Hi, I’m a recent revert to Catholicism. I was estranged from the Church for about 13 years and prior to that only had minimal instruction in the faith. For the last year I’ve been attending mass again weekly and reading extensively about the faith. But there are obviously still some things I am unclear on.
My question is this: If you commit a sin (especially a mortal sin) but don’t feel guilty about it, what do you do??? I want to go to confession and be reconciled with God, and I feel bad that I don’t feel bad about sinning (if that makes sense) but I don’t actually have remorse for the particular sin I’ve committed. I fear this may be in part due to what I’ve heard called the “searing of the conscience”, meaning that due to certain sins becoming a habit for me I have thus become desensitized to them.
I’ve tried to create a sense of guilt in my heart by doing things like contemplating the Passion of our Lord, but for some reason this hasn’t been as effective for me recently as it has been in the past. I think part of the problem is that because I fall into this sin so often it almost seems pointless to confess it (though I always do confess it) because I am almost certain to commit the offense again. Isn’t this an abuse of the Sacrament of Penance?
I have also been told that I shouldn’t rely too strongly on my feelings, but rather realize that matters concerning faith are matters of the will and not matters of emotion. However it seems like I should at least feel something. Doesn’t the Church teach that part of what makes a confession valid is a feeling of shame and regret for the sins committed? Without that wouldn’t my act of contrition be hollow?
Sorry, for rambling. I hope someone can help me here.