Received Eucharist unworthily

I struggle with the sin of lust, but I’m actively trying to control it and stop masturbating. Last night, after three weeks of purity (longest I’ve gone) I broke and gave in to masturbation. I was under the impression that you can receive the eucharist after sinning as long as you go to confession after mass. I wanted to go to confession before mass, but the preist only got there 5 mins ahead of time, and seemed busy prepping for mass, so I didn’t bother him for confession. Anyway, since I thought it’d be ok if I received as long as I intended to go after mass, I went ahead and received. Immediately I felt bad, as if I had done wrong even though I thought it was fine.

Anyway, I hopped on the Internet after mass and now I KNOW I did wrong. I feel dirty and horrible knowing that I offended God like that. I have to wait till next Sunday for confession since I’m in army training and not free to come and go. I feel really terrible.

It’s also hard to make it to confession, because there is no timed confession. You have to ask the preist before mass, and I don’t know if/when it’s appropriate since I don’t want to be a nuisance.

Any input?

Call the rectory and make an appointment for a confession next Sunday. Explain that you aren’t allowed to leave your military base except for certain times.

This is an issue that stays in the confessional.

and now I KNOW I did wrong. I feel dirty and horrible knowing that I offended God like that. I have to wait till next Sunday for confession since I’m in army training and not free to come and go. I feel really terrible.

Any input?

Sexual sin does not offend God; rather it is harmful to you. It damages your relationships with others and ultimately with God. Sin causes isolation, rather than offense.

God doesn’t condemn you; God wants to release you, to better and more fully love him. Take comfort that God is on your side in over coming these urges!

Hi Pedro,

Don’t worry. You did everything right, except maybe for not asking for confession right after the mass. But, as long as you do an act of perfect contrition, including the determination to confess as soon as you can (e.g. next Sunday) you will be just fine.

From the canon law:

A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible. (CIC 916)

In my view this applies to you, because due to priest schedule you couldn’t confess before the mass, although still unclear how you didn’t right in the end. :blush:

This is very familiar to me, in my parish the priest always come monthly from another city when the mass is about to begin. Hence, within my capabilities I’ll make an act of perfect contrition and receive the Eucharist before confession. When the mass ends I will always approach politely the priest and after greeting him ask to hear my confession.

In short, don’t worry. This post of yours, is proof enough that you are repented and ready to confess as soon as you can.

interesting, how do you know you have achieved perfect contrition?

Because God’s love is infinite… I’m not sure God would want to see you in despair because you failed to have “perfect” contrition. Perfect contrition is determined by God, the very God who wills all to be saved. I don’t think it takes a bunch of pleading or mortification. (Remember the prodigal son parable?) Despair is the devil’s playing field and God would not want us to remain there. The sacrament of reconciliation is VERY important and is the normative way to remit mortal sin if indeed one was committed. But the Catechism is very clear that mortal sin can be remitted by this prayer of perfect contrition coupled with the promise to go to confession as soon as possible. IF we believe ourselves to be in the state of mortal sin then we should refrain from the Eucharist out of respect for this sacrament but NOT because we remain in our mortal sin. If no forgiveness could be granted before confession (even with the deepest sorrow for our sins) then we would be in hell should we die prior to the sacrament. I have been told different things by different priests but I stick with what the Catechism teaches so that I can have some solid foundation. We have to stop seeing God as always ready to see us unfit and see Him as the loving God that He is. Jesus told us all about that in the Prodigal Son parable and we need to believe Jesus. Yes, GO TO CONFESSION, but know God’s infinite love and mercy is outside of time and we can always turn to Him for forgiveness and He will run out to us, put a ring on our finger and slaughter the fattened calf. For we once were lost and now we are found. We once were dead and now we live.

:thumbsup: A great post!

okay i’m not sure you understood what i’m asking. maybe help if you quote the CCC paragraph your referring to. as far as I was aware perfect contrition is, your sorry because you have offended God but its hard to know if you have achieved it or not.
is it your interpretation of the ccc? you said different priests gave you different meanings.
God Bless

I believe it was very well answered above by @teachccd, way beyond my own potential to put it on words (my English and argument suck :blush:).

This is a very legitimate question, and as most people (I think) some time ago I used to underestimate the love of God. In fact, I used to think Perfect Contrition was something out of reach to “normal people”. In my first months in Finland where in my city it is rare to come a priest, I used to suffer a lot because of being in mortal sin (once almost going to beg for confession on the neighbour Orthodox Church :o).

However, maybe due to this extraordinary circumstances in my life and an intense spiritual journey this year (thanks CAF), and finally the way my confessor responded to my sins, not with judgement, but making me feel like the prodigal son, all of these factors led me to consider exercising Perfect Contrition. The result is that as I have said before in this forum, although a cradle Catholic, I used to believe and fear, but now I also know that I do love God more than anything else. This love is the source of my Perfect Contrition. At last, Perfect Contrition still requires promising to confess as soon as we can.

Alrighty, ignore what I posted above and check this sources:

Cathecism

EWTN

ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=370862

okay Cartesian thanks but from the link you provided

QUOTEFinally, note the Fr. Hardon says that despite this restoration to justice by an act of perfect contrition that “a Catholic is obliged to confess his or her grave sins at the earliest opportunity and may not, in normal circumstances, receive Communion before he or she has been absolved by a priest…” In the abnormal circumstances of having “a grave reason to receive communion and having no opportunity to go to confession” (canon 916), only then may a Catholic, having made a perfect act of contrition, receive Communion. The lack of a moral certainty that one has made such an act would mean that one is still in mortal sin and may not, under any circumstances, even grave ones, go to Communion]

Yes @saveusfromhell, you are right in pointing that.

So, two key factors emerge:

Finally, note the Fr. Hardon says that despite this restoration to justice by an act of perfect contrition that “a Catholic is obliged to confess his or her grave sins at the earliest opportunity and may not, in normal circumstances, receive Communion before he or she has been absolved by a priest…” In the abnormal circumstances of having “a grave reason to receive communion and having no opportunity to go to confession” (canon 916), only then may a Catholic, having made a perfect act of contrition, receive Communion. The lack of a moral certainty that one has made such an act would mean that one is still in mortal sin and may not, under any circumstances, even grave ones, go to Communion.

  1. Normal/extraordinary circumstances and;
  2. Moral certainty

Extraordinary circumstances are true in the OP case as he is in army? And in my case as I said before, I don’t even know beforehand when the priest is coming back to my small city, so no opportunity to confess as well before the mass ends.

About the moral certainty it is also explained in the article and in the catechism. What defines Perfect Contrition is the motive. If your motive is other than love of God above all, such as fear of hell, punishment, than you don’t achieved Perfect Contrition. I believe only with an exam of conscience you may be certain or not if you achieved it. Interesting is that Perfect Contrition even in extraordinary circumstances includes the desire to confess as soon as you can, so no space to use it as excuse to avoid confession at all. Nonetheless, I think this moral certainty may better be assessed with the help of your confessor or spiritual director.

Lastly, your questions made me review my advice to the OP. In his case,** if **he didn’t make a Perfect Contrition in next confession he should remember to confess having received the Eucharist while in state of mortal sin.

. I think that maybe I obtained perfect contrition on different occasions watching Mel Gibsons movie of our lord being crucified. particularly during the scourging, tough watching it.
God Bless

I know. Maybe this is great question you could ask an Apologist here on CAF.

One thing that caught my attention now is the last paragraph of the section about contrition on Catechism.

1454 The reception of this sacrament ought to be prepared for by an** examination of conscience made in the light of the Word of God.** The passages best suited to this can be found in the Ten Commandments, the moral catechesis of the Gospels and the apostolic Letters, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the apostolic teachings.53

It suddenly reminded me of the not less controversial interview of Pope Francis on following the conscience. There appears to exist a link :newidea:.

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