Is repentance a feeling? When I ask God for forgiveness I often feel relaxed just like when I pray my usual prayers. I truly wanted to be forgiven but I dont feel remorse. Im trying my very best to change my ways, to avoid sinning but when I fail I ask God for forgiveness. Is my heart hardened? Am I doing something wrong here? If so, how am I going to fix it? I feel like I lack this feeling of repentance but I wanted to be forgiven.
Repentance is turning away from sin and turning back to God. While I think a feeling can be beneficial (though there are some who feel too much they are always anxious), I don’t believe it’s necessary to feel strong emotions to actually repent. It may be good to work on that to a health level, but what you do and set your will on doing is the more important aspect.
NO. Repentance is an act of the will, it is not a feeling. You could be dry as a log and yet be truly repentant for your sins. Conversely, you could cry your eyes out and not be truly repentant for your sins.
I used to think that if I didn’t cry in confession I wasn’t truly sorry for my sins. The good priests who heard my confession set me straight.
Thank You, Dear God, for good priests.
I’ve struggled with this as well. I have a knowledge of the weight of my sins and am sorry for them but I don’t get emotional about it. I’m sometimes tricked into thinking it’s apathy but I have made firm amendments not to sin and through Grace I’ve managed to overcome sins that seemed impossible to let go of. If I wasn’t truly sorry I wouldn’t have cooperated with that Grace. I would have rejected it and kept sinning. Some of us tend to be more intellectual rather than emotional about the spiritual life. I will admit to spending time in Adoration pleading to God to “feel something” but I know that the Faith is more than just a feeling we get. If anything the more mature faith is persevering in times when we feel nothing.
If you pray for forgiveness with the intention to amend your life, then God will infallibly accept your prayer and it is pleasing to God.
«O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee,
and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell,
But most of all because they have offended Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love.»
The most important thing is not sentiment, but a will oriented towards God:
He is so good (and we can think of something concrete) and we have given him sorrows and bitterness. Now, however, we are sorry to have given him displeasure.
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