If you commit a mortal sin and

you are then sorry and make a sincere Act of Contrition, but you die before you have a chance to go to confession, will you go to Heaven or Hell?

If you are truly sorry, God sees the heart, and He is most merciful. Not hell, but maybe purgatory.

I don’t think anyone can know for sure, but I believe God is much too merciful than to send someone to hell for something like that!

You will go to Heaven because instead of making an act of Contrition you have made an act of Attrition.


If the intention was to go to Confession as soon as possible (in case there was a chance at all,) than Heaven directly, or mostly likely via Purgatory (which I’ve heard is more of a state of being than a place.)


Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."50

1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.51

1453 The contrition called “imperfect” (or “attrition”) is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin’s ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.52


I dont know about anyone else, but personally I usually ask God to forgive me of my sins every morning when I get up, I say prayers and pray to be forgiven for any and all of my past sins, Im assuming God hears this and grants my request…right?

I still go to confession here and there, but I still like to do this daily.

Yeah, well back when I used to pray I did something quite lazy and just asked God to forgive all of the sins that I’d ever commit. I don’t know if that was wrong, but I figured if I showed I had a lot of faith I might get away with it! :smiley:

Yeah, well back when I used to pray I did something quite lazy and just asked God to forgive all of the sins that I’d ever commit. I don’t know if that was wrong, but I figured if I showed I had a lot of faith I might get away with it! :smiley:

Thanks for your replies. So basically, if your contrition is “perfect”, your mortal sins are forgiven (although you still need to confess them in confession), but if it is “imperfect”, your mortal sins are not forgiven until you go to confession.

Is there any way to know whether your contrition is perfect or not? Or is it impossible to be able to tell for sure unless God was to give you some kind of miraculous sign that your contrition was perfect?

If you feel really bad about it your contrition is perfect. It’s only not perfect if you just go through the motions or end your prayer with: “or whatever.”


Perfect contrition does not mean you feel really bad about it, but rather can be quite a theological subject of debate.

I cannot stress this enough. Go to confession often.

Well I know what you’re saying, but I don’t think you are quite right. I mean why would God want to make reconciling with him hard? Why would he make it complicated? Why would he sort of say, “If you don’t ask for forgiveness in exactly the right way, I’m going to send you to hell. Even if you are really sorry and really love me and would really have confessed all this if only you’d had the chance. Sorry, but those are the rules–that I made.”

God, through his Church has given us a sacrament, well, a couple sacraments that wash mortal sin away. It is not hard. It is quite simple. Pride can make it hard. But nonetheless God has established this as the normative way things are done. Yes, a merciful God can work outside of the sacraments, but that is something that is not revealed to us as a process. And surley when dealing with your eternal destination one should not go to the “Gee, God is love and mercy so as long as I am sorry I am not going to hell.” The Church does not teach this and would not dare teach it. This is something that creeps in from the protestant mindset. And well, also the pride of not wanting to confess. The Church teaches that confession is the way to rid mortal sin. It is not a suggestion, it is a path to reconciliation that God himself set as the rule. To then criticism the rules as hard or not necessary is to lack understanding of the true concept of reconciliation and what sin really is.

One should be fearful of living in mortal sin for any length of time. A priest is not a counselor and a buddy to help hold you accountable. He is in the person of Christ in the confessional. If you wish to be sorry for your sins and tell God you are sorry, God has made himself available to do so.

Bottom line, don’t commit mortal sin.
And if you do, take care of it ASAP.

If the act you make is an act of perfect contrition (prime motivation for contrition is having offended God) then you would be saved.

If the act you make is an act of imperfect contrition (prime motivation for contrition fear of going to Hell) then you would not be saved.

How is asking for forgiveness from God similar to ‘getting away with something’? This is precisely what God instructed us to do…ask forgiveness, and if sincere, he will forgive, its really that simple.

Well it’s because I asked Him to forigve me in advance. :slight_smile:

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