Is it ok to pray for contrition?


#1

I have a big, huge sin that I need to confess.

However, I feel as though I have not yet gained true contrition or have truly appreciated the gravity of the sin,

Is it ok to pray about this and ask for that knowledge?

Can anyone else offer up any advice?


#2

We can and should pray to God for anything with which we struggle. Prayer is about changing us.
In the meantime, do not waste time. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
You may have better understanding than you realize. The priest is there for guidance, not merely confession. Let him do the job to which he has been called by virtue of his ordination.


#3

I cannot yet go to confession, let me explain.

I had a very long confession/discussion with my priest a couple of nights ago. Where he really helped push me to give up my whole life to God. I had previously given it up to him, except for one area. My husband and I use contraceptives, currently an IUD. Over the past few weeks, I had been thinking a lot about it - how I wanted to give this up to God, as scary as it is, but I just couldn’t find the strength. I really needed that extra push to make my decision.

The reason that I cannot confess is that I still have the IUD - I made an appt to have it removed next week.

I also don’t think I have truly understood the gravity of what I have done - because there is still a part of me that doesn’t want it removed.

I also really want to see my confessor about this, in a private appt - and being in such a large church (4,200 families), it can sometime take some time to get an appt.


#4

Hi MrsMeganMC,

Yes! Not only is it ok to pray for contrition, it is encouraged.

Contrition is absolutely essential for the forgiveness of sins. Older catholic books which helped one prepare for confession often had a section which was intended to help the penitent “excite contrition”.

Here is an example:

CONSIDER Who He is, and how good and gracious He is to you, Whom you have so often and so deeply offended by these sins. He made you – He made you for Himself, to know, love, and serve Him, and to be happy with Him forever. He redeemed you by His blood. He has borne with you and waited for you so long. He it is Who has called you and moved you to repentance. Why have you thus sinned against Him? Why have you been so ungrateful? What more could He do for you? Be ashamed, and mourn, and despise yourself, because you have sinned against your Maker and your Redeemer Whom you ought to love above all things!

Consider the consequences of even one mortal sin. By it you lose the grace of God. You destroy peace of conscience; you forfeit the felicity * of heaven, for which you were created and redeemed; and you prepare for yourself eternal punishment. If we grieve for the loss of temporal and earthly things, how much more should we grieve for having deliberately exposed ourselves to the loss of those which are eternal and heavenly!

Consider how great is the love of God for you, if only from this, that He has so long waited for you, and spared you, when He might have so justly cast you into hell. Behold Him fastened to the cross for love of you!
Sometimes the difficulty is in being sorry for our sins, and these meditations can help. Sometimes, however, the difficulty is actually due to a prior problem – we don’t really understand, or believe, that our action is a sin. In those cases, we either need to strive to understand the reasons something is sinful, or, to accept on faith that it is, because God, or His Church, tell us so.

Is that any help at all?

Short answer: yes! pray for contrition!

VC*


#5

In the Great Canon of Repentance of St. Andrew of Crete, sung during Lent in the Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches, there is a verse:

I have neither repentance, nor tears;
But may You Yourself, O Savior,
Give them to me.

What do you think, dear soul?


#6

That is a beautiful and short prayer.

Thank you.


#7

#8

There’s no sin God hasn’t seen before.


#9

We often need a different perspective, to understand GOD’S agenda, which is not the same as our limited one.

  1. He came to save us. “I have come to call sinners.”

  2. We CANNOT have contrition, sorrow, grace, help, or NUTTIN’ without Him. “Without Me you can do nothing.” You don’t lift yourself by your bootstraps. HE DOES THE LIFTING; HE DOES THE FORGIVING; HE DOES IT BECAUSE HE HAS THE POWER.

  3. HE WANTS US TO REPENT SO BADLY HE DIED A MOST PAINFUL DEATH FREELY TO PAY FOR OUR SINS AND TO GIVE US GRACE. He never spoke of His death without HIS RESURRECTION! In other words, THE WHOLE BUSINESS OF GOD COMING AND DOING WHAT HE DID WAS TO GIVE TO US THINGS, GRACE, LIFE, THINGS THAT WE DO NOT HAVE.

“The angels in heaven will rejoice over one sinner who repents more than over a hundred who have no need of repentance.”

:And the Father RAN OUT TO MEET HIS SON on his return from the far country [with tears of joy in His eyes] and then prepared the fatted calf…[you know the rest of that].

FEELING sorry is not how it works. BEING SORRY IS A DECISION - a change of will, a change of mind; I DID THIS BEFORE; I REGRET IT; THIS IS WHAT I WILL DO IN THE FUTURE. It is that simple. As a matter of fact, I am very suspicious of many of those who “feel” sorrow but do not seem to me to have made sufficient DECISION. It is your INTENTION that is welcomed. And, feeling LOUSY is one of the effects of sin. It should be that way.

Don’t worry: that will pass shortly. “If I do not wash you, you shall not be clean!” You feel lousy when you’re dirty: you feel great when you FORGIVE YOURSELF AFTER GOD FORGIVES YOU.

And that requires you DECIDE TO TRUST THAT ABOUT GOD’S LOVE. HE CREATED THE UNIVERSE AND US BECAUSE HE WANTS TO SHARE HIMSELF WITH US. DON’T THINK FOR A SINGLE SECOND HE’S CHANGED HIS MIND.

HE WANTS YOU. (Remember those old WWII signs that showed Uncle Sam pointing his finger at the viewer: 'UNCLE SAME WANTS YOU! " ? That’s a pretty good picture.)

All He wants is FOR US TO TURN TO HIM. NO one except His Blessed Mother gets to heaven without His forgiveness and His freely given grace. No one. IT IS THE VERY NATURE OF REALITY. So honor Him by accepting it!


#10

Hello,

I don’t have any good advice aside from what has already been said, but let me just briefly mention a scenario which I have gone through in my spiritual life. In times past, I will commit a certain sin, realize how grave it is, but find that I’m not sorry for committing the sin; however, I’m truly sorry that I don’t feel as much contrition as I should. This sounds like what you’re going through, and it’s in these moments that the soul will naturally turn towards its Lord and exclaim, “I know I should be more sorry for committing this sin against you, but I don’t understand what I’ve done wrong even though I know it was wrong! Please forgive me! And give me understanding!” Such a prayer comes quite naturally in these moments.

Don’t beat yourself up over the sin, though. Don’t think you have to emotionally scourge yourself in order to feel contrition. That’s advice for both me and you. :slight_smile:


#11

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