Should this bother me?


#1

When I made my first confession after 11 or so years, I had some serious doozies to confess. A ton of Mortal sins, a bucketful of venial sins. I am pretty sure that i was technically excommunicated for one of them. I am sure you can imagine after 11 years what that amounted to.

My son had just died and I had felt like God was calling me back for over a year before that. I guess He knew how much I would be needing Him. He absolved me, but my Penance was weird.

He asked me what I liked to do for fun or relaxation. I told him, and then he told me to go do it right now. I asked about a more conventional penance, and he told me that it wasn’t necessary.

I don’t feel absolved. I mean, I know I AM. I am not scrupulous at all. It just seemed like a strange way to do it.

Any thoughts?


#2

Trust your confessor! :)


#3

As I understand it, it kind of sounds like what's called "temporal punishment."


#4

I have a family member who has seen the same priest for confession for the past 15 years. He has given her some unconventional penances: no chocolate, stop chewing your lips, etc. Do trust your confessor - unless he is giving you advice that you cannot morally follow of course. :slight_smile: Can you imagine how it must have felt for him to hear your confession after 11 years of being away, and probably hearing in your voice that you were really unloading…maybe he wanted you to feel the same freedom that he heard in your voice and have a good day for yourself. Prayers for you and for your son, I’m so sorry about your loss.


#5

Remember, we aren't worthy of His grace. We don't deserve it. And we can't earn it.

Maybe the priest was trying to remind you of this? :shrug:


#6

I must be completely dense. I just read a bunch of stuff about temporal punishment and I have no idea how it would apply.


#7

I’m trying, I just felt like I should have been digging ditches or something. :wink:


#8

[quote="maryjk, post:5, topic:335614"]
Remember, we aren't worthy of His grace. We don't deserve it. And we can't earn it.

Maybe the priest was trying to remind you of this? :shrug:

[/quote]

Truer words were never spoken. However, if he meant to communicate that to me I didn't get it.


#9

Maybe so. And I did completely unload. I was never so relieved in my life. I felt like dancing for the rest of the day, because God and I were ‘cool’ for the first time in years. I started a daily Rosary that day. I am still praying it 2.5 years later. I hope I do it forever.

However, I am now guilty of the sin of not attending Mass. I am sure He understands and will heal me of my panic disorder with agoraphobia if He wills it. I can barely leave the house at this point. Just another factor after what happened to my son.

Thanks for the reply.


#10

My prayers for you, for your healing and that you will embrace life with hope and trust again.
God bless you. :)


#11

[quote="Francie3, post:10, topic:335614"]
My prayers for you, for your healing and that you will embrace life with hope and trust again.
God bless you. :)

[/quote]

Thanks. Francie.


#12

Welcome back home.:slight_smile:


#13

Is this regular for you, missing Mass? If you are suffering with agoraphobia and a general panic disorder, you can have a priest come to you for the Sacraments. You don’t have to go into detail about why you can’t leave or give details about your panic and agoraphobia, just call them up or email and ask if you can have someone bring communion to your home or come for confession. I hope I’m not butting in with this, but I struggle with panic and my sister struggled with agoraphobia, so my heart goes out to others who have those problems.


#14

Thanks, Michael. It’s nice to be back. Well, mostly back.


#15

I literally can barely leave the house. Sometimes I drive to church and sit in the parking lot because I can’t go in. I never thought of asking the Priest or anyone else to come to me. I listen to Mass on the radio every day. I manage to work 2 days a week because I am so busy at my job as an ER nurse that I have no time to think. I still have to take ‘panic attack breaks’ sometimes. The last time I went to Mass I made it to the second reading and almost threw up in the pew.


#16

If the priest absolved you then you are absolved and forgiven. Penance has nothing to do with absolution or forgiveness, it has to do with temporal punishment due you in Purgatory after you die before you can enter heaven. You are obligated to do the penance assigned but if you don’t believe it was enough you can do more on your own. I typically double my penance. You also can do indulgences which are like super penances.


#17

Maybe it’s just me, but I immediately took what you said as the Priest telling you to celebrate coming back to the church and going to confession after so long. In other words, he wanted you to know that now that you had been absolved you were now free - and he wanted you to go enjoy yourself with whatever burdens you had that had now been lifted from your soul.


#18

[quote="Steveabrous, post:16, topic:335614"]
If the priest absolved you then you are absolved and forgiven. Penance has nothing to do with absolution or forgiveness, it has to do with temporal punishment due you in Purgatory after you die before you can enter heaven. You are obligated to do the penance assigned but if you don't believe it was enough you can do more on your own. I typically double my penance. You also can do indulgences which are like super penances.

[/quote]

As I said, I know I was absolved, it just didn't seem like a pedicure was a great penance for 11 years worth of sins. I just did what he said and left it alone. The last confession I made had about the same penance, very light. (Though i admittedly had very little to confess) I just went home and prayed my regular Rosary.

I will start researching indulgences. Thank you.


#19

Not a bad theory. Also very nice of him, if true. Believe me, I am in no danger of canonization. Now I just have to figure out how to stay reasonably ‘clean’. As I am currently not going to Mass, I have a bit more to confess this time.


#20

Just read this the other day. You might find it helpful.
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=806747&highlight=agoraphobia


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