Successful Act of Perfect Contrition and intention of going to Confession


#1

I have been desperate to find an answer to this issue. Rather then personal opinion, I want reference to Church authority to be based upon for answering this. I’ve already posted this under another section, but because this one is based on defense of the faith I think there’s a greater possibility my questions about this will be answered here. I’ve posted this on ‘Ask an Apologist’ various times but was still not answered. It would be a great favor for someone to give me a straight answer.

[quote=PMV]For a successful Act of Perfect Contrition, I understand the requirements involving the sorrow being interior, supernatural, supreme and universal. I also know that for a valid Act of Perfect Contrition one must be sorry because he offended God, and the person must resolve to go to Confession as soon as possible.
But how far must a person actually go in trying to go to confession? The Church(es) in my area have confession available on Saturday and Sunday, but not during the weekdays. Unfortunately, I don’t think I won’t be able to go to the Sunday ones because of the unjust control I’m living under, but that’s a different story. However, at Churches in my area a person may probably request a confession during the weekdays. After making an Act of Perfect Contrition, to go to confession as soon as possible, should I call a priest? Also, out of curiosity, just how far must one go to get to confession as soon as possible? This is perhaps the main problem I have now spiritually.
Supposing I wanted to contact a priest for Confession but one of my parents said ‘no’, should I accept that ‘no’ and think, ‘I did what I could’, or should I go further and try to convince them constantly and continuously even if no success comes from it?
So, exactly how far must one go to try to arrive at Confession as soon as possible after making an Act of Perfect Contrition?

I think I found a better way to word this question; after making an Act of Perfect Contrition, should one;

Patiently and simply wait for the opportunity to confess to arrive
-Be on the look out for any chance to arrive at confession

Or

Take action to do everything humanly and physically possible to arrive at confession?
-Constantly urge my parents to make an arrangement with a priest for me to have a Confession; not accepting ‘no’ as an answer, but continuisly attempting to persuade them. As long as the answer is ‘no’ from them, constantly attempt to persuade them without giving up.

My parents allow me to go to Confession every Saturday or Sunday.

I want to see proof of whether an Act of Perfect Contrition requires one to make an extraordinary effort to go to Confession or to simply wait for the opportunity.
[/quote]


#2

at our church, and i’m sure at most…

before any mass, the priest makes himself “avaliable” for
confession, so that anyone who wants to receive communion
but is in a state of sin, can confess and be reconciled…

so, if you attend mass, and can get there a few minutes
early… that’s is probably all you’d need to do to 'arrange’
for confession…

:slight_smile:


#3

You are sorry, go to confession on Saturday, as allowed by your parents, then go to Sunday mass. All is well.

What is required is the *desire *for the sacrament, not an actual hopeless battle to go. This desire would be fulfilled by resolving to go next Saturday. That is not the “hard part” of perfect contrition. Perfect contrition perhaps could be considered to be motivated within by charity, which would mean you would have charity, which would mean you are in a state of grace.

The best advice is to pray for the grace of perfect contrition, and go to confession on Saturday. Do not skip.

Next time you are at confession, tell the priest how this is bothering you. I can think of some spiritual reasons that it is, and he could help.


#4

[quote=johnshelby]at our church, and i’m sure at most…

before any mass, the priest makes himself “avaliable” for
confession, so that anyone who wants to receive communion
but is in a state of sin, can confess and be reconciled…

so, if you attend mass, and can get there a few minutes
early… that’s is probably all you’d need to do to 'arrange’
for confession…

:slight_smile:
[/quote]

Does it list daily Confession before Mass on your Parish’s schedule or on its possible website? According to the websites and listed schedules of the Parishes in my area, Confession is available only on Saturday and/or Sunday. How long is your priest in the confessional before daily Mass?


#5

[quote=Pug]You are sorry, go to confession on Saturday, as allowed by your parents, then go to Sunday mass. All is well.

What is required is the *desire *for the sacrament, not an actual hopeless battle to go. This desire would be fulfilled by resolving to go next Saturday. That is not the “hard part” of perfect contrition. Perfect contrition perhaps could be considered to be motivated within by charity, which would mean you would have charity, which would mean you are in a state of grace.

The best advice is to pray for the grace of perfect contrition, and go to confession on Saturday. Do not skip.

Next time you are at confession, tell the priest how this is bothering you. I can think of some spiritual reasons that it is, and he could help.
[/quote]

Could you show me a source for your desire statement? Also, rather then waiting for Saturday after making an Act of Perfect Contrition should I try to contact a priest to arrange a Confession that day?


#6

[quote=PMV]Does it list daily Confession before Mass on your Parish’s schedule or on its possible website? According to the websites and listed schedules of the Parishes in my area, Confession is available only on Saturday and/or Sunday. How long is your priest in the confessional before daily Mass?
[/quote]

he sits on a pew near the altar… if you head toward the
confessional, he gets up and goes in the opposite door…

:slight_smile:


#7

[quote=johnshelby]he sits on a pew near the altar… if you head toward the
confessional, he gets up and goes in the opposite door…

:slight_smile:
[/quote]

Do you assume that most priests do this right before Mass each day?


#8

Most churches will post their Confessional times outside the Chruch, however you may also find them in the yellow pages or online websites… or you can call the Church and you can ask what times they are given.
Don’t assume that most priets will hear confessionals right before mass unless it’s on their schedule and posted at the chruch…or you make an appointment.
It’s my impression that if you cannot get to confession on the regular times posted or your confession will take a long time, you can make an special appointment with the priest.
In my town we have 5 Catholic chruches and all confessional times are all on Saturdays only. I guess I’m blessed to have so many Catholic Chruches and priests in my area.
good luck.


#9

[quote=PMV]I have been desperate to find an answer to this issue. Rather then personal opinion, I want reference to Church authority to be based upon for answering this. … It would be a great favor for someone to give me a straight answer.
[/quote]

I don’t think you will find an authoritative document making it clear just how much of a detailed effort you should make. But there is a certain kind of logic you can use to understand what your disposition should be, in any case.

If you found yourself next to the gate of heaven, wide open, but no one forcing you to go in at any particular moment, how much effort should you put forth to enter? How much effort would you put forth to enter?

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away.

The measure with which you make an effort to draw near to God will be matched on God’s part to draw near to you.

Mark 4:24 And he said to them: Take heed what you hear. In what measure you shall mete, it shall be measured to you again, and more shall be given to you.

John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent, speaketh the words of God: for God doth not give the Spirit by measure.

God does not limit by measure, but we experience the limit of our own measure.

You already know that it is sufficient to confess at the weekly available time. You are being obedient in doing that, which you should. I have shown that you do well to go sooner, if you would, but it should not be at the expense of patience, charity, and obedience to parents.

1 Peter 1:22 Purifying your souls in the obedience of charity, with a brotherly love, from a sincere heart love one another earnestly

Thus, I would encourage you to convince them lovingly that it would be a favor to you if they supported your desire of going sooner. I sometimes have to be this way with the priest himself. You then leave it in their hands, and would they restrain you still? But even if they do, you have already virtually accomplished your goal, while being both charitable and obedient. (Note that this applies to going sooner, not to whether you go at all).

You should be able to go to the priest before or after daily Mass and ask him to hear your confession. He will either have a few minutes right then, or else let you know when he is available to do it next. You might have to make a few failed tries in order to get the feel for when best to find him free.

hurst


#10

[quote=PMV]Do you assume that most priests do this right before Mass each day?
[/quote]

well, i’d be afraid to assume anything… but, i would hope
that if someone wanted to make confession before mass,
the priest would make himself avaliable… i can’t be sure
of that… but, i’d hope so…

:slight_smile:


#11

[quote=PMV]Could you show me a source for your desire statement? Also, rather then waiting for Saturday after making an Act of Perfect Contrition should I try to contact a priest to arrange a Confession that day?
[/quote]

Hmmm. Here is where Trent mentions the concept:

“…though it happens sometimes that this contrition is perfect through charity and reconciles man to God before this sacrament is actually received, this reconciliation, nevertheless, is not to be ascribed to the contrition itself without a desire of the sacrament, which desire is included in it.” fourteenth session chapter 4.

With regard to calling your priest that day, I am concerned this could be a delicate matter. Not for the priest, I mean, he can just say, “No, wait for Sat!”:smiley: I mean for you. Usually folks are satisfied to wait a few days, but you have a concern about this. This could be due to a power struggle with the parents, scrupulosity, a struggle with a sin like masturbation, a doubt about God’s benevolence towards us, just plain curiosity, love of God, a legalistic mentality of avoiding confessing, anything. I can’t tell with the info I have what is best to say in that regard, but a confessor could. I really do think it is possible to say something that might harm someone’s conscience on a message board.

My generic advice would be to avoid mortal sin during the week, and *gently *seek confession as soon as possible if it comes up. Do not get in a power struggle with your parents over it. Do not go, “and how about now…okay now! [wait three minutes] So, is now okay?” :smiley: Consult with a priest if the parents are an issue. Do not cut up your peace over this. That does not mean don’t try. It means do what is possible in a *loving *manner and leave the rest to God. If your parents won’t let you go during the week, you may be stuck accepting that fact. I myself would not make an appointment, unless I could not make the regular weekly hours of any local priest, or I were in physical danger of death. [There a lots of priests around here, however. If I were willing to drive a few hours, I could most always snag one.]


#12

[quote=PMV]I have been desperate to find an answer to this issue. Rather then personal opinion, I want reference to Church authority to be based upon for answering this. I’ve already posted this under another section, but because this one is based on defense of the faith I think there’s a greater possibility my questions about this will be answered here. I’ve posted this on ‘Ask an Apologist’ various times but was still not answered. It would be a great favor for someone to give me a straight answer.
[/quote]

I think you got the same answer on the other thread.
The CCC is clear.

1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.

Why are you jumping to different threads to get an answer to your question? You are not going to find a document saying you suddenly have to drop what you are doing and rush to Confession. You have to use common sense when it says “firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible”. Check with your Church when the first available Confession takes place or make an apponitment with a priest. What’s so hard about that?
The number of days taken up already by insisting on a document specifying the time you have to go after making an Act of Contrition has been wasted. You could already have been to Confession by now.


#13

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