Forgive me Father for I have sinned...


#1

OK, so I’m making my first confession this Saturday and I have a few questions…

  1. Must I get into all the nitty gritty details of the sins or can I just say “I’ve had sex outside the bounds of marriage.” And leave it at that? The details are too messy & I’d prefer NOT to go there.

  2. Once I confess, are my sins totally forgiven and never to be brought up again or will I still have to pay for them in purgatory?

  3. I’ve heard over & over again in RCIA that confession is such a wonderful time of cleansing and that I’m going to feel a huge burden being lifted off my back… like I’m FINALLY forgiven. Here’s the thing… I’ve been a Christian for 12 years. I have repented of my sins and I believe I’ve already been forgiven. I don’t carry ANY guilt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from perfect but I ask for forgivness daily and try to do better…


#2
  1. The point is be clear. “I’ve had sex outside the bounds of marriage” probably clearly conveys the sin you are trying to express. “I’ve committed adultery on X number of occasions” would probably also suffice. Leave it to the priest to inquire further.

  2. Yes, we still have to pay for our sins in purgatory. The sacrament of reconciliation removes the eternal punishments for sin (namely, it frees us from the penalty of hell). It does not remove the temporal consequences of sin. Any such temporal consequences that we still have left when we die will have to be remitted in purgatory.


#3

[quote=carol marie]OK, so I’m making my first confession this Saturday and I have a few questions…

  1. Must I get into all the nitty gritty details of the sins or can I just say “I’ve had sex outside the bounds of marriage.” And leave it at that? The details are too messy & I’d prefer NOT to go there.

  2. Once I confess, are my sins totally forgiven and never to be brought up again or will I still have to pay for them in purgatory?

  3. I’ve heard over & over again in RCIA that confession is such a wonderful time of cleansing and that I’m going to feel a huge burden being lifted off my back… like I’m FINALLY forgiven. Here’s the thing… I’ve been a Christian for 12 years. I have repented of my sins and I believe I’ve already been forgiven. I don’t carry ANY guilt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from perfect but I ask for forgivness daily and try to do better…
    [/quote]

  4. Don’t get into the details. It is enough to say that you had sex outside the bond of marriage. He will understand what you mean.

  5. Once you have been forgiven, those sins are forgotten. The catch is that you are not supposed to repeat those sins again and if you do, you are to confess them . It is my understanding that we are in Purgatory for sins that have not been confessed at the time of death and we need to be made clean to be with God.

  6. Whether you feel guilty or not, you must confess any Mortal sins you have commited in the past and try your best to remember the venial sins you have made as well. Confess to your Priest, receive absolution, do your penance and start fresh. Jesus gave us confession through the Priest and you will be surprised how you will feel lifted and relieved when you actually say out loud to him what your sins are. I hope that you will continue to go to confession on a regular basis and definately when a Mortal Sin is committed you must go. It will keep you in line and help your soul!
    Peace to you and Welcome Home!


#4

I will say this: When I returned to the fold after 4 years of hard-hearted break, I had a three-hour confession (with a priest who was also a good friend, scheduled outside of normal confession times) that went into great detail, and my goodness was it ever a huge load off my mind and heart!


#5

It is my understanding that we are in Purgatory for sins that have not been confessed at the time of death and we need to be made clean to be with God.

With respect, Luciana, temporal punishment for confessed sins still remains. Your understanding is not correct. I refer you to the following, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.[83]

1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the “new man.”[84]

Luckily for Carol Marie and all of us, there are several plenary (total) indulgences available for us. Indulgences can remit temporal punishment of sins committed up to the time of the indulgence, but not afterward.

Only a Pope may issue a plenary indulgence and all the requirements for a plenary indulgence must be met. Here is a link to gain a plenary indulgence for the year of the eucharist:

ewtn.com/library/CURIA/APINDEUC.HTM

and here is a link for a plenary indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday–which is the Sunday after Easter–this year, April 3. . .

ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/summary.htm


#6

the scrutinies we just celebrated for the elect on the 3, 4 & 5 sundays of lent are meant to prepare the heart for that sorrow and contrition that are needed, but they are also for the candidates and for the entire people as a beneficial penitential rite. Meditate on the Lord’s Passion from now through Holy Week and the proper contrition will come to you. confess your sins and ask for absolution as often as you need to in order to remain in a state of sanctifying grace.


#7

[quote=Tantum ergo]With respect, Luciana, temporal punishment for confessed sins still remains. Your understanding is not correct. I refer you to the following, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Luckily for Carol Marie and all of us, there are several plenary (total) indulgences available for us. Indulgences can remit temporal punishment of sins committed up to the time of the indulgence, but not afterward.

Only a Pope may issue a plenary indulgence and all the requirements for a plenary indulgence must be met. Here is a link to gain a plenary indulgence for the year of the eucharist:

ewtn.com/library/CURIA/APINDEUC.HTM

and here is a link for a plenary indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday–which is the Sunday after Easter–this year, April 3. . .

ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/summary.htm
[/quote]

Thank You. I stand corrected.


#8

“On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory.”

How would one purify this “unhealthy attachment to creatures” on earth? Wouldn’t confession be one way?


#9

We receive graces from all the sacraments and these graces would certainly help us to turn away from our attachments to sin. This is why the Holy Father encourages us to go to confession regularly even if we don’t have any mortal sins to confess. The confession of venial sins can help us in our progession toward holiness.

I would recommend that the best way to turn away from attachments to sin would be regular attendance at Mass and receiving Holy Communion (as often as you can!) and frequent reception of the sacrament of penance.


#10

[quote=carol marie]OK, so I’m making my first confession this Saturday and I have a few questions…

  1. Must I get into all the nitty gritty details of the sins or can I just say “I’ve had sex outside the bounds of marriage.” And leave it at that? The details are too messy & I’d prefer NOT to go there.

  2. Once I confess, are my sins totally forgiven and never to be brought up again or will I still have to pay for them in purgatory?

  3. I’ve heard over & over again in RCIA that confession is such a wonderful time of cleansing and that I’m going to feel a huge burden being lifted off my back… like I’m FINALLY forgiven. Here’s the thing… I’ve been a Christian for 12 years. I have repented of my sins and I believe I’ve already been forgiven. I don’t carry ANY guilt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from perfect but I ask for forgivness daily and try to do better…
    [/quote]

You don’t have to say " I’ve had sex outside of marriage", you can put it quite simply that I have sinned against chasity.
If the priest persues it further, then you can expand on it, if you are having difficulty, ask the priest, he’s only there to help.
And you can’t shock a priest, he’s heard it all before.


#11

And you can’t shock a priest, he’s heard it all before.

Wanna bet? The Priest hearing our confessions is our RCIA teacher and he’s only been a Priest for a very short time and I think my details WOULD knock him right out of his chair. Maybe AFTER my confession he would be able to say, “You can’t shock me now!” Sooooo not looking forward to it.

Regarding the purgatory thing, I was told in class that if we say our pennance then those sins we confessed will not have to worked off in purgatory. My lingo might me a bit off, forgive me but you get the gist of my question? Because someone said, “What if I don’t do the pennace?” And the answer was, “Do the pennace or you’ll pay for it in purgatory” Like an either/or sort of thing. Did I misunderstand?


#12

[quote=(Joshua)]You don’t have to say " I’ve had sex outside of marriage", you can put it quite simply that I have sinned against chasity.
[/quote]

No, saying that you sinned against chastity isn’t enough. We must confess the particulars that change the kind of sin. Committing adultery is different than fornication. Fornication is different than looking at porn, and looking at porn is different than engaging in homosexual activity. All are sins against chastity, but the particulars change the kind of sin.

We must also confess our mortal sins in number. For example, “I committed adultery 5 times.”

We don’t need to go into every last detail (in fact, we shouldn’t), but we have to add whatever details change the nature of the sin.


#13

Wanna bet? The Priest hearing our confessions is our RCIA teacher and he’s only been a Priest for a very short time and I think my details WOULD knock him right out of his chair.

Based on what I’ve heard from priests, if he’s been a priest for about six months to a year, chances are you won’t have any new sins that he hasn’t heard before.


#14

[quote=Benedictus]No, saying that you sinned against chastity isn’t enough. We must confess the particulars that change the kind of sin. Committing adultery is different than fornication. Fornication is different than looking at porn, and looking at porn is different than engaging in homosexual activity. All are sins against chastity, but the particulars change the kind of sin.

We must also confess our mortal sins in number. For example, “I committed adultery 5 times.”

We don’t need to go into every last detail (in fact, we shouldn’t), but we have to add whatever details change the nature of the sin.
[/quote]

I lived with my boyfriend for years before I became a Christian and cleaned up my act. Must I say “I commited fornication like HUNDREDS of times?” And who knows how many times in my life I’ve lied (white lies mostly - but a lie is a lie right?) So will I have to say hundreds to that also? And not putting God first in my life - that must be in the thousands???

I’m liking confession less and less.


#15

Carol Marie,

I am so happy to hear that your RCIA process is reaching it’s culmination and that you are entering the Church next week! :slight_smile:

I hope that you learn to enjoy the sacrament of reconciliation for what it offers, the grace necessary to over come our sins, if we participate with the necessary contrition. This doesn’t mean that a single confession of the sin against pride will bring an immediate end to the sin. The battle will most likely be lifelong against some of the most insideous sins, but know that you will feel a great weight lifted off your shoulders.

I recommend that you get into as much or as little detail as the priest participating in the sacrament requests.

God definitively forgives us our sins through the sacrament of confession, this we know because the church teaches us so, and because scripture shows us the specific occation when Christ gave the apostles the authority to do this, as he had been sent by the Father to do so. As for the forgiveness you received prior to joining the church, that is a private matter between you and Christ. God is not constrained by that which He has given the Church, but neither has he told us specifically that such sin is forgiven.

Personally, I know that God is a forgiving God and that He loves all people, even those who have never come to know His bride, the Church. Therefore, I believe that these is the possibility that those sins may have already been forgiven by God. But I cannot confirm for you that they were. Therefore, I suggest you go ahead and confess them all and you will have not need to ever wonder if God, in his infinite justice, might call you on it. His infinite Mercy allows us to apply the sacrifice of Christ to our sins and this is the mechanism he left for us to do so.

If you have time, you may want to spend some time in front of the Eucharist this week, and pray a Rosary. I believe there is a plenary indulgence associated with that. For it to apply you need to also - 1) receive communion on the day you seek to earn the indulgence, 2) go to confession within 1 week of seeking the indulgence, 3) pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, and 4) desire a seperation from your sins.

The plenary indulgence is an excellent way of growing in Grace. I highly recommend them as a way of growing in holiness.

CARose


#16

Carol Marie,

You asked: “2. Once I confess, are my sins totally forgiven and never to be brought up again or will I still have to pay for them in purgatory?”


Yes once you confess YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN. See 1st John 1:9. We are told confessed sins are forgiven…BUT, the stain of the sin remains, what this means is for some time the appitite of that sin remeins, or we still have a propensity to sin. In purgatory we DO NOT PAY for our sins. They were forgiven before we died. In purgatory we are having the appitite for sin purged. Nothing that still has an appitite to sin will enter heaven. So inpurgatory it is not the sin that is being acted upon, it is the appitite for sin that is purged.

Do not worry about shocking the Priest. He has heard it all, you need to tell God ( its not the priest you are confessing to by the way) what your sins are so He can forrgive them . Dont try to cover up, you want to be forgiven don’t you?


#17

Well said Exporter,

CARose


#18

How about this…

as you begin your confession, close your eyes and envision walking on the shore of the Sea of Galliee, hand in Hand with Jesus. Then just talk to Him. The priest is there in His place, at His command. All of our sins, even if jammed together into one ball of evil, will easily disappear in God’s ocean of mercy.


#19

[quote=carol marie]And you can’t shock a priest, he’s heard it all before.
[/quote]

Regarding the purgatory thing, I was told in class that if we say our pennance then those sins we confessed will not have to worked off in purgatory. My lingo might me a bit off, forgive me but you get the gist of my question? Because someone said, “What if I don’t do the pennace?” And the answer was, “Do the pennace or you’ll pay for it in purgatory” Like an either/or sort of thing. Did I misunderstand?

Regardless of how shocking you think it is, the priest will only look at you with compassion.
Usually the priest gives us penance to say after confession, in the form of prayers.
I have a feeling you will be scared the first time you have your confessions heard.
Sometimes it can be a mixture of sorrow and shame, if it is then that is good, because being sorry is a great first step.
Anyway to open up the floodgates of sorrow, saying you have sinned against chasity is a good beginning, then you can elaborate. (ice breaker)
I have actually perspired in the confessional box, so I know it will be no different for you.
Regarding Purgatory, we can lessen it by doing penance here on earth, I’ve heard the greatest form of charity is to pray for the holy souls.
But nothing unclean can enter Heaven, so Purgatory is penance, but also the Mercy of God.
Those words of the priest are a great blessing " by the power invested in me" etc:

“I absolve you from your sins” I’ve come away from the confessional, walking on air.

The little children of Fatima after seeing a vision of hell, started to wear ropes around their waist, for sinners.

Another story I heard is, if you went to a doctor, wouldn’t it be wise to tell him/her the symptoms so it could be treated better, same for confession.

There are many ways of penance, anyway I wish you all the best on your first confessional.:tiphat:


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