and be more the saints he makes us to be and calls us to be.

  4. Frequent Confession and Frequent Holy Communion are very important for just that!

Feel free to PM if I need to elaborate any.


#12

Such would not really be correct here. One is not “approaching the table of The Lord in an unworthy state” if one does not “feel contrite” for a venial sin or even if one has not been contrite for a venial sin. It is of course though better to be contrite. And “lack of contrition” for a venial sin is not grave matter.

I will follow with more in the next post.


#13
  1. Note that contrition need not involve any “feeling”. It is not about feeling in essence but our will and the grace of God. Though feeling contrite is good of course…it is better. But feelings are not under our direct command…

  2. Contrition with purpose of amendment for venial sins need not be as it must be with mortal. With venial sin one might for example resolve to work more at lessening a frequent daily venial sin -that sort of thing.

  3. One need not abstain from Holy Communion if one has venial sins. We struggle with venial sins all the time - but yet are “saints” that is “living in Christ” in a state of grace! Venial sins are also called “daily sins” for a reason. And for such we pray “forgive us our trespasses…” in the Lord Prayer (hopefully daily). But yes should seek to be by grace more and more holy - to ride ourselves more and more of our venial sins - to be more free in the life of Charity and Virtue - to Follow Christ and be more the saints he makes us to be and calls us to be.

  4. Frequent Confession and Frequent Holy Communion are very important for just that!

Feel free to PM if I need to elaborate any…


#14
  1. Note that contrition need not involve any “feeling”. It is not about feeling in essence but our will and the grace of God. Though feeling contrite is good of course…it is better. But feelings are not under our direct command…

  2. Contrition with purpose of amendment for venial sins need not be as it must be with mortal. With venial sin one might for example resolve to work more at lessening a frequent daily venial sin -that sort of thing.

  3. One need not abstain from Holy Communion if one has venial sins. We struggle with venial sins all the time - but yet are “saints” that is “living in Christ” in a state of grace! Venial sins are also called “daily sins” for a reason. And for such we pray “forgive us our trespasses…” in the Lord Prayer (hopefully daily). But yes should seek to be by grace more and more holy - to ride ourselves more and more of our venial sins - to be more free in the life of Charity and Virtue - to Follow Christ and be more the saints he makes us to be and calls us to be.

  4. Frequent Confession and Frequent Holy Communion are very important for just that!

Feel free to PM if I need to elaborate any…


#15

The problem I would have here is one of the cumulative effects of a venial sin. Say one considers it a venial sin to steal small items from his employer or the desks of his fellow classmates. First of all, are they all really venial sins? What if it ends up another student’s failure or draw the ire of his employer or have other unintended consequences? Do we then decide in hindsight that it was a grave matter? Or even if this doesn’t occur daily theft of small items procured over time can be a lot of pens and paper at home, which if happened only once, might be considered very grave matter? (The one-time may actually be easier to forgive.) Seems like if someone robs an old lady of $1 it may not seem grave but robbing a bank of $1 may very well get you a ride to the local police station (at least). Yet doesn’t one end up feeling guilty enough to confess the latter instead of the former?

Point is I think there is more to certain sins than putting some subjective feel for the gravity. The same act can have two different consequences but should that decide whether the act itself is venial or mortal in retrospect? I’ll leave that up to theologians; in the meantime I think it’s probably better to confess all the sins and have as much “sorrow” for all of them. Almost all actions (or omissions) have consequences.


#16

(without getting into all the ideas there - ones confessor can assist one --nor do I wish to enter into such here)

Sure some grave matters can be “carried out slowly” like one intends to steal a $1000 and takes $5 day so not be be caught. The person already committed mortal sin -having the needed knowledge and consent). So we are not talking about venial sins there.

What I noted regarding venial sins remains the case.


#17

So what kind of “venial” sin can’t be constructed the same way per your example? Little tidbits of gossip can eventually lead into destroying a person’s character. Little white lies can over time lead to something very damaging. Etc. Maybe the original intent is not to steal the $1000 but some lesser amount but at what point is the mortal sin established? To someone living in a rich environment, a million dollars may seem trivial. To someone living in a poor environment, $1 can mean the difference of a meal or not.

I don’t think there’s a clear distinction between venial and mortal sin in these cases. Your argument presupposes that the venial sin is believed to be a venial sin. And I’m saying one does not know that for sure.


#18

I gave an example.


#19

The person stole 5$. And he needs to make restitution for such.


#20

In order to commit a mortal sin one needs grave matter, full knowledge and deliberate consent.

If one is lacking in the knowledge or consent - even with that which contains a grave matter - a* venial sin* is committed.

Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

  1. When does one commit a mortal sin?

1855-1861
1874

One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.

  1. When does one commit a venial sin?

1862-1864
1875

One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity and manifests a disordered affection for created goods. It impedes the progress of a soul in the exercise of the virtues and in the practice of moral good. It merits temporal punishment which purifies.

vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html

More detail

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm#IV


As to particular cases - a confessor can assist.


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