Should I confess sins that I didnt know where sins when I committed them?


I was away from the church completely for a while and never was serious about my faith, but this past spring I felt like God was calling me back to the church and I returned, Thanks be to God. I made a General Confession, and have gone several times, but the more I learn and study the faith deeply I realize things that I did were sinful, some of them mortal sins. I did not know how serious they were at the time, so does that make them venial sins? I feel like everytime I read the Catechism or the Bible or other religous writings I need to run to confession that day, at times it is depressing. For example, although I never fornicated, at times I strongly desired to and I just realized that just the desire to sin is a serious sin. I want to be free from sin, but is it necessary to confess sins that I just realized were serious sins? Thanks,
Ken (age 18)

Hi Ken,

Even though such acts are objectively sinful, they were not sins for you because subjectively you were ignorant of their sinfulness. One more clarification: the desire to sin is not a sin until one wills to go with the desire. The attractiveness of sin is not the sin itself. One has to make an act of the will in order to sin. If one deliberately fosters the temptation in one’s mind, this can be sinful. But again, here we have an act of the will. Every time we deliberately do something, we have willed that something.

Glad that you’re back. You are in my prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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