Remembering sins after Confession


#1

I am tiring my Priest out running back and forth to confession as I, as a new convert am remember things from years ago. I think he’s getting a bit tired of me.

However this morning something came back to me. When I was a young adult I was involved in some particuarly depraved behavior. It didn’t last long at all and when I repented I left it all completely. I never even fantisized about going back. It was gone…and thinking about it I don’t even feel any guilt about it. I’m sorry it all happened but I don’t feel like I’m carrying any guilt is what I mean…I dont’ even feel like I need to go to Confession about it.

Could it be I peformed a ‘perfect act’ of contrition as a Protestant without knowing what it was at the time?

I did do an examination of conscience and had a guide to help and considered everything prayerfully and all kinds of things came back that I took to confession but not this. It is just so gone.

I’m a bit confused about it. Should I go to confession anyway even though I’m not sure I need to? Its not like I’m afraid to tell him, I’m not. I know we shouldn’t go by feelings but I do honestly feel that this has been dealt with.


#2

Dear DW,

Listen to yourself: “I know I shouldn’t go by feelings, but I do honestly FEEL that this has been dealt with.” If you know that you shouldn’t go by feelings, then don’t. You need to confess it the next time you go to confession. I’m not saying that you must run to the priest immediately. At the end of confession, we usually say that we are sorry also for all our sins of the past. So they are forgiven, but we need to ackowledge them and repent of them when we remember them. It’s not necessary to keep running to the priest. The next time you would ordinarily go, mention this sin. Remember, the sinfulness of our actions is not dependent on how guilty we feel, but on the fact of the sin.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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