Please help me! Confession

I committed a mortal sin and did not confess it (knowingly). It is not a very big mortal sin, but it is still a mortal sin. This happened at least a year (or a little longer) ago and after a few confessions I just forgot about it. I knew it’s a sin not to confess a sin but I never realized the extent of how terrible it actually was. It just never occurred to me how bad it was, until today when I looked it up because I thought about it and was curious. I have no idea why I was so ignorant to think it was no big deal, and now I feel the heaviest weight on myself.

I was going to go to confession right away after I found out, but there are no confessions in my area today before Christmas. So I obviously won’t be taking the Eucharist during Christmas mass, which really pains me. I will go to confession as soon as I can, but I’m so nervous to tell the priest. I will, no doubt, confess it but I’m just afraid of how big this sin of hiding a sin really is. Not only because it happened once in the first place, but for every confession after that! And I thought nothing of it either. I read online that when confessing that I did not confess a mortal sin, I have to tell the priest every other sin that happened since my last good confession (which was when I didn’t hide this mortal sin). And that happened nearly a year ago, how am I to remember all my sins? And I received the Eucharist several times til now too. I feel absolutely terrible, to the point where I convinced myself there was no way I would be saved. Is this true? Is there still hope for me?
What hurts me the most is that I found the extent of this out recently because I have recently been wanting to become more faithful. I have made a promise to pray every night, while exercising, cleaning, or any time I remember to pray when I’m doing little activities like that and I really do feel from this experience that I will become changed. I heard that keeping track of my sins will help me become aware and avoid sinning again so I took that habit also. What would a penance for something like this be? I have never even heard of this happening to many people and I can’t find the answers, I feel awful.

Please pray for me! I pray that God will have mercy on me and that I will become more consistent on the path to righteousness. And help me in understanding how to make a good confession while explaining this to the priest, what do I say/ how can I remember all my sins from up until a year ago?

Well, when you are able to get to Confession, you must reconfess all mortal sins you confessed in previous confessions since you committed that particular mortal sin, as purposely withholding a mortal sin in Confession is a mortal sin itself, and it also invalidates the Absolution. Try to remember as many as you can. If you can’t remember all of them, then that’s OK, as the absolution covers forgotten sins.

If you have been knowingly receiving the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin, then you need to confess that to.

You can always be saved up until your death. Confess it, and if you’re truly sorry, then you are in a state of grace after you receive absolution.

Don’t let Satan make you think that you can’t be saved. :slight_smile:

I’ll be sure to pray for you. :thumbsup:

Thank you so much for your prayers and your answer!
I realize I must think of all my previous mortal sins, but I have a terrible memory and I’m not sure if I can. I can remember very few, but I will keep trying as hard as I can! Is it by trying my hardest to remember them that the mortal sins I have forgotten will be forgiven? They are probably the hardest to remember because after confession I let them go off my conscience. Nevertheless I will try my hardest.
I really want this to be my most entire, humble, exact, and best confession. Is there anymore advice that could help me achieve this- Such as praying that I may remember all my mortal sins since then-?

Remember, it is just as important to be able to forgive yourself. If you are like me, that is the hardest thing to do. Merry Christmas.

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.

Try your best to remember your mortal sins. If you can’t remember all of them, then that’s fine, as God knows you tried. Like I said, as long as you don’t purposefully withhold any mortal sins, you are automatically forgiven of all your mortal and venial sins at the moment of Absolution.

Pray for guidance, and certainly pray that God reminds you of your mortal sins, as confessing them gives you the grace to resist temptation in the future. Try to do works of charity and a little penance before your Confession, to prepare yourself, so that you may approach Jesus for Absolution with all humility. :slight_smile:

I read somewhere that you can add, at the end of your confession, “…for these and any and all other sins I may have forgotten, I am sorry and seek forgiveness,” if you are concerned about having missed something inadvertently.

That used to be done in Confession. It is still done in the EF. :thumbsup:

I once went 15 years between Confessions. I’m sure I didn’t remember everything. So, if something I forgot occurs to me, I confess it then. Just tell the priest what happened, do the best you can, and ask for his help if you need it. God is wanting to get this straightened out.

If you feel awful because of the sin, fine. But don’t let the awful feeling grow into all sorts of anxious panic. Be still and calm. God knows what is in your heart. Stop the nervous chattering. Your priest/confessor will help you through this so let go and let God.

Do your best, and then be at peace.

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.

For a sin to be a mortal sin, you must have a sufficient knowledge of what you did wrong. If your knowledge was insufficient, then all your confessions up to now have been valid, because then your withholding of the mortal sin was actually just venial…

Questions to ask:
Did I know what a mortal sin was waayyy back then? If yes, see next question. If no, then you’re probably in a state of grace.

Did you know that withholding a mortal sin is a grave matter? If you did, then the previous comments were correct. Do your best to recall all the sins…

The sin you committed, I think, straddles the line between venial and mortal. These are always tough.

Also, I sense a little bit of scrupulosity (or maybe not) but try not to be too hard on yourself. If you are contrite for your sin(s), you have done your part until you can confess it.

Someone else please validate what I am saying…

Merry Christmas,
A sinner

I don’t know how old you are, but some how in reading your plea, I get the impression that you are rather young.
Why wait for regular scheduled confession? Why not go to the nearest Catholic Rectory and ask to see a Priest? If the secretary or anyone other than a Priest asks what is it about, tell them it is of a personal nature. You might want to make a print out of your plea to this forum with you. It will help you explain what your problem is to a Priest.
Please do not worry about having to remember all of your sins and the number of times you did them. As the Priest to give you a General Confession. That is what a Priest gives people who have been away from the Church for many years, where it would be impossible for them to remember everything.
Lastly, you should not be afraid or ashamed to tell anything to a Priest. Be ashamed for your sins, but not ashamed to confess to a Priest. Believe me when I tell you they have heard everything!
So, get out your telephone book and look up the Catholic Churches in your area. Choose a convenient one and go over there. Do not cop out to I can’t get there. If public transportation is not available, surely you know someone outside of your family who has a car that would be willing to take you there. You can always use the Rectory phone afterwards to get someone to pick you up. In this case, making excuses in the devils doing.

This matter is so confusing. Mostly because it happened so long ago. I’ve prayed a lot more lately and the situation has become clearer. I actually remember a little better now that it happened around 5 years ago. The trickiest part is that at the time, God gave me the feeling (in my conscience) that it was bad to conceal a sin. But I did not know it was a mortal sin. In fact now that I think of it, if I’m reacting this way now in discovering the extent of this sin then back then I would have reacted the same way and would have confessed it right away- like i’m doing now. But it’s hard because I had that feeling in my conscience, yet I didn’t even look into it to make sure. I am young, I’m a teenager, and I admittadly have not been very faithful up until this year (which I am so grateful for because faith has given me so much hapiness!). So I think this is God’s way of telling me that if I am to continue trying to become more faithful I must confess this one mortal sin that I have failed to confess.

I did not know it was a mortal sin to conceal a sin in confession, though I had a feeling it was bad, so does that count?
I surely did not know that it would remove the absolution of every confession after that.

I think the source of my confusion is being ignorant about my faith. I have never read the bible and have forgotten almost everything I have read about my religion- which isn’t much to begin with anyway. It’s also confusing because I don’t know if I am simply just making excuses for myself.
Nevertheless, this I believe is almost the best thing that has ever happened to me because it has woken me up to become closer to my faith and to avoid debacles like this again- and the sins that cause them for that matter. Thank you for all your prayers and answers. I will confess the best I can and ask the priest to aid me in my confession so that I may begin a new faithbased life.

If you mean if it was a mortal sin, then no, because you were not aware that it was. If you mean if your Confession was still invalid, then yes, it was still invalid, even though you weren’t aware that it was a mortal sin. Just because you didn’t know it was a mortal sin doesn’t mean it still wasn’t a sacrilege.

That last line…that’s exactly it. Tell your priest what you told us and he will aid you in this. You have such desire to do the right thing; do not fear that our great and merciful God will not forgive.

So I went to confession and I was fully prepared, there were four people left in line (including me). But the priest had to leave soon for some reason and he brought all of us into the confessional and did a joined confession? I’m not sure of the term, in fact he did it in Spanish so I had no idea what was going on at the time. It only took about a minute and then he finished and we signed ourselves and left. I had no idea what happened until I asked my sister what it was and she explained. But I don’t know whether to feel like it counted, because I never got to explain my problem- which is that I abused a sacrament and that I used to struggle with a sin that I never confessed.

Should I accept it? Can I receive the Eucharist tomorrow or should I go to confession again? My sister says not to worry about it, and that I was absolved of my sins. But I just feel like it’s more complex than that because of my situation.

What the priest most likely did was general absolution. General absolution is only allowed in emergencies. This was not an emergency. The priest most likely incurred mortal sin for this. But, the absolution was valid. If you know that general absolution is forbidden in non-emergency situations, and accept it anyway, it is a mortal sin.

“But, the absolution is valid. If you know that general absolution is forbidden in non-emergency situations, and accept it anyway, it is a mortal sin.”

Wait so because I did not know that it was a mortal sin to accept a general absolution in a non-emergency situation, then my absolution is still valid? I’m a little confused.

General absolution is forbidden in non-emergency situations. But, it is still valid, whether it is permitted or not. The absolution was valid. However, if you knew general absolution is forbidden in non-emergency situations, and accepted it anyway, you incurred mortal sin.

I did not know. But since the priest incurred in mortal sin in doing this, should I go to confession again tomorrow and confess the sins that this priest absolved today?

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