Forgiveness of Venial Sins


#1

Does reception of Communion forgive *all *venial sins, or only those that you are *asking *God to forgive?

For example, if I don’t adequately examine my conscience before Communion, is all of my venial sin nonetheless forgiven upon reception? Or do I need to specifically think about, enumerate, and repent for each venial sin? What if I forget some?

I’m also wondering about this in the context of indulgences, which require “complete detachment” (or something like that) from all sin, venial and mortal. So how do I make sure I’ve got that? (If it’s one of those things that you can never “know for sure”, then how do you optimize the probability that you’re completely detached from all sin?)


#2

I dont believe that the forgiveness of venial sins from reception of the Eucharist requires full detatchment from sin they way gaining a plenary indulgence does. Even our mortal sins that are forgiven in the confessional do not require complete detatchemnt from sin, but rather a firm purpose of amend ones life.

Also, it is true that we can never know for sure whether or not we have in fact gained a plenary indulgence because the absolute detatchment from sin requirement is so elusive. Only God can read our hearts, we hide things even from ourselves. I was taught that the best way to root sin out of our lives is to do a complete examination of conscience every single day. This allows us to be more and more aware of even the smallest sins. It is always a worthy intention to gain plenary indulgences, whether we actually gain them or not. The process itself well greatly help to make us holier little by little. We can hope for full remission of all temporal punishment but even partial remission is something to be praised!


#3

The Catechism definitely says that Holy Communion separates us from sin. It also says it “…wipes away venial sin.” (1393)

My questions however:

  1. Does this mean “forgiveness” or indulgence? (I stil lremember as a kid the difference, that some people confuse - “I forgive you son, for breaking the window. But as your punishment (to receive indulgence) you have to cut the lawn for a month.”)

  2. (1395) says "The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins - that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation. But I couldn’t find anything that answers the question, so if someone only has venial sin is Reconciliation not necessary to achieve full forgiveness of God?


#4

[quote=awalt] … 1) Does this mean “forgiveness” or indulgence? (I stil lremember as a kid the difference, that some people confuse - “I forgive you son, for breaking the window. But as your punishment (to receive indulgence) you have to cut the lawn for a month.”)
[/quote]

Forgiveness.

[quote=awalt] … 2) (1395) says "The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins - that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation. But I couldn’t find anything that answers the question, so if someone only has venial sin is Reconciliation not necessary to achieve full forgiveness of God?
[/quote]

Yes.


#5

We cannot receive the Eucharist if we have unforgiven mortal sins. Mortal sins can only be forgiven through Confession. Venial sins however are forgiven through the Mass and do not require sacramental Confession.

Indulgences have nothing at all to do with forgiveness of sins, mortal or venial. You can only gain an indulgence for sins that have already been forgiven. Indulgences forgive temporal punishment due to sin, while confession forgives the actual **guilt **of sin.

You could put it this way: Confession saves us from hell and indulgences save us from Purgatory.


#6

Ok, can we get back to my original questions, though? Does anybody know the answers?


#7

i suppose you missed the answers. here they are:

‘Does reception of Communion forgive *all *venial sins, or only those that you are *asking *God to forgive?’

all of them.

‘For example, if I don’t adequately examine my conscience before Communion, is all of my venial sin nonetheless forgiven upon reception?’

yes.

‘Or do I need to specifically think about, enumerate, and repent for each venial sin?’

no.

‘What if I forget some?’

doesn’t matter - they’re all forgiven.

‘I’m also wondering about this in the context of indulgences, which require “complete detachment” (or something like that) from all sin, venial and mortal. So how do I make sure I’ve got that?’

you can’t. you can be as sure you’re detached as you know to be, but you can’t be sure.

‘(If it’s one of those things that you can never “know for sure”, then how do you optimize the probability that you’re completely detached from all sin?)’

you repent from all known sin, and resolve not to partake in them again. you can’t know the future, or what you’ll do, for sure. so what it means is ‘not planning’ to do it again. for instance, if you have a problem with lying, you can’t gain an indulgence while you’re planning to tell your mom a lie when you get home.


#8

You do not need to be able to enumerate your every venial sin. Forgiveness of guilt can operate on sins you don’t remember.

You do need to adequately examine your conscience prior to receiving. This is to detect mortal sin, and you do not need to think up all venial sins.

The effects of the mass upon your temporal punishments (those things affected by indulgences) depends on your interior dispositions. At least some of the punishments will be remitted (as long as you aren’t going up in mortal sin or something).

The best advice is to resolve to avoid any deliberate sin, no matter how small, and to yearn for God as your goal in all things, large and small.

The portion of your question that is beyond me is what about a venial sin that you are resolute in doing and have specifically not repented of and you know it is wrong. I can at least say that this would be an impairment to your interior disposition, and would lead to you gettting less fruit from the mass. About the guilt thereof, I would only be able to guess.


#9

[quote=jeffreedy789]i suppose you missed the answers. here they are:

‘Does reception of Communion forgive *all *venial sins, or only those that you are *asking *God to forgive?’

all of them.

‘For example, if I don’t adequately examine my conscience before Communion, is all of my venial sin nonetheless forgiven upon reception?’

yes.

‘Or do I need to specifically think about, enumerate, and repent for each venial sin?’

no.

‘I’m also wondering about this in the context of indulgences, which require “complete detachment” (or something like that) from all sin, venial and mortal. So how do I make sure I’ve got that?’

you can’t. you can be as sure you’re detached as you know to be, but you can’t be sure.
[/quote]

Thank you, Jeff! My only confusion with your response is in the fact that you say Communion wipes away **all **venial sin – and the Confession required for an indulgence certainly wipes away the mortal sin – so how would I not be sure that I’d obtained the indulgence if I had in fact been to a sacramental Confession and had received Communion? (And, of course, fulfilled the other requirements for an indulgence.)


#10

I may be misunderstanding your question but it sounds like you might be confusing indulgence and forgiveness. Confessions has nothing to do with indulgence directly, it has to do with forgiveness.

Things you do once you are gorgiven for sin work off the temporal punishment, and those are the indulgences you read about. Receiving a full, or plenary indulgence requires among other things that we have been to a full confession within a very recent time so there is reasonable assurance our soul is clean, or as clean as can be given we are sinners.

And as previosuly mentioned, you can never know to what degree you have received indulgences - that is up to God.

As to your other question about how do I know if I have complete detachment, you do not know. You can “increase your chances” by doing things to build you faith and reject the life of sin, which according to the Bible is reading and understanding the Word, praying, rejecting choices that lead to sin, obeying the Church, all things that show that your faith is growing.

There is a time you will know for sure - Judgment :wink:


#11

[quote=justbeinfrank]Thank you, Jeff! My only confusion with your response is in the fact that you say Communion wipes away **all **venial sin – and the Confession required for an indulgence certainly wipes away the mortal sin – so how would I not be sure that I’d obtained the indulgence if I had in fact been to a sacramental Confession and had received Communion? (And, of course, fulfilled the other requirements for an indulgence.)
[/quote]

Because you may be holding onto sin in your heart, and you could even be hiding it from yourself. We tend to fool ourselves all the time and so we are incapable of truly reading our own hearts the way God can. Let’s say you were hurt deeply by somebody very close to you and you are still hanging on to a tiny bit of anger or resentment towards that person; then you would not be totally detatched from sin since that kind of anger can be sinful. That is one example of how we may not know for sure if we have attained this complete detatchment from sin requirement. Hope this helps!

Im sure Jeff would be glad to answer for himself as well! :smiley:


closed #12

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