Still guilty...?

Today at my school, there was an opportunity for confession during the lunch hours, so I decided to go since my last confession wasn’t the greatest. I’ve been battling this one sin for a while, and I finally got the guts to confess it. It’s one of those sins where once you’re into it, it’s really hard to get out of, and so once I realized how truly bad it is, I started feeling extremely guilty.

So, for about three months now, I’d felt extremely guilty. I went to confession about it and bared my soul to the priest, and when he absolved me, I expected to feel the weight lifted off my shoulders, right?

WRONG. I felt relieved for about two seconds, then I started feeling guilty again! Not in the severity as it was before confession, but enough to know that it’s still there.

I know that faith shouldn’t be based on just emotions [my old youth group leader always told me there was more to faith than just emotions], but I don’t understand why I’m still guilty. I keep telling myself that Jesus loves me & He forgives me, and maybe things will change by the time I go to adoration this weekend, but I don’t like still feeling guilty. Is this normal? Is this wrong?

Also, I’ve done some reading up on this, and I’ve read that Satan does this to keep away the peace that comes from absolution, and also something about temporal punishment. But that doesn’t quite change things.

If you gave an honest and sincere confession and are truly repentant, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. :slight_smile: Theres a difference between feeling guilty and being guilty. Maybe some other posters can give some more specific advice to help you deal with this (especially if the cause happens to be Scrupulosity) but until then, please be at peace.

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

Isaiah 43:25

"Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Luke 7:48-50**

No you’re not still guilty. I used to go through the same thing all the time. Keep praying and trying to shake it off. I do know that also satan or the devil does do that to you to discourage you…and get you to give up. Also, another thing I learned and this bothered me even more that listening and giving in to that feeling or those thoughts right after absolution is a lack of Trust in God. So if God forgives you then now, accept that forgiveness with gratitude and forgive yourself. And every time you fall, get back up…go back to confession and start again. I remember reading that the three times that Jesus fell during the Passion signify our fall into sin the first one or two (I can’t quite remember) is vienal sin and it’s easier to get up. It’s the third fall I focus on which signifies falling into mortal sin and how hard it is to get up again. That helps me to keep getting up.

Evenin’, friend!
Your feelings of continued guilt, while I don’t really know how many other people have had it, but I have, so I don’t know if it’s “normal”, but it’s certainly not wrong. Jesus just pulled you out of a really deep hole, and you (and I) probably still have some temporal cleansing necessary, ie, Purgatory. You are certainly not in mortal sin anymore; you made a good confession.

When I experienced this sort of thing, I felt that it was kind of like I was still “in shock” from the gravity of the sin, and it takes time to really get back into a close relationship with the Lord again. Rest assured that it can be done!

I also thought that maybe God allowed a bit of the feeling of guilt to remain to help me stay vigilant against it in the near future, the “recovery phase”, so to speak.

Let me know how this sounds to you.

The Apostles’ Creed says, “I believe in the fogiveness of sins…”

That means that it is DE FIDE to believe your sins are fogiven!

Just thank God for forgiveness
Ask Him for help to totally overcome any power the sin still has over you
Work to promote in yourself the virtue which this sin opposes
and most of all, take time out to praise God with Psalms or Christian praise music.

I would suggest (and I should make it clear I’m not a cleric or even a spiritual director) that what you are feeling as “guilt” might be one of two things: 1) Satan trying to make you believe that you aren’t contrite about this sin and therefore have not been forgiven of it, or, 2) the sentiment of responsibility manifesting itself awkwardly.

By responsibility, I mean responsibility for the consequences of your sin. It’s the old “you can be forgiven for breaking a window, but the window’s still broken” routine. This responsibility should manifest itself in penance, that is, in acts of reparation. This reparation is one way in which the temporal punishment for sin is expiated.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit