Grieving past sins

I’m struggling with forgiving myself for past sins. All of my past serious sins have been confessed and repented of, but I can’t help but grieve over what I’ve done.

My fiancé and I are getting married this Saturday, and with our marriage will come a sexual union. The thought of our future union which will be pure and chaste, causes me to grieve the past impure, sexual sins we have committed together. Praise God we never fornicated, but we pushed the boundaries and acted unchastely from time to time.

Thankfully we came to our senses, saw were our actions and behaviors were taking us and drastically changed for the better.

Despite this, and the knowledge that God has wiped clean our offenses, my past still haunts me and continues to cause me heartache. How I caused myself to fall so low, led my fiancé into sin, and most grievously, offended God by abusing His precious gift of sexuality.

How do I get over these feeling of such grief?

Any advice would be appreciated

Don’t worry about that hawkeye and I’m positive you won’t once you’re joined in marriage and all what that entails. There’s no point worrying about that at all and as you said it’s forgiven. We all sin and I think probably especially when it comes to chastity.


Start with prayer, a simple prayer for peace and for healing of your spirit.

Think also about humility. Is there an element of pride in your grief? Looking at it one way, the memory of your past sins reminds you of your weakness and foolishness. That hurts.

Look at it another way: Jesus knows how weak and foolish you are – not just you, all of us – and he still loves you so much! When you slip and fall, he is there to catch you and put you back on your feet. You don’t have to do it alone. Receive his love and mercy with humility and gratitude.

Last piece of advice: Learn from the past, and plan for the future, but live in the present. When you are married this Saturday, be there and be present with your spouse in that moment. Try not to dwell on the past, because the past is not here and now. It’s a million miles away. When you are living your marriage, and particularly when you give yourself in sexual union, be there, right there with your beloved, in each new moment.

I’ll say a prayer for you, your fiancé, and your marriage, for a life of peace, love, and faith, through Christ our Lord. Amen!


Try to think of it this way: despite what the field of psychology may try to tell us, it’s really not up to you to forgive yourself. You’re seeking, have sought and have found God’s forgiveness.

It’s up to you to fight the temptation to focus, dwell (or bask) in past failings.

It is an act of faith and obedience to believe you are forgiven. Believe.


To me, it’s kind of sinful to dwell on past sins after you have genuinely repented, received God’s forgiveness and absolution. It’s like you’re saying his forgiveness and absolution weren’t good enough.
It’s also a way of distracting yourself from sins you might actually be committing in the here and now, including a LOT of serious sins that don’t involve sex.

You’re going to be facing a lot of challenges as a married person and your focus should be on how you can be a good wife and a good person now, not on what you did in the past. Many of us have sexual sins in our past that, looking back, cause us to be pretty horrified and say, “What was I thinking?” The lesson in these sins is that even people who think they are doing a good job of being good people are prone to temptation and we simply need to avoid occasions of sin and pray a lot and stay close to God. But apart from that, there is no productive value to me sitting here beating myself up for some sin that happened decades ago and didn’t even involve someone I later married.

In short: if you repented, confessed and were absolved, fuhgeddaboudit.

And to be honest, making speeches like this about “praise God you never fornicated but you acted unchastely” comes off like a backhanded showing off how holy you are, since you probably are aware a lot of Catholics do fornicate and often not even with their fiance. You may not have meant it like that, but that’s how it comes off.


Keep praying about it. Maybe ask for the intercession of Padre Pio who spent hours in the confessional for his flock and had the gift of discernment. My priest said that when we feel doubts about forgiveness in the confessional that can be in part due to the evil one trying to suggest to us ‘am I REALLY forgiven ?’ To try and keep you in bondage to sin when no, that sin has been removed from you. Congrats on your marriage


“Once he had been forgiven, the Apostle Peter, as the most ancient tradition relates, continued to recall his grave fall into sin. Every night he would awaken as soon as he heard the crowing of the cock and begin praying, tears streaming down his face. Two furrows formed under his eyes from these tears.” (source)


Thanks for this post. Said exactly what I was thinking. Although I wouldn’t of been able to say it as good as you and would of got flagged.

All good advice above!

I would add that marriage does not put an end to times of abstaining. These will come to every marriage, whether it is one partner with a terrible case of food poising that lasts for a day, the flu that lasts for weeks, job travels, pregnancy complications, post natal abstaining, TTA times, you will need to abstain in the future.

Turn these scars into the strength you will need during those times in the future.


God has forgiven and FORGOTTEN your sins and wants you to do so as well.


I’ve noticed that you have been struggling with this particular demon for some time. I’m not saying it is literally a demon, but let’s take that as a metaphor at least, and run with it for a little while.

Part 1

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus drives out a demon. Here is the first part of the reading:

Matthew 9:32-34
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

We know that the Pharisees were blind. They had it wrong.

We know that Jesus was able to drive out demons because he is the Lord and master of all creation. An earthly king speaks and his word may be carried out, but to say that Jesus’ word is “carried out” is a staggering understatement. His Word brought all things into being. His Word sustains the existence of all things. His Word is what is.

Look at last Tuesday’s Gospel: Jesus rebuked the winds and the stormy sea, “and there was great calm.”

Last Thursday’s Gospel: Jesus told the paralytic to rise and go home, and “he rose and went home.”

Yesterday’s Gospel speaks of the importance of faith – your faith. The man said “Lay your hand on [my daughter], and she will live,” and the woman said “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Through Jesus, these things came to be, exactly as the man and the woman had spoken, exactly as they had prayed.


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Part 2

This (above) suggests the way for you to drive out this demon, or, if it’s not really a demon, to get this monkey off your back. Trust in Jesus, pray to Jesus, and call upon Jesus for your own spiritual healing and health, and that of your beloved, and that of your relationship. By your faith and Jesus’ Word, be freed from your distress!

Before Jesus cured the paralytic, he said “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” He told you something like that too. Jesus was there in the confessional with you and the priest. The priest spoke in the person of Christ, “I absolve you from your sins,” and by Jesus’ Word, it is so. Believe it.

Your wedding day is going to be beautiful and awesome. The best thing of all is that Jesus is going to be there. He is there in all the sacraments. When you are standing there, saying your prayers and making your vows, he will be right there with both of you, smiling, laying his hands on each of you, and blessing you and your vows and your marriage, by his Word.

Here’s another prayer suggestion for you: In the next day or two – don’t put it off till Friday, and don’t even think about doing this Saturday – start a prayer thread in the Prayer Intentions forum. Don’t say anything about offenses or chastity. Put all that behind you, and besides, its TMI for Prayer Intentions. You could, for example, simply ask us all to pray for peace and healing of your troubled spirit, and for blessings upon your upcoming marriage, in Jesus’ name.

If you get caught up in the wedding arrangements and can’t post it, don’t worry. Be at peace. If Friday morning rolls around and I don’t see it, I’ll post it myself on your behalf, and you can drop in after the honeymoon (if not sooner).

Jesus said “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” He will be here amongst us in Prayer Intentions, hearing all our prayers, and wonderful things will happen.


You certainly don’t deserve to be forgiven and neither do I. Think how you could forgive a close friend. Then, give yourself the same grace.
God made our sexual desire very strong. Because He wants us to be part of the creation of new human beings. Honor that gift the rest of your life!


“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” From the Beatitudes, Matthew 5.

You are mourning, which is allowed and good - but which must not be allowed to hinder your vocation or spiritual growth.


Well, think of what you would want as a father if you had a child who had offended you by disobeying rules you had set up for his welfare.

Would you primarily want your child to be beating himself up over this? No. You’d want him to take what he’d done seriously, but only so that he’d repent, reconcile with you and do what could be done to repair whatever harm he had done. Sure, you would also be sad if your child had denied himself merit that you had set him up to achieve and he failed to do it. Having said that, you wouldn’t want your child to dwell on the mistakes of yesterday when all that could be done to remedy them had been done.

Instead, you would want your child to concentrate on the opportunities for merit you have set before him today, right? You’d want him to have an attitude towards siblings that is both merciful and yet also soliticitous that they not repeat his mistakes themselves, right? You’d want him to be a model of how children in the family ought to handle themselves in a similar situation, right? Mostly, you’d want him to treat your present relationship with joy and gratitude, right? What good does it do for the child to act as if everything going on in the family right now revolved around him and his mistakes?

Keep your grief proportionate, then. Don’t let it overwhelm the opportunities grace offers today, but rather let it spur you to be grateful for and compliant to today’s graces and joyful at the tremendous generosity that puts you back into a position to recieve them and use them!!

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This might be a sign of spiritual maturity.


Sin isn’t just personal sin. Every sin we commit adds to the burden of sin in our community and in the world. When we are obedient to the command of Christ to take up our cross and follow Him we unite our sufferings to Christ’s sufferings. To embrace our cross and mourn the world’s sins is to admit awareness and an intimate involvement in the suffering that sin brings to living things "man and beast alike. In our mourning we admit that our sins add to the suffering in the world. Even when our sins are forgiven there is still accountability for our part in adding to the collective damage of world wide sin. Our mourning of world sin is the recognition and shared responsibility for the fallen plight of humanity "sins of omission, sins of commission, accumulated sin, personal sin. Christ died that mankind might be delivered from all sin and therefore when we truly mourn our sin and the sin of the world we unite with Him in His liberating sacrifice that promises the end to all sin. We mourn, we offer penance which yields to redemptive pain in our suffering united with Christ and offered up to God "this is pain and passion that is transformed into compassion through the Passion of our Christ. This is an emptying of self in genuine mourning and sorrow for sins, but it is not grief, nor is it the level beyond grief which is despair. There is no despair in this mourning for this is the kind of mourning that welcomes comfort and love. The mourning that receives Christ’s blessing is a mourning that has seen mankind in its fallenness and nothing less will satisfy it than mankind fully restored ( The Beatitudes: Soundings in Christian Tradition, Simon Tugwell, page 69).

And remember…

However, in our sincere mourning for the current sinful condition of mankind, we have the promise of our Savior that on the day of His return all mourning and sorrow will cease.



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