I am returning to the Catholic Church and the priest has asked me to make a general confession. I have stolen money in the past from relatives, and I am going to confess this sin. However, I wont be able to make restitution for it, one because they wont take it, and second, they don’t know that I did, in fact no one will but you and the priest, and if i tell them it will hurt them very deeply and I will loose their trust (Grandparents).
So, if I confess this sin, and don’t make restitution for it, will I still be forgiven? I don’t have the money to pay them back either. I am so worried and scrupulous. I repented from stealing from them and haven’t stole for over 2 years now. Please help me If you can!!
Welcome Home! God bless you as well for making a sincere and full confession. Restitution isn’t always a part of the penance; if the priest asks you to make it, explain the circumstances as you have here. Perhaps you could do some extra labor or good works for them in restitution, even if they don’t know the basis for it.
Old habits are difficult to change, and you’ve come a great way! As for being forgiven, if you are sorry, then yes. I haven’t had any restitution be part of my penance from the priest.
Penance is not tied to forgiveness actually. You are forgiven the moment the priest says it. It is not conditional forgiveness. You should do your penance to show your sorrow and to pay back some of what you have damaged.
I don’t know of a priest who would even assign the penance you are asking about. For one, it would violate the seal of confession if someone were to find out your sins. And two, it could bring financial hardship to you and your family if the sum was large and you cannot make restitution.
Relax. I actually wish my penances were harsher. I get the “say a decade of the rosary while meditating on X” and I wish there was more substance to it. But you must remember, adultery is confessed all the time. The penance is not to tell your wife!? Murder is confessed. The penance is not to turn yourself in. A priest can encourage you to turn yourself in but cannot attach it to forgiveness.
They hear so much!
Adultery, murder, abortion, porn, theft, hate, child abuse, etc. Your confession will be a ton smoother than you fear. I think you will be relieved. But even if you are not, your soul is what matters. We ALL should go to confession!
If they don’t know you did it, how can they have not taken it? It’s never okay to hurt another for the same of the conscience. Restitution doesn’t have to be made directly, the sin can be absolved. I went through a similar thing when I was younger, inbox me if you’d like to talk.
Restitution does not necessarily involved the people affected. If the priest considers it is not possible to return the money to them, or that there is a better course of action, he will direct you to it. Your duty is to repent and to do penance. And if the priest directs you to tell them, you go and tell them because it is better to risk hurting and losing the trust of a loved one than to offend the living God who said: “whosoever loves father, wife, and children more than me is not worthy of me”.
Confess your sins, all of them, in kind and number, and don’t be afraid to tell your concerns and worries to the priest, that he may give you a fitting and merciful penance. But never forget that penance means sacrifice and mortification, even if it be small - “he who is faithful with little shall be faithful with much”.
Be at peace, for Christ is your confessor, and God bless you.
When you speak with the priest, really you speak with God.
God understands everything.
A priest also has a lot of experience.
Whatever he will ask you to do, he will ask out of love.
Don’t fear in advance what he might ask you to do; just try to explain the situation as well as possible, so the priest can decide in LOVE what is the best thing to do.
He will understand the dilemma.
If he tells you to do something that makes you afraid, tell him your fears honestly. Speak to him as to somebody who only wants the best for you and everybody involved. Try to have no fear.
And God bless you!!!
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 2453: The seventh commandment forbids theft. Theft is the usurpation of another’s goods against the reasonable of the owner. and #2454: Every manner of taking and using another’s property unjustly is contrary to the seventh commandment. The injustice committed requires reparation. Commutative justice requires the restitution of stolen goods.
So, repenting of having stolen is good, but is not enough. It may not be possible to make restitution directly to those from whom you stole, but not making restitution means the injustice has not been corrected. You need to discus this with the priest. He may well recommend that you give the value of what was stolen to charity, anonymously. It can be done in a number of installments, if you have difficulty in doing it at once. But - it must be done.
Do what you should have done in the first place. Go to confession and do exactly what the priest asks of you. If he requires restitution then explain your situation. We cannot take the place of a priest here on this forum. This is a Sacrament of Healing and there are graces that are given to you that you cannot receive here. Go and be at peace. God bless you.