[FONT=“Century Gothic”]***I have to believe that if we make a good act of contrition, during a personal confession to God, before we are able to get to confession, we are forgiven. Am I right in thinking this?
I really feel badly about how awful I acted yesterday over a secular, and pretty silly matter. I lost my patience too quick, and plan to go to confession this weekend. But, last night and this morning, I asked God for forgiveness…it is a venial sin that I commited, but …is the sin forgiven, when I approach God in this way?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts to this.***[/FONT]
In the case of a venial sin, I would tend to agree. Since it is not required, but encouraged, to confess venial sins, wouldn’t you be forgiven at mass during the Kyrie and the Eucharist? At least that’s my understanding. But if it’s really eating at you, by all means, go to confession.
venial sins are forgiven by prayer but mortal sins are more complex. to receive forgiveness of a mortal sin through prayer you have to have perfect contrition. that means that you understand what you did is wrong but you are not sorry because your afraid of going to hell your sorry because you love God. most people don’t have perfect contrition for example lets say you have a girlfriend and you have sex with her now you know thats a sin but you confess it not because you love God but because you don’t want to go to hell. in the sacrament of penance you do not need perfect contrition to be forgiven the mercy of God flows out from the sacrament. this is why Jesus gave us the sacrament and why it is so very important.
The penance comes from the priest during confession. One of the requirements for confessing your sins is to be sorry. So your real question is which is more pleasing to God: To be truly sorry, or to be truly sorry AND have an encounter with Jesus in one of his sacraments? I vote for being sorry and having an encounter with Jesus.
Lack of contrition is not real repentance, so it doesn’t matter what penance you perform (or anything else, really) if you are not truly contrite. So God is pleased by true repentance, truly turning to Him, which in turn moves us to perform deeds worthy of repentance.
I’m sure it is more pleasing to God if you are sorry because you love Him. But He knows our motives are also mixed. It is sufficient to go to confession if you only have imperfect contrition. Going to confession indicates that have some kind of sorrow and that you would like to have greater love for God. One grace of confession is that God can give you a greater love of Him and a more pure sorrow for sin.
You did not say what the sin was, but said it was venial. Venial sins do not have to be forgiven. If you say prayers, your rosary, or a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or being kind to someone, your venia sins are forgiven. I am sure God has forgiven you since you had the intention of going to confesion, but remember there are other ways that your venial sins x=can be forgive by what I told you.
I would state it a little differently: The sacrament of reconciliation makes your contrition perfect.
Um…all sins need to be forgiven. Just doing some sort of good work or penance doesn’t forgive one’s sin, one also needs to be contrite and ask for forgiveness. The way you stated it, it seems like you’re saying one can earn forgiveness by one’s own actions, and this is completely at odds with Catholic understanding of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Not necessarily. I know I’ve been to confession and confessed something ONLY because I had been told it was a sin and I didn’t want to go to hell. I didn’t agree that it should even BE a sin. But I had reached a point that perhaps those in authority knew slightly more than me, and on the slim possibility that they were right and I was wrong, I confessed it.
Or perhaps you are right. As years have passed, I have come to understand my attitude and my actions and the influences upon each and have gradually developed sorrow for my sin based on the fact that what I did was offensive to God. But I’m not sure that I would say even today that my contrition is “perfect”.
You’re forgiven, but you are not able to receive Communion until you have gone to Confession if you committed a MORTAL sin. Venial sins do not prevent you from receiving Communion, however, they should be prevented as much as possible.
It is always a good idea to say a perfect act of contrition when you realize your sins because you never know if you will make it to Confession. Something could happen along the way (not meaning in a morbid sense). If you make a good act of contrition and you pass away, you’re forgiven in the sense that God knew what was in your heart and that you tried to be absolved from your sins.
Nobody can know whether you would be forgiven or not, there are a multitude of different things that would come into play that would determine whether you would be forgiven or not, and ultimately no one can know the mind of God, in truth most of us do not even perfectly understand ourselves.
It would be foolish to presume you are forgiven the only way to be sure is to receive absolution through the priest as God wishes, this was the practice of the saints who i am confident sin less than most of us and we would be wise to imitate them.
Confession of venial sins while not absolutely necessary will be a great help towards attaining that holiness God desires of us and I cannot recommend it to you enough.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to make a perfect act of contrition?
You can’t know whether you made a perfect act of contrition or not with any certainty, theologians can’t even agree on what exactly is necessary to make a perfect act of contrition. It requires a complete detachment from the sin for one, and perfect love of God for another, hence my advice to go to confession if you want to be sure.
It is extremely difficult if not impossible for most people to make an act of perfect contrition, such an act is extremely rare indeed.
Also note I said go to confession to be sure and part of what you posted states you must have an intention to go to confession.
Bottom line, you can’t know for certain you made a perfect act of contrition and the intention to receive absolution through the sacrament of penance as soon as possible is a necessary requirement to receive the effect of a perfect act of contrition anyway so go to confession and get absolved by the priest DO NOT be presumptive of God’s mercy, this in itself is sinful.
None of this is relevant anyway as the OP does not need to do any of this for venial sins though of course it is a good idea to make an act of contrition anyway and to go to confession anyway though as previously stated venial sins can be forgiven in many ways other than through the confessional.
This is true, but who judges if our contrition is perfect or imperfect…? We don’t. The priest does, and in the scenerio we’re talking about, God does. It does nobody ANY good whatsover (and is in fact potentially fatal) to presume that our contrition would be perfect in any given situation. That is why God gave us the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Of course if the sin is venial then our own perfect contrition and/or assistance at Mass would absolve us. But if there is any doubt whether a sin is venial or mortal, then it’s just prudent to go ahead and confess it.
Yes, our human minds can’t comprehend what “perfect” means to God. We are full of doubts and have ulterior motives to why we say an Act of Contrition. I know I’ve said one before just because I realized how heinous the sin was. That, I’ve read, is not a perfect Contrition.
I do not mean to say that if you make an Act of Contrition that you don’t need the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I would never say that. Act of Contrition just states how sorry you are for your sins, with great hope that God will forgive. Jesus’ mercy is endless, and we should never discount that. I love what Jesus said to St. Faustina:
Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls.
Such a beautiful Sacrament, and it should not be wasted.