Do you have to keep repenting a specific mortal sin?


#1

Just wondering if you need to keep repenting a specific mortal sin or do you have to only repent it once and then it's forgiven forever?


#2

[quote="TheHolyTrinity9, post:1, topic:331062"]
Just wondering if you need to keep repenting a specific mortal sin or do you have to only repent it once and then it's forgiven forever?

[/quote]

Unless you continue or persist in a mortal sin and you have confessed and been absolved of the mortal sin, you need not confess it again. You might, however, just wish to mention it again in subsequent confessions if it's still something that bothers you.

Clinton


#3

I see thank you, I was just wondering since I have been hearing people to continuously confess the sin but I just wanted to double check for te serious sins.


#4

Once a sin is absolved it is gone. It's spiritual effects are washed away. (it's temporal effects must still be purged... that's what penance and reparation are for)

The Evil one attacks us by making us call to mind our past forgiven transgressions. He attacks us by warping our Guilt and turning it to Shame.

If a past sin which has been repented of, confessed and forgiven, continues to bother you then it is good to sit down with a priest and talk it through. This can be inside the confessional, or it can be in a session of Confidential Spiritual Direction. There is no need to re-confess in the Sacrament... in fact to do so is evidence of a lack of faith in the certainty of forgiveness in confession - a separate issue which needs to be discussed.

Let me give examples of Spiritual and temporal effects of sin.

I steal a TV. If I "repent" and confess, but it is still hangning on the wall of my living room, I have not truly repented, and the sin cannot be forgiven unless I actually repent and return the TV to it's rightfull owner. (even though to do so is risky).... It is acceptable to minimise the personal risk, by returning the goods anonymously or via a 3rd party. - but they must be returned.

When I repent, confess, and make reparation and penance: I am forgiven once I receive Absoloution (Subject to the reparation or penance that normally follows).
This washes our sin away, and leaves us once again in Friendshp with God.... However, the "Temporal effects" of the sin remain. Going to confession and recieving Gods forgivness does not guarintee that the person against whom you sinnned will be so forgiving... It does not guarintee that you will not be arrested, prossecuted, convicted and punnished by the civil authorities for the civil crime. - that is one example of the Temporal Effects.

Other examples of Temporal effects can be the devastation of Marital relationships caused by sins against your marriage: either the small ones of neglect that build up over time, or the huge one-off devastaion that can be caused by infidelity or similar sins.
Being forgiven in Confession will not automatically fix a damaged or broken marriage.

Similarly it wont get rid of a nasty STD caused by sleeping around, no will it bring back to life the child killed by a drunk driver.

All these Temporal Effects of our sins can and do call back to our mind the damage to our lives and the lives of those around us caused by our sin.
Sometimes they are things that mean we can never pay back for our crimes... we cannot always fix a broken friendship or marriage. we can never bring back a dead person... the list goes on but those examples are easy and "obvious" to use to illustrate the point.

So: (dont answer publicly... only between you and your confessor)
[LIST]
*]Are you feeling continued guilt because of effects of sin that you can but have not put right?
*] Are you feeling continued guilt because of the long term effects of the sins that have not been able to be put right (or can never be)...
*] Are you just feeling guilty and remorseful even though the past sin has been put right as best as is humanly possible?
[/LIST]

If the 1st is true, perhaps the priest will advise you to take action.
It its the 2nd or 3rd situation then the priest will probably advise you that you have been forgiven, and hopefully advise you on how to assess the feelings of guilt and put them at the Cross of Our Lord, and close the door on Satan's ability to attack you in this way.

Satan loves to damage our faith in God and His Forgiveness by using our Sins against us.


#5

I assume you meant, is it necessary to keep repenting when you have not committed that sin again?

If we sinned last week and confessed, it is forgiven. If we commit a (mortal) sin tomorrow, we need to confess it.

In other words, confession deals with past sins, we cannot confess or be absolved for “future” sins.


#6

If you have not committed this sin again, it does not need to be confessed again.

However, we humans tend to be creatures of habit, and tend to commit the same kind of mortal sin again and again. If the sin is repeated, it needs to be confessed again.


#7

If you keep repeating a mortal sin the priest may not offer absolution


#8

If you committed and later confessed a mortal sin and did not commit it again after you confessed it, you can include it at the end of your confession like this: For these [just-confessed sins] and all the sins of my past life, including X, I am most heartily sorry.

You can say that last part without including a past sin also.


#9

This is not true.


#10

Well actually, while it is rare in ordinary parish situations, the priest does have the authority to judge that repentance is not present, and refuse to grant absolution.

e.g. if a person comes and confesses that he is living in a gravely sinful situation, like an adulterous or fornication based relationship, and does not indicate any intent to change his situation then the priest is unable to grant absolution.
Such a person is not repentant, but simply wants to be granted license to continue his lifestyle. A pre-requisite for absolution is repentance and contrition.

Repentance is difficult and I know I definitely struggle with some habitual sins… but there’s a huge difference between resolving to try to avoid a sin, and having no such resolution, but rather the explicit intention to go straight from the confessional back to the sinful situation.

So: in the situation where a person is confessing a habitual or lifestyle based mortal sin again and again (because they keep repeating it) It is totally appropriate for the priest to query whether there is an intention to repent, or whether the sin of presumption is being committed:
i.e. “I know Jesus will forgive me so it doesn’t matter if I keep on sinning… I don’t need to change my behavior I will just keep confessing”

This mindset turns the attempt at the Sacrament of Penance from a Sacrament of Grace and Salvation into an occasion of further Sin!!!

Please note: this is about a repeated sin being confessed again and again with no real desire of attempt to change… not about confessing a singe historic sin again.


#11

[quote="anruari, post:10, topic:331062"]
Well actually, while it is rare in ordinary parish situations, the priest does have the authority to judge that repentance is not present, and refuse to grant absolution.

e.g. if a person comes and confesses that he is living in a gravely sinful situation, like an adulterous or fornication based relationship, and does not indicate any intent to change his situation then the priest is unable to grant absolution.
Such a person is not repentant, but simply wants to be granted license to continue his lifestyle. A pre-requisite for absolution is repentance and contrition.

Repentance is difficult and I know I definitely struggle with some habitual sins... but there's a huge difference between resolving to try to avoid a sin, and having no such resolution, but rather the explicit intention to go straight from the confessional back to the sinful situation.

So: in the situation where a person is confessing a habitual or lifestyle based mortal sin again and again (because they keep repeating it) It is totally appropriate for the priest to query whether there is an intention to repent, or whether the sin of presumption is being committed:
i.e. "I know Jesus will forgive me so it doesn't matter if I keep on sinning... I don't need to change my behavior I will just keep confessing"

This mindset turns the attempt at the Sacrament of Penance from a Sacrament of Grace and Salvation into an occasion of further Sin!!!

Please note: this is about a repeated sin being confessed again and again with no real desire of attempt to change.... not about confessing a singe historic sin again.

[/quote]

I accept your more complete explanation. :) I just didn't want the OP or anyone else to think that struggling with the same sin and having to confess it over and over again would eventually lead them to a point where they'd run out chances to be forgiven. We can always be forgiven. But, yes, we must be repentant and not abuse the sacrament with no intention of reforming our lives.


#12

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