Prayers for absolution in Confession


#1

I am of the personal belief that I choose not to use the intercession of saints or Mary. I do not reject this belief or any dogma’s or doctrines of the church.

My question is, if I go to confession and the priest tells me that I have to say an our father, 10 hail mary’s, and a bible verse…are my sins still forgiven by God if I choose to say my own prayers without saying the hail mary’s?

I don’t think this is wrong, it’s our choice whether or not we use certain saints intercession, or just pray our own personal prayers. I could use some help. Thanks in advance.


#2

Explain your situation to the priest and ask him for a different penance.


#3

[quote=Todd Easton]Explain your situation to the priest and ask him for a different penance.
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#4

[quote=Todd Easton]Explain your situation to the priest and ask him for a different penance.
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I think that sounds like a good idea.

This is just an idea, but maybe try saying the Hail Mary’s once.


#5

ya, I like that idea. About saying the hail Mary once, I guess it kind of defeats the purpose.


#6

By not using or believing in the communion of saints, you set up an obstacle for absolution and union within the catholic church. Remember confession only works if you do not have an obstacle for recieving it. This may be a problem in your faith. Do you also not say the Apostles creed in the mass, or just give it lip service. “communion of saints, ONE holy catholic apostolic church.” When the priest gives you a pennance you must complete it or discuss with him another means of penance. Dont be supprised if he still tells you to Pray with the saints, after all this may be the very thing you need in order to be in communion with the church. Its like killing two birds with one stone. Perform the penance to receive forgiveness, and and perform it to help formulate a better acceptance of the doctrine of the saints. Just my two cents.

How can you say “I’m in communion with the saints, but I choose not to take advantage of it.” What a lonely prayer life. So you dont want anyone else to pray with you. That is odd. You believe you can do it all by yourself. This is almost protestant thinking.


#7

While the rosary is a private devotion, I’m not sure but think that the Hail Mary is considered in the realm of traditional prayers of the Church and not exactly the same as a private devotion. In the Eucharist prayer No 3 the priest says, “with Mary, the virgin Mother of God; with the apostles, the martyrs, and all your saints, on whose constant intercession we rely for help,” we have that intecession there constantly.

I would guess the priest could change your penance, but if you ask I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t insist you proceed with the Hail Mary’s (maybe even add to them) to increase your faith in what the Church teaches in this regard.

I had some hesitation on some of the rosary during the time I was converting. I got over it by saying the rosary. I had problems with certain doctrines, I got over it by studying and embracing that rather than setting it aside.

Marcia


#8

[quote=RMP]By not using or believing in the communion of saints, you set up an obstacle for absolution and union within the catholic church. Remember confession only works if you do not have an obstacle for recieving it. This may be a problem in your faith. Do you also not say the Apostles creed in the mass, or just give it lip service. “communion of saints, ONE holy catholic apostolic church.” When the priest gives you a pennance you must complete it or discuss with him another means of penance. Dont be supprised if he still tells you to Pray with the saints, after all this may be the very thing you need in order to be in communion with the church. Its like killing two birds with one stone. Perform the penance to receive forgiveness, and and perform it to help formulate a better acceptance of the doctrine of the saints. Just my two cents.

How can you say “I’m in communion with the saints, but I choose not to take advantage of it.” What a lonely prayer life. So you dont want anyone else to pray with you. That is odd. You believe you can do it all by yourself. This is almost protestant thinking.
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I’m sure to some extent it is protestant thinking, and I understand where you are coming from and appreciate your opinion. At the same time, though the Church teaches that using the saints to intercede is benficial, it is not mandatory. So I don’t understand why I would have to say a Hail Mary if I feel that saying a prayer to God on my own is suits my personal needs since all prayers go there anyways and it’s him that ultimately will forgive or not. I guess, I don’t truly understand how a priest determines how many hail mary’s you need or whatever the case. This is my problem. It’s ok to be in communion with the saints and rely on yourself to pray for yourself. It is also ok to seek the intercession of saints. I just choose not to, that’s all.


#9

[quote=Catholic Tom]I’m sure to some extent it is protestant thinking, and I understand where you are coming from and appreciate your opinion. At the same time, though the Church teaches that using the saints to intercede is benficial, it is not mandatory. So I don’t understand why I would have to say a Hail Mary if I don’t want to. I guess, I don’t truly understand how a priest determines how many hail mary’s you need or whatever the case. This is my problem. It’s ok to be in communion with the saints and rely on yourself to pray for yourself. It is also ok to seek the intercession of saints. I just choose not to, that’s all.
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I used to feel the exact same way! It took me SEVERAL years to change my views, and it is just in the last 4-6 months that I have started praying for intercession, rosary, etc.

I have no idea how they decide penance either. I have had some priests give me a laundry lists of prayers to say. Some just tell me to pray some prayers, and some gave me actual tasks to accomplish. Not sure how they decide either, but boy do I feel obligated to do em. Guess that Holy Spirit really works huh? :smiley:


#10

[quote=Catholic Tom]I am of the personal belief that I choose not to use the intercession of saints or Mary. I do not reject this belief or any dogma’s or doctrines of the church.

My question is, if I go to confession and the priest tells me that I have to say an our father, 10 hail mary’s, and a bible verse…are my sins still forgiven by God if I choose to say my own prayers without saying the hail mary’s?

I don’t think this is wrong, it’s our choice whether or not we use certain saints intercession, or just pray our own personal prayers. I could use some help. Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

The Hail Mary is straight out of the Bible. Were you unaware of this?


#11

[quote=Catholic Tom] At the same time, though the Church teaches that using the saints to intercede is benficial, it is not mandatory.
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Nope, it’s not mandatory to say the prayers or to ask for the intercession of the Saints.

So I don’t understand why I would have to say a Hail Mary if I feel that saying a prayer to God on my own is suits my personal needs since all prayers go there anyways and it’s him that ultimately will forgive or not.

Yes, it is up to God to decide if you are truly sorry. But the priests are there for our benefit. Would you say that God is not working through the priests?

[quote=Catholic Tom]I guess, I don’t truly understand how a priest determines how many hail mary’s you need or whatever the case. This is my problem. It’s ok to be in communion with the saints and rely on yourself to pray for yourself. It is also ok to seek the intercession of saints. I just choose not to, that’s all.
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**I don’t know how they determine penance. **

**I’ve had to visit a shrine, say a decade of the Rosary, say a set number of prayers, pray for a certain group of people, etc. **

**I believe the point is to get us to do something to say “Ok, God, I really am sorry, and to show that to you and myself, I will do as I am asked.” **

In your case, I’d say having to say ten Hail Mary’s would be a very good penance. Since a penance isn’t there to make us feel comfortable, but to take us out of ourselves and our “comfort zone.”

**Is it really so difficult to do this type of Penance after confession? **

**The point is, if you don’t do the penance that was given, were you really sorry? **

**If something is too difficult to do, you have the obligation of telling this to the confessor. **

For example, if I was unable to get to a shrine within a reasonable amount of time after my confession, I would have to go back to the priest and let him know, or let him know at the time of my confession.

**There is nothing physical stopping you from completing this type of penance. Is it just distasteful? Does it make you feel like you are worshipping Mary? Does it make you uncomfortable? **


#12

I think I understand the nature of your question. You mean to say if (or should): A) you simply don’t wish to use the prayers for the intercession of the saints or Mary (and not because of reasons of disbelief or doctrinal rejection), that a priest imposes as a penance, and: B) want to use your own or another penance, is this wrong?

Well I think if you ask the priest for a different penance, or even have the opportunity to speak to him before he grants absolution, that you would like to use something different – perhaps you want to do a Vigil contemplating the Holy wounds, or whatever - it doesn’t sound like an unreasonable request to make, and I’m sure most good confessors can be flexible, especially if it’s to help combat periods of spiritual dryness, for instance.

And you are right, we do have some choices in our lives about the prayers we say. Personal prayers are important too, in the spiritual life of any good Catholic. A personal dialogue with Our Lord help us come closer to Him, in my opinion, and the more often the better, say some of my friends. But do not forget the benefits of praying with the aid of those that already see Him and walk in His Love. These brother and sisters of ours are very strong, and their help is always poweful, even though we may not perceive this at work for us most of the time.


#13

Catholic Tom. I have read your original post and all the responses, and am surprised that noone has advised that you should be obedient to the priest.

While it is permissible to ask for another penance if what the priest has given you is unreasonable or impossible for you to carry out, it is normally required that we fulfil the penance given us in confession.

You do not want to pray to Mary. How sad. But, nevertheless, you are most likely to be given Hail Marys to say almost every confession!

The virtue of obedience is very important, and, since you do not want to say these prayers, your obedience will also be mortification - and gain you extra graces.

Don’t quibble about this. Say whatever prayers the priest asks you to say. Your private prayers are your choice, but you should obey your confessor.


#14

[quote=Joan M]Catholic Tom. I have read your original post and all the responses, and am surprised that noone has advised that you should be obedient to the priest.

While it is permissible to ask for another penance if what the priest has given you is unreasonable or impossible for you to carry out, it is normally required that we fulfil the penance given us in confession.

You do not want to pray to Mary. How sad. But, nevertheless, you are most likely to be given Hail Marys to say almost every confession!

The virtue of obedience is very important, and, since you do not want to say these prayers, your obedience will also be mortification - and gain you extra graces.

Don’t quibble about this. Say whatever prayers the priest asks you to say. Your private prayers are your choice, but you should obey your confessor.
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Bless you;

That is not what the person is saying. And it is not wrong to ask for heavier, or merely different penances of the Confessor.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Prester John


#15

So I don’t understand why I would have to say a Hail Mary if I feel that saying a prayer to God on my own is suits my personal needs since all prayers go there anyways and it’s him that ultimately will forgive or not

Remember that penance isn’t about your personal needs. True, some personal spiritual benefit may be derived from completing the penance but the purpose of the penance is not for you to get something out of it. Penance is about obedience (as one poster already mentioned) and about humility. With that in mind, maybe you might rethink and say the Hail Marys for pennace but chose different prayers for your personal prayer time.

Each priest is different but many priests use traditional prayers so you may run into the Hail Mary or the Hail Holy Queen frequently.


#16

Part of having the requisite amount of contrition probably involves the willingness to make satisfaction, and that could well be represented by whatever penance the priest will impose (but it might not be, too). In other words, you may run into the problem of not being actually contrite and therefore not being forgiven. I’m not sure, though.

Normally the act of satisfaction or penance (three hail mary or whatnot) is not really applied to forgiveness, but to the remission of temporal punishments. Clearly three hail mary is not a lot of remission. They used to give bigger ones. Bigger ones would mean less “time” in purgatory.

Myself, I would not make a substitution without asking the priest, unless you are given a penance that later turns out to be impossible for some unforseen reason. Then do substitute something else until you can consult at your next confession and get it straightened out.

Ask your priest what is okay, and ask him if you can have something besides the hail mary.


#17

I think you are absolutely right to avoid praying with the saints and Mary, and you should explain to your confessor exactly why you feel that way, and ask for another penance. Feeling as you do, I would especially avoid the Hail Mary, and the Rosary like the plague. Since you have already determined that you are going to approach God directly, on your own, without being in communion with those who are already with Him in eternity, the worst thing you can do is join your prayers to those of His mother. Once you begin praying the Rosary, there will be no stopping her. She is, after all, a Jewish mother, and you certainly don’t need that. Besides, you are obviously doing great on your own, and don’t need Mary or the saints. Go for it.


#18

When I was little, I said the prayers without knowing what they meant, so I couldn’t have been put off by them. I just said them phonetically.

Why can’t you say the Hail Marys phonetically and just get it done? Did the priest ask you to say them only on the condition that you believe in praying through intercessors and that you consider it part of your normal prayer process?

The only reason I can see for balking at them is if you think the priest is asking you to sin by saying them. Do you feel like you are undergoing some sort of torture or being dishonest by merely verbalizing the words? If you think that, perhaps you need to talk to the priest outside the confessional about it.

Remember Paul became like those he was around, in order to win them. When I first came back to the Church after being on haitus for a while then after listening to some non-Catholic preachers, I thought I knew better than to say certain parts of the Mass and would conspicuously omit them. Then I read Paul telling me that if I think I know something, then I don’t know as I ought to know. Even if you think praying through Mary is a sign of others’ weakness, let your freedom not cause them to sin in their weakness.

Alan


#19

:rotfl: luv the sarcasm puzzleannie!

Actually, CatholicTom, it sounds like you have a bigger problem than being uncomfortable with the communion of saints! Sounds like you fail in obedience to the representative for Christ in the confessional. :frowning:

Kidder


#20

[quote=kmktexas]Remember that penance isn’t about your personal needs. True, some personal spiritual benefit may be derived from completing the penance but the purpose of the penance is not for you to get something out of it. Penance is about obedience (as one poster already mentioned) and about humility. With that in mind, maybe you might rethink and say the Hail Marys for pennace but chose different prayers for your personal prayer time.

Each priest is different but many priests use traditional prayers so you may run into the Hail Mary or the Hail Holy Queen frequently.
[/quote]

Three broken ribs, and one well-deservered punch to the jaw with more force than I ever thought a man could inflict with merely a fist, give me a healthy respest for dis-agreeing with Texans!

Penance IS about our personal needs! We NEED to be saved, we NEED God, we NEED to be saved from our own tendency to be sinners. We NEED God’s help. And we need to use REAL freedom of will… to be able to in every which way that we can think of to SERVE OUR GOOD GOD. Obedience is terribly important. Humility is terribly important.Charity and Mercy are terribly important.
But the Sacrament of PENANCE is about Forgiveness, and Redemption… And us asking for it. In the Sacrament, and in times when we don’t have a priest there to give it sacramentally…


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