What do you do when you don't feel like your venial sin is forgiven

Hello,

I don’t believe I am in a state of mortal sin, but I am in a state of venial sin. If I pray for forgiveness, I still have guilt and it only goes if I go to confession. However, there is a venial sin which I am too embarrassed to confess to my priest. I want to receive Communion but feel like I shouldn’t, even though it wasn’t grave matter.

What do you do if you are in this situation? Do you wait until you have the courage to confess, or with venial sin, can you leave one to confess at a later date?

Also, what do you usually say when you pray for forgvieness? Can you just say, “Father, forgive me for my sins” or do you have to list every sin you can remember?

It sounds like you already know that the Sacrament of Reconciliation is needed to lift the weight of this sin. Remember that in confession your priest is acting in persona christi. If you still feel the necessity, it is completely acceptable to go to a priest in a different parish.

For a good confession you must intend to amend your behavior. If this has been a recurring problem, be determined to succeed this time. Avoid the near occasion of the sin.

Always remember that Our Lord died for your sins and provided you the means of absolution.

Lutherlic is correct. Our sins are forgiven by a good act of contrition, by attending Mass and receiving the Holy Eucharist. That being said, we all have embarrasing sins to tell, and it is tough. Sometimes the venial sins are harder to confess because they really show our weaknesses and how we really are in life. A mortal sin may–or may not–happen once in a lifetime, therefore usually an aberration.
Go to confession, if you go, go to your regular confessor, yes it may be harder than hiding behind a screen at another church, but he will be better able to guide you on your path to holiness, as he will get to know you. I go to the same priest, and yes, it is hard to confess those annoying “little” sins, but I get great guidance on how to avoid them. And don’t forget, Jesus will be holding your hand and giving you strength.

If it is something that comes to mind when I am preparing for confession, I confess it. Often, the most embarrassing things are the stupid things that we do. But, I go with it. If it comes to mind, I figure it is there for a reason. Sometimes I want to say, “C’mon Holy Spirit, not THAT!”

Confess it and be done with it.

Thanks for your good replies!

To be honest, I am still confused over what is and what isn’t a mortal sin. At the moment I believe a mortal sin to be something like abortion, murder, missing Mass and adulatory. Is this correct?

I haven’t been going to confession for long (returned to my faith recently) and the sin I committed is embarrassing because it was really immature. There is something silly which happened in the making of a religion which I don’t approve of and on a website, I asked about it in a mocking way. At the time I found it funny.

That is the bit which I am too embarrassed to confess to the priest. How would you word it, or would I just say that I committed the sin or pride?

I also feel really bad about it is because before I asked the question, I knew it would be against God to offend others. I thought about this before doing it, but went ahead anyway, so I have a feeling that it could be mortal. I received Holy Communion last week and felt guilty having it, but I didn’t believe it was a mortal sin.

Negativity aside, I have recently been asking the Holy Spirit to make me detest sin purely because it is against God and my prayer has been answered.

I would just like to add: Thank you so much for reading this nonsense lol

I was under the impression that one isn’t absolutely required to confess all our venial sins, only the mortal ones.

That being said, if something is weighing so heavily on your conscience, it’s probably best to get it dealt with, even if it’s very minor.

A similar thing happened to me.

Once upon a time I had a small property business. I’d had one of my tenants quit a property and they were supposed to get their damage bond/deposit back. This one day I went to confession and was absolved. In my backpack was a letter to the tenants containing a cheque for their deposit repayment. On my way home from confession they rang my cell phone to ask where their cheque was (I’d not quite got round to it and they were getting a tiny bit antsy). I simply said it was in the post already and they’d have it as soon as the postal service got it to them. In fact I’d not actually posted it - I’d meant to as soon as I got home that same day. For sure, it was in the envelope, which was stamped and sealed and I’d meant to post it that morning before my confession, but I’d forgotten and realised later. In fact it went in the post box within minutes and no actual time would have been lost in them getting it, since I didn’t miss the collection. But I knew I’d told a lie. And because practically the first words out of my mouth after confession were a lie and because I’d said it without a moment’s thought, as soon as I’d finished the call I was suddenly utterly floored by guilt. Nobody was harmed by it in any practical sense. Nobody had lost out. But I couldn’t face myself in the mirror. I’d just been to confession and the first possible chance I’d had, I sinned. Only a little. Not gravely. But a sin nonetheless. And I was SO ashamed of myself that I saw my parish priest the following day and broke down in tears (which just compounded my embarrassment!). He just smiled at me gently and told me to go away and read a particular psalm as a penance.

The little sins sometimes have a way of tripping us up where the big ones we’re accustomed to ignore. This is a good thing though. It breeds attentiveness.

Resolve to confess this embarrassing sin as soon as you can. It’ll only keep trying to trip you up if you don’t. I promise you faithfully that you’ll feel so much better after you’ve got it off your chest. I certainly did.

Take care.

^This. I’m not a priest, but I think that your obsession over confessing this venial sin is itself a much graver sin than the sin that prompted your obsession in the first place. The former sin was embarrassing, but if it’s not mortal it can’t be altogether horrible. Yet in your refusal to confess this sin you have allowed yourself to become prideful and refuse the healing offered to you through the sacrament of reconciliation.

If you have received the Eucharist in a state of grace since this sin was committed, then its ontological effects have been removed. Still, confess it at the next available opportunity. This whole story troubles me on a deep level, even if the actual sin is minimal, because it shows a reluctance to trust in God and His Church’s sacraments.

How would you act if you committed a mortal sin that was even more embarrassing? Would you avoid confession? Don’t let this small sin set a precedent for the larger ones - we all know The Evil One wants exactly that.

I didn’t know about not having to confess all venial sins, but I do want to confess this one anyway. Thanks for sharing your story. I also once sinned after going to confession and was also frustrated. Maybe I’ll mature one day :p. It makes me glad that you cared enough to get upset about it.

This. I’m not a priest, but I think that your obsession over confessing this venial sin is itself a much graver sin than the sin that prompted your obsession in the first place. The former sin was embarrassing, but if it’s not mortal it can’t be altogether horrible. Yet in your refusal to confess this sin you have allowed yourself to become prideful and refuse the healing offered to you through the sacrament of reconciliation.

If you have received the Eucharist in a state of grace since this sin was committed, then its ontological effects have been removed. Still, confess it at the next available opportunity. This whole story troubles me on a deep level, even if the actual sin is minimal, because it shows a reluctance to trust in God and His Church’s sacraments.

How would you act if you committed a mortal sin that was even more embarrassing? Would you avoid confession? Don’t let this small sin set a precedent for the larger ones - we all know The Evil One wants exactly that.

Is obsession over confessing a venial sin a sin itself? I haven’t missed a confession because of it. It was committed last week, but the last confession had to be by appointment because our temporary priest was preparing to fly home so I didn’t want him to have to come out.

I wouldn’t find more embarrassing sins as embarassing to confess because you can summarise them (for example you could say sexual activity?) but with this, I wouldn’t know how to summarise it. How would you confess it without having to tell a story?

I’m probably adding more sins by believing that God won’t forgive me for a venial sin through prayer :frowning:

Thanks again for helping me!

How about this: “I mocked someone’s faith knowing it would be offensive to him (or her).”

Would it be accurate to say, “I asked a question about [another] religion on a website and I did it in a mocking way that I knew would offend other people.”?

One sentence. No story.

Thank you so much. I will put it this way.

A mortal sin is something that you know to be serious and that you choose to do, or sinful thought that you dwell on (one must resist it). They are opposed to the virtues:

Lust vs Chastity
Gluttony vs Temperance
Greed vs Charity
Sloth vs Diligence
Wrath vs Patience
Envy vs Kindness
Pride vs Humility

The mortal sins are very bad because doing them is a conscious choice to reject God, who Loves you so always wants what is best for you. But God is ready to forgive if you are truly sorry and ask for forgivness. Perfect contrition is when we truly regret what we did and intend not to repeat it again. Sometimes with less serious sin (venial) it is hard to have this degree of contrition.

Sins include the ten commandments and the six precepts of the Church. Scandal, setting a bad example (which is uncharitible), is also a sin, especially to the young or morally weak.

Venial sins are of less serious matter (sexual sin is always a serious matter) like vanity. The classic teaching is that a venial sin is one where one of the three elements is missing: serious matter, full knowledge, and willingly doing the sin.

Firstly, I would like to thank you for this information.

Secondly, I would like to ask for your opinion. In my situation, I had full knowledge that it was sinful and willingly did it. However, I don’t believe it was a serious matter. Or was the serious matter willingly doing it?

Thank you!

One can willingly commit a venial sin, but the willingness alone does not make it mortal if the sinful matter itself is not grave.

If willingness were enough to make any sin mortal, then every sin we do would be mortal since you can’t commit a sin purely by accident.

Just by what you have posted here it sounds like you have a spiritually healthy attitude about sin and a sincere desire to flee from it at every opportunity, as well as confess it. I can’t imagine that you could willingly commit a grave sin with that kind of an outlook. :thumbsup:

Having said that, your caution at receiving our Lord in the Eucharist for lack of knowing whether you have committed unconfessed and unabsolved grave sin or not is commendable. I would ask the priest who you confess to if you have committed a grave sin in what you are confessing, and I would also inquire if it is okay for you to continue receiving Communion. :wink:

I am glad if I am able to help with this.

It would be a good idea to read this section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second editon. vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a8.htm

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

1862 One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.

Also the Baltimore Catechism: ourladyswarriors.org/faith/bc3-06.htm

They key is the meaning of “full knowledge”. It means full knowledge that the act or thought enjoyed or neglect is sinful. (But also sufficient reflection is important, some time a spontaneous act occurs, but did we try to avoid the situation when we could have anticipated this?)

Full knowledge of sinfulness means that the matter is on which the Church’s teaching demands obedience and that one is convinced that it is right to obey the Church’s teaching. Does gravity matter? I was taught that if you know it was a sin, regardless of the gravity, it is a sin of whatever gravity it is, that is: to believe something is a venial sin but it is really a mortal sin, it remains a mortal sin. Also a venial sin may become mortal by the intent of it, like a small lie that would lead to fornication. This is not a friendly act towards God.

A classic example is firing at an object with doubt, not knowing whether it is a deer or a man. One certainly sins mortally by so acting.

"Here we have the core of the church’s traditional teaching, which was reiterated frequently and vigorously during the recent synod. The synod in fact not only reaffirmed the teaching of the Council of Trent concerning the existence and nature of mortal and venial sins,(95) but it also recalled that mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent. It must be added-as was likewise done at the synod-that some sins are intrinsically grave and mortal by reason of their matter. That is, there exist acts which, per se and in themselves, independently of circumstances, are always seriously wrong by reason of their object. These acts, if carried out with sufficient awareness and freedom, are always gravely sinful.(96)

  1. Cf Council of Trent, Session VI, De Iustificatione, Chap. 2 and Canons 23, 25, 27: Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Decreta, Bologna 1973, 671 and 680f (DS 1573, 1575,1577).

  2. Cf Council of Trent, Session IV De Iustificatione, Chapt. 15: Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Decreta, ed. dt. 677 (DS 1544)."

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_02121984_reconciliatio-et-paenitentia_en.html

Vico Wrote: "…that is: to believe something is a venial sin but it is really a mortal sin, it remains a mortal sin."

I realize there are two senses being used in the definition of sin; subjective and objective. I believe you are referring to the objective sense; that is, a specific sin itself can be mortal or venial, apart from the belief of the person committing it. I could be wrong, however, given the official definition of Mortal sin requiring the three conditions to be present, that is; Grave Sin, Full Knowledge, and Complete Consent, it would seem that the use of the term ‘Mortal Sin’ vs. ‘Grave Sin’ in an objective sense would be improper. Otherwise, it could lead to further confusion. I could be wrong. :shrug: Maybe I’m just confused. :confused:

Catechism: “Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation…”

My comments are on doing something that is wrong that you know is wrong (full knowledge) and do with sufficient reflection. Also that full knowledge means knowing that the act is a sin and should not be comitted, but full knowledge does not require knowledge that the act is mortal or venial. A mortal sin is a grave sin, but even a venial sin can be a grave sin.

Regarding mortal vs grave that you mention, Bl. Pope John Paul II adressed this item 17 in the exhortation Reconciliation and Penance (1984):

"…some fathers proposed a threefold distinction of sins, classifying them as venial, grave and mortal. This threefold distinction might illustrate the fact that there is a scale of seriousness among grave sins. But it still remains true that the essential and decisive distinction is between sin which destroys charity and sin which does not kill the supernatural life: There is no middle way between life and death.

Likewise, care will have to be taken not to reduce mortal sin to an act of " fundamental option" – as is commonly said today – against God, intending thereby an explicit and formal contempt for God or neighbor. For mortal sin exists also when a person knowingly and willingly, for whatever reason, chooses something gravely disordered.

Considering sin from the point of view of its matter, the ideas of death, of radical rupture with God, the supreme good, of deviation from the path that leads to God or interruption of the journey toward him (which are all ways of defining mortal sin) are linked with the idea of the gravity of sin’s objective content. Hence, in the church’s doctrine and pastoral action, grave sin is in practice identified with mortal sin.

Here we have the core of the church’s traditional teaching, which was reiterated frequently and vigorously during the recent synod. The synod in fact not only reaffirmed the teaching of the Council of Trent concerning the existence and nature of mortal and venial sins,(95) but it also recalled that mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent. It must be added-as was likewise done at the synod-that some sins are intrinsically grave and mortal by reason of their matter. That is, there exist acts which, per se and in themselves, independently of circumstances, are always seriously wrong by reason of their object. These acts, if carried out with sufficient awareness and freedom, are always gravely sinful.(96)"

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_02121984_reconciliatio-et-paenitentia_en.html

Thank you for the semi clarification, Vico. Though I am still a bit confused about all the terms and how they line up. I used to be a Bible College student, but anymore nowadays it all just makes my head spin…:confused:

Why can’t the Church just ignore the 2000+ years of theological development and make it simple for us simpletons…ARGH! LOL :eek:

Forgive me if I am stealing this thread, but the topics seem to dance around my questions. I am a Lapsed Catholic seeking some kind of peace. If this needs to be in a new thread, I’ll make one. Here goes…(And this is ALL fictitious!)

I commit adultery.(mortal sin?) I confess, I am truly sorry for betraying my wife (at that moment in time). I am absolved, but get my little black book out to call “Lolita” on the way out of the Church. No real repentance, obviously, but was there real absolution?

OR

I commit adultery, confess, blah, blah…except I toss my black book and return home to my loving wife who has had enough of my shenanigans and says she’ll leave me if I had another affair…then she asks if I’ve been having an affair. If I lie, am I now committing a venial sin of lying or bearing false witness or whatever and needing confession? It would bother me greatly.

To paraphrase St Paul…the things that I want to do, I don’t. And the things I don’t want, I do.

Just looking for that grace…which will be another topic.

Thanks in advance.

C.J.

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