Going to confession with just venial sins?


#1

I read somewhere that if you go to confession with only venial sins then you should tell a mortal sin already confessed in your past life for which you are truly sorry because it is not easy to be truly sorry for slight sins and imperfections. Has anyone ever heard that before and do you have to do that? I tend to be scrupulous and know that scrupulous people should not confess sins they have already confessed. Thanks!


#2

I have never ever read that in any Catholic document; in fact, once a sin is confessed and forgiven, you are not obligated nor recommended to confess it again.

You are fine going to Confession with only venial sins. I do recommend using a good examination of conscience, be it printed, memorized, the 10 Commandments + the 2 greatest commandments, or an app on your phone.

I am truly sorry for my sins when I confess them; they hurt my Lord and Savior; it’s my sins that put those nails in His hands, feet, those thorns in His crown, that lance in His side.


#3

Amen to that.

Once you have been forgiven, you are forgiven. To think otherwise is to deny the power of the sacrament.

Cheers,
Curundu


#4

Same here—never heard of that, never was told that. Please take what you read “somewhere” with a grain of salt and a critical mind. There is a lot of misinformation floating around out there. (That said, I’d be curious to know just where you read that since it’s completely off the mark.)

It’s not only scrupulous people who shouldn’t confess sins they have already confessed and received absolution for. No one should be doing that.


#5

I have read this before, I think from a book, but I couldn’t remember exactly where. I asked Google, and it gave me this from the Catholic News Agency (catholicnewsagency.com/resources/catechism/baltimore-catechism/lesson-19-on-confession/):

Q. 782. What should one do who has only venial sins to confess?
A. One who has only venial sins to confess should tell also some sin already confessed in his past life for which he knows he is truly sorry; because it is not easy to be truly sorry for slight sins and imperfections, and yet we must be sorry for the sins confessed that our confession may be valid – hence we add some past sin for which we are truly sorry to those for which we may not be sufficiently sorry.

I don’t actually do this, though; I just work hard to really be contrite about my venial sins.


#6

Baltimore Catechism No. 3Q. 782. What should one do who has only venial sins to confess?
A. One who has only venial sins to confess should tell also some sin already confessed in his past life for which he knows he is truly sorry; because it is not easy to be truly sorry for slight sins and imperfections, and yet we must be sorry for the sins confessed that our confession may be valid – hence we add some past sin for which we are truly sorry to those for which we may not be sufficiently sorry.


#7

Well, I’m completely flabbergasted.


#8

Also from Baltimore Catechism No. 3 (which has additional commentary):
*226 Q. **After telling the time of our last confession and Communion, what should we do? **
A. After telling the time of our last confession and Communion we should confess all the mortal sins we have since committed, and all the venial sins we may wish to mention. “We may wish.” We should tell every real sin we have never confessed. If we have no mortal sin to confess, it is well to tell some kind of mortal sin we have committed in our past life, though confessed before. We should do this because when we have only very small sins to confess there is always danger that we may not be truly sorry for them, and without sorrow there is no forgiveness. But when we add to our confession some mortal sin that we know we are sorry for, then our sorrow extends to all our sins, and makes us certain that our confession is a good one. If you should hear the sin of another person while you are waiting to make your own confession, you must keep that sin secret forever. If the person in the confessional is speaking too loud, you should move away so as not to hear; and if you cannot move, hold your hands on your ears so that you may not hear what is being said.


#9

Catechism of St. Pope Pius X56 Q. If one has only venial sins to confess, must he be sorry for all of them?
A. If one has only venial sins to confess it is enough to repent of some of them for his confession to be valid; but to obtain pardon of all of them it is necessary to repent of all he remembers having committed.

57 Q. If one has only venial sins to confess and if he does not repent of even one of them, does he make a good confession?
A. If one confesses only venial sins without having sorrow for at least one of them, his confession is in vain; moreover it would be sacrilegious if the absence of sorrow was conscious.

58 Q. What should be done to render the confession of only venial sins more secure?
A. To render the confession of venial sins more secure it is prudent also to confess with true sorrow some grave sin of the past, even though it has been already confessed.


#10

However, it is not a requirement. If we only have venial sins to confess we are NOT REQUIRED to confess past mortal sins.


#11

Going to confession for “just” venial sins is a very good spiritual practice, and a great help in overcoming our attachment to these sins. There’s no requirement to re-confess anything.


#12

This is the bottom line.

These other local catechisms encourage such a practice, but it is definitely not required. If it were required, it would be spelled out in the Code of Canon Law. And the Code of Canon Law says no such thing. Neither does the present universal Catechism.


#13

Right. I sometimes add, “I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life because they have offended God.” That covers any sin of which one is unaware and therefore does not confess.


#14

Correct.

It is a good practice of course. And in doing so one can be general (no numbers etc) fpr this is out of devotion not out of obligation …ie “and the sins of my life against the virtue of chastity”.

And note that “contrition” need not involve any emotion…tis of grace and will more.

And also it is good to note for him that such local catechisms from the past may not be good for their tendency to scruples.


#15

CCC1458 *Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.*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.

For venial sins, we can present whatever lighter sins we choose in the confessional. This allows us the chance to devote special attention to particularly troublesome sins that plague us. St. Francis de Sales explains what is most essential for a good, fruitful confession is our purpose of amendment. Failing to come with a firm purpose of amendment will find us never making progress, and can even be an abuse of the Sacrament.


#16

It is important to note that the purpose of amendment for venial sins need not be the same as that for mortal sins. If I confess murder I need to have the amendment of intending to not murder anyone…but if I confess say venial sins that I say commit often …I can be amended to working on making them less …of seeking to be better about that matter (that is one example of purpose of amendment in terms of venial sins)…such is very good and fine.


#17

Every once in a while I stumble on these boards into something that completely shocks or surprises me and challenges my sense of logic and theology. This thread is one of those times. I don’t know if I learned something or found something to be inconsistent of what I already know.

Weird. Never in a million years would I have thought that to be the case.


#18

Worry not - for it is not the case.


#19

:thumbsup:


#20

So basically I can still have a valid Confession without re-confessing ANY past sin? I have issues with reconfessing past sins since I am already dealing with scruples, and my spiritual director does not like me re-confessing sins. I do wish I can forget about past sins and “move on”.

Will my next Confession be valid if I knowingly confess only current sins without re-confessing anything from the past? I’m scared to go back to Confession because I’ve already made several general Confessions with different priests, and I still feel I haven’t sufficiently confessed my past serious sins.

I just want to be free from confessing any past sin ever again!


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