How can I obtain true sorrow/contrition for my sins? Especially sins of lust, gluttony,etc etc…

If you are striving to obtain “perfect” contrition, it may be difficult at this time in your life. However, the sacrament of reconciliation allows that a person have “imperfect” contrition. The difference is in explained in the Catechism.


1451 Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.”

1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.

1453 The contrition called “imperfect” (or “attrition”) is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin’s ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.

Having imperfect contrition, which sounds like where you are now, will remit these offenses. The important thing to remember is to keep going to confession to obtain the special graces you need in order to overcome them, and hopefully attain one day to “perfect” contrition due to intense sorrow for having offended the goodness of God. That form of deep sorrow will ultimately enable one to conquer completely. :wink:

I can’t really add anything to what Sirach2 said, however, just my 2c - perfect contrition is a gift from God, and as Sirach2 exactly said in their post - go to confession as often as you can and confess all sins you are aware of. God will give you the graces and maybe the gift of perfect contrition. You cannot have remission of sins without the absolution in the sacrament. And always - pray for this gift of contrition. By yourself, you cannot do anything.

Yeah… So like st. Ignatious said… Contrition and gratitude are both gifts from God…just need to pray for them… I like to honor the 5 wounds of Jesus everyday…

Pray, pray, pray, especially for contrition and for fear of the Lord (fear of offending Him). Think about what our sins did to our innocent loving Lord Jesus Christ during His cruel Passion, and resolve never more to hurt him by any willful or deliberate sin. Make frequent acts of love and contrition throughout your day. God bless you.

Just to clarify something, I’d like to quote from

…as Fr. Hardon makes clear, [perfect contrition] is not a frenzied act of feeling but the** will to love God primarily for His goodness**, and not from fear or lesser motives, though they may coexist with the predominant motive. There is no way of knowing with an absolute certainty if one has made a perfect act of contrition, but all that is required is the standard of all human action, moral certainty. If you can say an act of contrition in these or similar words** truthfully, intending it,** then I think you would have moral certainty.

Colin then provides a standard wording of an act of perfect contrition.

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