Thinking that I will forget mortal sins


Converting to Catholic faith. Have been keeping a notepad of all my sins that I could remember. Probably will be received into church on Easter Vigil 2015. Notepad is I think huge with most of my sins throughout my life. I understand that for a confession to be valid the repentant must tell all mortal sins and not hide anything. If any other mortal sins are remembered after, they do not invalidate the last confession but should be confessed next time.

I am a forgetful person. Now my question revolves around forgetting mortal sin. On several occasions, I have refrained from writing down mortal sins thinking “I’m going to forget the mortal sin if I don’t write it down, so if I do, then me not confessing it at confession does not invalidate my confession because I only confessed everything that I do remember during the confession, since I forget the mortal sin by not writing it down. So, I’m not going to write down this mortal sin since I will then forget the sin I committed because I’m lazy to write down all my mortal sins.”

On several occasions I have been guilty of this thinking. Should this be something I should confess as a sin in a confessional, of premeditated abuse of the confession? Does this in any way actually invalidate a confession because even though I was fully open in confession, the fact is that I knew there was going to be a mortal sin I will forget before I actually forget before the confession.? Sorry if this is complicated, but hopefully you get what I mean?


It is certainly possible to manipulate your confession beforehand to deprive it of efficacy. It is even possible to commit serious sins of presumption concerning the sacrament (for example, “I can do this sin, since God will just forgive me tomorrow when I go to confession…”).

Ignore that, however, since it seems those dangers are not applicable to your situation. Do not confuse knowledge with intent. You know of your propensity to forget, you might even appreciate certain aspects of it (that it will deprive you of the need of confessing certain sins), but as long as you do not will this propensity, it will not stop the efficacy of the sacrament. As a prudent safeguard against self-deceit, however, you are still encouraged to confess mortal sins you forgot to confess the last time. While those sins are already forgiven, you can still receive helpful counsel and compassion for them, and you teach your soul and the Devil that your forgetfulness is not a vehicle for fraud.

I’m not sure I completely understood the gist of your post, so let me know if I can clarify something else. Hey, welcome to the Church! You seem like a great person!


It is important to conduct an honest examination of conscience before confession. With that being said, be careful not to develop an overly scrupulous conscience. It’s important to recognize wrongdoings and even to feel a healthy amount of guilt, but to torment yourself with worry and fear can be detrimental.

We are all sinners blessed with a most merciful God. Seek forgiveness and you will received it :thumbsup:


If you know you’re going to forget and you choose intentionally to forget it so you don’t confess it, it’s sin waiting for absolution. If you remember your sins later, you can always confess them then - along with intentionally neglecting to confess those sins. Best to make a good examination of consciousness and confess them all if you can. BTW I recalled a sin from about 40 something years ago and confessed that sin that I had committed while a child. For some reason, I had forgotten that sin but the Lord brought it to my attention during a period of prayer. God Bless you.


Thank you for this response but just to be sure you understand what I mean, I’ll clarify further.
It’s not that I’m trying to forget my sins on purpose so I won’t confess it. Once I am finally in confession, I will confess as honestly and to the fullest extent possible.
My question concerns the fact that I will inevitably forget some mortal sins to confess unless I do the extra effort to record it all in my notepad, and whether not doing the extra effort of recording every mortal sin affects my confession because if I did record all sins, then I will be able to confess every sin. As a result, if I didn’t record all my sins, then I might not be able to confess all sins. So, I can make sure that I confess all mortal sins by keeping it in a notepad, and to do otherwise means implicitly to not go the extra effort to ensure I am have the fullest confession possible. So am I in somewhat of a moral obligation that I should write down all my sins in a notepad, hence my question concerning if I didn’t record all my sins in a notepad.

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