Is it wrong to steal grace?

So this is what happened some years ago. I was waiting in line for confession. It was a day before a holy day of obligation, so confessions were going on everywhere and many people had come. After waiting in line for a long time, I reached a point where I was 2nd in the line. But I sensed that the priest was going to leave any moment (there was no time limit specified, but I just felt he was going to leave and then I would not be able to confess my sins to another priest).

So I requested this girl who was 1st in the line whether I could go next. I didn’t know how long she would take and I had a mortal sin to confess, but I knew that my confession was going to be short. I told her that it would take just about 3 mins for me. So she agreed and let me go next. So I went.

And as soon as my confession was done, just as I had thought, the priest got up and left and as he left I felt guilty that I had “stolen” grace from this girl. She wasn’t able to do her confession. But then I consoled myself saying that maybe her sins were not mortal.

What is your opinion on this whole episode?

I don’t understand why the priest did not attend to the last person in line, but perhaps he had an important appointment and had to leave.

You did nothing wrong to feel guilty about - you did not “steal grace.” The person freely gave up her place in line. I suspect the Holy Spirit quickened you to sense that the priest would be leaving, and it was important for you to be reconciled to God. That was a very charitable act when the lady gave up her place in line. Many times I go to confession without being in mortal sin, so let’s believe that she was going out of devotion and not necessity, as you were.

Don’t sweat it. If you have the Holy Ghost and have forgiven her sins then her sins are forgiven.

You cannot steal grace, it is freely given. I think your scenario is such an example.
Your urgency in requesting to be “next” was in itself a gift of grace. Her allowing you to proceed was another gift of grace. She benefited in sacrificing her time for you. You benefited in meeting the urgency that your soul was expressing to you. You were both blessed by GOD with HIS grace freely given.

You stole nothing in this instance; the lady willingly gave up her confession for you. Had she been cognizant of major sin in her life, as you were in yours, no doubt she would have said “I really need to be next” or something of that nature.

I’m not sure how grace could be “stolen” in this situation. Jumping a confession line would come closest, but would not likely be allowed to happen.

But if it could be stolen, our LORD would approve someone who had the zeal to steal it; remember the dishonest steward in HIS parable?

God Bless and ICXC NIKA

this is not Catholic teaching. Only priests can absolve others from sins.

Well I guess that is one of the reasons for the protestant reformation.

One among many…rebellion, greed, lust…:eek:

Oh yes, not all of the motives were good.

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