Previously Unconfessed Sins?


#1

Important info: I am 18 years of age, and I live with my parents. I enjoy vaping e-cigarettes every now and then.

Several months ago I vaped in my house without my parents permission. I did it mostly while they were away, or while I was in the restroom. I figured my parents would be mad if they saw me vaping indoors. I didn’t think much of it at the time for whatever reason so I didn’t confess it. :shrug:

Fast forward to a few weeks ago: I told my parents I enjoy vaping. They told me that I can vape anywhere but that I shouldn’t vape in the house. Ever since then I have not vaped in the house except as a demonstration on how e-cigarettes work to them.

My problem, however, is that I did not confess that I vaped indoors back months ago. I have read that if you don’t confess a mortal sin then your confession was invalid, and you need to re-confess all your mortal sins. I simply can’t remember all the mortal sins I confessed over all the months. This is impossible. :banghead:

Of course, I don’t know if vaping in my parents house is a mortal sin. I had a grudge at the time that they wouldn’t want me to vape in the house. So I don’t think I was ignorant of the sin. I clearly had full intention and it’s grave matter to disobey your parents.


#2
  1. If you remember a mortal sin that you didn’t confess, you can always confess it next time you go to Confession. It’s a good thing to do.

  2. But unless you hold back a sin on purpose, every time you go to Confession, the priest says, “I absolve you.”

He doesn’t say, “I absolve all the sins you just enumerated, and only those sins.” If you honestly have forgotten to mention sins, they are included. (But for your peace of mind, a lot of acts of contrition or Confession helps will include phrases like “for these and all my sins.”)

Here’s a translation of an olden days Irish poem/prayer dealing with the problem!

O God’s thoughts, be over these thoughts of mine!
Half of my sins escape my mind.
For sins I said, or forgot to say,
Pardon me, Jesus Christ, I pray.
I stand at Your Throne of Confession today.


#3

Thanks for the reply! I like the poem. :slight_smile:

My problem here is that I am totally confused. I am not entirely sure if I held it back on purpose. I could very well be wrong, but if I remember correctly the thought never crossed my mind that it would be a sin to vape in the house at the time.

Either way, I’ll bring it up in confession next week. :slight_smile:


#4

You clearly still have scruples. Have you found a regular confessor to speak with about these scruples? They will NOT go away on their own. I know firsthand.


#5

I agree.

Regarding the vaping without permission, they didn’t forbid it until you told them. You vaped as an adult, no? I don’t think it was grave matter.

But I agree with PP. Also, perhaps get a good examination of conscience to guide you when you go to confession.


#6

Thanks again for the replies! :slight_smile:

Yep! I vape as an adult. No issues here.

Back before I told them I had a strong grudge they wouldn’t want me to vape in the house; However, for whatever reason I never confessed it.

As for examination of conscience, I am afraid I don’t know how to do it. Is that pondering whether your sin was grave matter or not?


#7

It does not sound like grave matter (a serious sin) to me.


#8

Did you ever meet with the priest about scruples?
I guess not.


#9

As for examination of conscience, I am afraid I don’t know how to do it. Is that pondering whether your sin was grave matter or not?

timhollingworth.webs.com/docs/catholic/examination.of.conscience.pdf


#10

It doesn’t sound like you did anything of grave matter in itself, however, if you believed at the time that you were committing a mortal sin than you did commit a mortal sin in that you were willing to commit a mortal sin and you should confess that in your next confession.


#11

Setting aside the original post and question - just wanted to note about forgotten mortal sins:

If you remember a mortal sin that you didn’t confess, you can always confess it next time you go to Confession. It’s a good thing to do.

!

It an *obligation. * To confess it.

Not just a good thing one can do.

(Jimmy Akin of Catholic Answers -explains jimmyakin.com/2006/09/a_reader_writes_1.html)

(note to those who are scrupulous - discuss with your regular confessor - for those who scruple about confession may be in a different boat- for example their confessor might direct them to only confess that which they are certain was not confessed and certain that it was mortal …etc depending on their difficulty. Bottom line they need a regular confessor to direct them).


#12

There are written guidelines on how to examine your conscience before confession. I can’t post a link because I’m on my phone.

St. Charles Borromeo website has the Cathechim and also a good guide to examine your conscience. You can probably google it

Hope that helps.


#13

A word of caution. A scrupulous person should NOT be making a traditional examination of conscience without direct help from a confessor or spiritual director. Such examines can be emotionally harmful and devistating to a scrupulous person without a regular confessor or spiritual director.

To the OP: You need to get a regular confessor/spiritual director. There is no other way out of this vicious and harmful cycle of scruples. Please get a priest to hel you ASAP. I speak from 17 years of personal experience with scruples.


closed #14

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