Contrition is a process that is not necessarily an all-at-once moment in the Confessional. Section 1453 of the Catechism speaks of imperfect contrition as the “stirring of conscience” that “can initiate an interior ***process ***which, under the prompting of grace, will be ***brought to completion ***by sacramental absolution” (emphasis added). This same Section states that this process begins by a “prompting of the Holy Spirit.”
This is entirely consistent with my own “walk” to the Confessional, which began by attending daily Masses for roughly an entire month, even while I was still in my sin (homosexuality). Eventually that walk landed me in the Confessional, where I finally turned my life away from that sin.
Arguing that daily Mass attendance is of no consequence is a vain exercise; the very notion is foreign to Scripture and to the Catechism. Sinners belong in Church. Regardless of whether a sinner’s prayers actually do anything, the sinner must be in Church to listen and open their minds and ears to what is there to hear. Importantly, it was a particular gospel message and homily on a particular day (on a date that I will remember forever - 27 August 2007) that was the immediate cause of me getting into the Confessional and out of my sin. I would never have heard that message or homily had I not been receiving ***something ***out of these Masses. Whether that was due to my own prayers, or the prayers of the faithful who were surrounding me at Mass, or the prayers of the Saints whose intercession we were requesting, or some combination of those, I do not know. What I ***do ***know was that I received the prompting of the Holy Spirit somehow, and that I am now free of that sin and will be forever grateful and thankful.
My two cents.