I have a question. Let’s say a man stays in the state of grace for at least 6 months, he receives holy communion 3 times a week. Should that person still go to confession at least once a month as prescribed by the Church? Wouldn’t the holy Eucharist alone cleanse his soul from sin by its own power per se?
Sorry, Eric, I posted before seeing your response.
Would this link help with regard to the Church’s view of grace and justification?
From the official Catechism of the Catholic Church:
I wondered where that post went. Wrong screen. I do apologize.
I think we should take our situation for granted.
The Sacrament of Confession is offered as a particular source of grace and guidance fro the Lord in the Person of Christ.
We are not obliged to go monthly but the Church recommends monthly Confession.
From the Code of Canon Law
**Canon 988 §2. It is recommended to the Christian faithful that they also confess venial sins.
Canon. 989 After having reached the age of discretion, each member of the faithful is obliged to confess faithfully his or her grave sins at least once a year.**
It is not simply our sins that we need to be mindful of, but our traits of sinfulness that can be screened from our awareness.
It it not for nothing that Scripture reminds us to pray:
“Who can detect his own failings?
Wash out my hidden faults
And from pride preserve your servant,
never let it dominate me
So shall I be above reproach, free from grave sin.” [Psalm 19:12-13]
May God continue to abundantly bless you.
Thanks for your response.
But if the man only has venial sins isn’t it all washed away when he receives the Eucharist? What will the sacrament of confession do that the holy Eucharist has not done already?
Your brother in Christ,
One is not required to go to confession once a month. Such is very good --or one can go even once a week etc - frequent confession is very good.
Now to answer this question:
Venial sins yes can be forgiven in many ways -receiving Holy Communion is yes one way they can be forgiven (but remember too one can also say hold on to a sin…that is a different story).
For one thing Confession --even in confessing venial sins that have been forgiven in other ways – there is special grace. Grace related to those sins etc. As well as the increase perhaps in humility and purity of heart …the advice of a regular confessor etc etc…
1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.59 Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father’s mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful…
IX. THE EFFECTS OF THIS SACRAMENT
1468 "The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God’s grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship."73 Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of this sacrament. For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, reconciliation "is usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation."74 Indeed the sacrament of Reconciliation with God brings about a true “spiritual resurrection,” restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God.75
1469 This sacrament reconciles us with the Church. Sin damages or even breaks fraternal communion. The sacrament of Penance repairs or restores it. In this sense it does not simply heal the one restored to ecclesial communion, but has also a revitalizing effect on the life of the Church which suffered from the sin of one of her members.76 Re-established or strengthened in the communion of saints, the sinner is made stronger by the exchange of spiritual goods among all the living members of the Body of Christ, whether still on pilgrimage or already in the heavenly homeland:77
It must be recalled that . . . this reconciliation with God leads, as it were, to other reconciliations, which repair the other breaches caused by sin. The forgiven penitent is reconciled with himself in his inmost being, where he regains his innermost truth. He is reconciled with his brethren whom he has in some way offended and wounded. He is reconciled with the Church. He is reconciled with all creation.78
1470 In this sacrament, the sinner, placing himself before the merciful judgment of God, anticipates in a certain way the judgment to which he will be subjected at the end of his earthly life. For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin.79 In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and “does not come into judgment.”
I teach my classes that one is obliged to go to Confession only when one has a mortal sin to confess. Likewise, one is obliged to go to the dentist only when one has a rotten tooth to be dug out.
Frequent trips to the dentist do much to prevent one developing a rotten tooth that must be dug out. Frequent trips to Confession do much to prevent one from committing a mortal sin which must be confessed.
Venial sins are erased by many things. The Holy Eucharist definitely does. But other things do. I don’t have the entire list. I recall that when you make the sign of the Cross with holy water it cleanses venial sins. The Liturgy of the Word, I believe, also does so. However, it is not about being free from sin, for “in the spiritual combat, to remain in the same place is to fall behind”: it is a matter of growing more and more in holiness. Not for your sake, but for the good of souls, which God will aid through you, and for God’s greater glory.
Most sinners who reached a great level of virtue, and usually all of those who have been canonized, used to confess even weekly.
It would be very sad if not only we could not “be perfect” as Jesus told us to be, but not even remain for a significant amount of time in a state of grace. If the Lord has brought us to this level in the path of perfection, then it is very good to grow close to Confession, because we will be strengthened in the fight against venial sins, and even against imperfections.
Remember that we sin even by thought and even by omission. It is truly difficult not to sin this way. Even though they may be venial sins, they are worth confessing.
Also, often we see our sins, but not what are called “root” sins. For instance, I may fall into a temptation of lust, repent, be forgiven and absolved. However the root of my sin perhaps was not lust, but vanity. Thus in two months or three days I will commit a different sin - perhaps get angry at somebody - still because of vanity. Repent and confess. Yet I am still “blind”, so to speak, not detecting my imperfection, and I am stuck instead of advancing on the way of perfection. I have sanctifying grace, but I am not making the best use out of it.
So my advice is: confess monthly, even weekly. Perhaps talk about this to your confessor and tell him that you wish to confess often even though you may not be conscious of mortal sin, so that he understands and is not caught by surprise by your confessions.