Question concerning confession


#1

A couple of people have posted other topics concerning confession, but I haven’t seen any direct answer to the following question:

Let’s say that I’m a repeat mortal sin offender. Let’s say I’m a kleptomaniac. Let’s say I’ve been addicted to pornography since age 12. You pick the repeated mortal sin. So, on a Sunday afternoon, I steal something or I watch pornography – whatever. I detest the sin, I feel very upset that I’ve wounded by relationship with God, and I say multiple Acts of Contrition. The next available confession at the parish is on Tuesday afternoon. I go to confession, right? Right. However, the following Sunday I unfortunately commit the same sin despite by earnestness beforehand not to. Rinse, and repeat cycle, it seems.

If this is my habit, am I abusing the sacrament of reconciliation?

I would venture and say that I’m not because I’m approaching the confessional with a sincere attitude of contrition and amendment. I’m almost obligated as a Christian to confess my sins or else I risk hell. Even if I don’t display the signs of perfect contrition, if I fear hell, then this is enough reason to confess my offenses. However, all I’m effectively getting out of going to confession each time I commit a serious, grave offense such as what my habits dictate is a momentarily cleansed soul and a free pass to communion. (And serious attempts at amendment are made.)

This is where I become confused. Is my mortal sin not a mortal sin but only a serious, disordered offense? Must I make confession so frequently? Am I still allowed to accept communion in such a state?


#2

First of all, you NEVER just get a ‘free pass’, as you put it, out of a good confession. You also get graces to help you avoid the sin further in future. Who knows but without those graces you might sin something else much worse, or sin much more frequently, than you do with them.

Secondly - is a momentarily cleansed soul a horrible thing? The alternative, after all, is an uncleansed one. Surely you wouldn’t rather have that? You sound a bit like the person who says ‘I won’t bother having a shower today, because afterwards I’ll just get sweaty and stinky again anyway’.

There IS a point to regular cleansing of both body and soul, even if the sweet smell isn’t likely to last long. And the more you sweat and stain, the more frequently you need to shower. It’s that simple.

If you are, as you say, addicted to your sinful behaviour, or even if you’re frequently repeating it, there may well be an underlying disorder of some kind. In which case it’s a good idea to combine confession with some other sort of counselling or therapy.


#3

I think you’re doing the right thing here. sometimes the struggle can seem pointless when we keep failing. Everyone has one or two sins that really dog them. When we fall and get back up God is very pleased with us. He wants to see us get back up asap each time - no matter how often we fall. He is very pleased that we struggle.I forget where I heard it but when we fall and get straight back up God looks at us and says look at my son, see how hard he tries. Don’t get discouraged. Confession is the medicine we all need. The priest is like a doctor who will work on your soul if you let him. You need to keep going to the doctor to get your medicine and eventually that wound will be healed once and for all. If you feel you have some psychological or compulsive problem seek professional advice on this. Keep struggling and you’ll eventually win, and you’ll have grown in humility.


#4

i thought I should elaborate a little on one aspect because this can cause one lots of grief. Don’t focus on your sins too much. I’m not saying don’t confess them or struggle, but focus more on the struggle. God knows what weak creatures we are and that we’re sinners. He wants us to struggle and if we do that He’s pleased with us. We have to struggle our whole lives - all of us. We shouldn’t let ourselves get discouraged if we’re not perfect. Gloominess is the ally of the enemy. Always remain cheerful and optimistic. Prayer to our Lady helps a lot too.


#5

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