Penance distractions


Is it true that if you are distracted praying your penance it still “counts”? What if it’s like the worst prayer you’ve ever done? You could just do it over then I know but would it still “count”? Any thought?


Still counts, but it might be good to do over again if you were so distracted. It’s insulting to God if we don’t put forth our best effort to recollect ourselves and pay attention when we are speaking to Him. Would you do that with the Prime Minster of president of a nation? How much more so not to do it with God.

I have my struggles too! :blush:


I don’t see why not… The Lord knows your heart better than anyone.


Once the priest absolves you of your sins, right then at that moment, you are forgiven and the sins have been absolved.

Later outside of confession, you do your penance to make up for your sins. What is not made up is left for purgatory or made up be other good things or prayers you do. So if you don’t do the penance in a good fashion, then there is more left for you to make up in some way later in this life or in purgatory.

But strictly speaking, even tho the penance was done in a poor way, you have fulfilled your penance.

Before praying, it is good to set your mind first on what you are doing. It makes the prayer easier and better. Just pause for a moment or two and think first to clear away the chatter and the clutter.

The penance of the confessional has a greater merit since it is given in the sacrament.
But regardless of how the penance is done, the sins are already forgiven.

May mercy, peace, and love be yours in ever greater measure.


I would not advise “doing it over” because you didn’t think it was good enough the first time. This can lead to or feed the disorder known as scrupulosity. Remember the experience and try to deal with distractions better in the future.


Padre Pio once said that if he had to start the Rosary over again every time he got distracted he would spend his entire life and never complete a Rosary.




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