Why can people have venial sins forgiven but not receive penance?


#1

Why can people have venial sins forgiven but not receive penance for instance, after they pray the confiteor? Isn’t penance a very important part of being forgiven?


#2

We don’t need a penance to have our sins forgiven. Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross forgives our sins. I often go to Confession to a certain priest who will give my penance by saying something like, “For your penance, say three token Hail Mary’s.” For me, it’s a reminder that my imperfect, finite prayers could never make up for even the smallest sin against our infinite and Holy God.


#3

As far as the three Hail Mary’s, they probably refer to requests for faith, hope, and charity.

Regarding your question, you are probably aware that venial sins can be forgiven through sacrifice, prayer, etc. Is it possible that the priest may have forgotten to give you a penance? I have had that happen before. I guess it is also possible that there are priests out there that do not give penances for venial sins.


#4

scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm#V


#5

But then, why is confessing venial sins a good practice if the forgiveness and satisfactions for venial sins seem to be completed in easy and various ways like prayer or taking up one’s cross?

Also, how can we depend on our own penances if a priest alone seems to know how much penance is needed (for instance in assigning x number of prayers for sin y)? A layman could just assign himself 1 prayer or 10 prayers or any arbitrary number as sufficient penance.


#6

Baltimore Catechism No. 3 has:Q. 780. What sins are we bound to confess?
A. We are bound to confess all our mortal sins, but it is well also to confess our venial sins.

Q. 781. Why is it well to confess also the venial sins we remember?
A. It is well to confess also the venial sins we remember: [INDENT] 1. Because it shows our hatred of all sin, and
2. Because it is sometimes difficult to determine just when a sin is venial and when mortal.
Q. 782. What should one do who has only venial sins to confess?
A. One who has only venial sins to confess should tell also some sin already confessed in his past life for which he knows he is truly sorry; because it is not easy to be truly sorry for slight sins and imperfections, and yet we must be sorry for the sins confessed that our confession may be valid – hence we add some past sin for which we are truly sorry to those for which we may not be sufficiently sorry.

Q. 783. Should a person stay from confession because he thinks he has no sin to confess ?
A. A person should not stay from confession because he thinks he has no sin to confess, for the Sacrament of Penance, besides forgiving sin, gives an increase of sanctifying grace, and of this we have always need, especially to resist temptation. The Saints, who were almost without imperfection, went to confession frequently.

Q. 802. Is the slight penance the priest gives us sufficient to satisfy for all the sins confessed?
A. The slight penance the priest gives us is not sufficient to satisfy for all the sins confessed:
[LIST=1]
*]Because there is no real equality between the slight penance given and the punishment deserved for sin;
*]Because we are all obliged to do penance for sins committed, and this would not be necessary if the penance given in confession satisfied for all. The penance is given and accepted in confession chiefly to show our willingness to do penance and make amends for our sins.
[/LIST]
Q. 803. Does not the Sacrament of Penance remit all punishment due to sin?
A. The Sacrament of Penance remits the eternal punishment due to sin, but it does not always remit the temporal punishment which God requires as satisfaction for our sins.

Q. 804. Why does God require a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin?
A. God requires a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin to teach us the great evil of sin and to prevent us from falling again.

Q. 805. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin?
A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving; all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.

Q. 806. What fasting has the greatest merit?
A. The fasting imposed by the Church on certain days of the year, and particularly during Lent, has the greatest merit.[/INDENT]


#7

Nice and clear answers. :thumbsup:


#8

1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.59 Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father’s mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful


#9

Forgiveness and penance are two different things. Penance helps you reform. Forgiveness means your sins no longer are a weight on your soul. They are also not dependent on one another. You can receive forgiveness without penance, and do penance without necessarily receiving forgiveness.


#10

I think what the OP is asking (forgive me if I’m wrong, OP) is how come someone would be given a penance after confessing venial sins in the confessional, but not after confessing them (secretly) via the Kyrie/Confiteor.

Receiving a penance and absolution still seem inextricably linked for many people. Somehow it seems to have been taught or implied that a penance is the price one pays for absolution - wrong, of course.


#11

scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm#V


#12

I suppose some, that are not trained properly, believe that forgiveness depends on performance of penance rather than on the act of contrition.

For for faults (non-serious sins, i.e. venial sins), if you ask a priest for a penance he can give one to help with the attachment to sin that we have! We Christians are doing regular penance through prayer, fasting, alms-giving, and giving public witness of our faith. The penance can be to rehabilitate, make restitution, or to be a deterrent, and includes any ill suffered in consequence of sin.


#13

CCC 1394 – As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins. By giving himself to us Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered attachments to creatures and root ourselves in him:

Since Christ died for us out of love, when we celebrate the memorial of his death at the moment of sacrifice we ask that love may be granted to us by the coming of the Holy Spirit. We humbly pray that in the strength of this love by which Christ willed to die for us, we, by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, may be able to consider the world as crucified for us, and to be ourselves as crucified to the world. . . . Having received the gift of love, let us die to sin and live for God.

God Bless.


#14

The assigned penance can also be a thanksgiving. I recall after confessing a particular sin that was weighing on my soul for some time, the priest only gave me one Our Father to pray in thanksgiving. I thought I deserved a more difficult penance but he said that I beat myself up enough already and I should just thank God for the grace he gave me to come to confession. At other times too I have been asked to say a prayer in thanksgiving.

Too many people think penance is supposed to be some form of punishment. It’s not. If you get an easy penance accept it just as you would one you think you deserve. BTW, priests used to have books that would suggest a penance for a particular sin. They don’t use those anymore. Some priests seem to assign the same penance to everyone no matter what sin you confess. I recall going to a particular priest quite a number of times and always got the same penance…three Hail Marys.


#15

There is always penance, whether in this life or the next. I think we should always take every opportunity for penance as it comes along, but we don’t always do that.


#16

[quote="Joannm, post:14, topic:297822"]
The assigned penance can also be a thanksgiving. I recall after confessing a particular sin that was weighing on my soul for some time, the priest only gave me one Our Father to pray in thanksgiving. I thought I deserved a more difficult penance but he said that I beat myself up enough already and I should just thank God for the grace he gave me to come to confession. At other times too I have been asked to say a prayer in thanksgiving.

Too many people think penance is supposed to be some form of punishment. It's not. If you get an easy penance accept it just as you would one you think you deserve. BTW, priests used to have books that would suggest a penance for a particular sin. They don't use those anymore. Some priests seem to assign the same penance to everyone no matter what sin you confess. I recall going to a particular priest quite a number of times and always got the same penance..three Hail Marys.

[/quote]

I can easily see where thanksgiving could serve as satisfaction for sins.

Penance is punishment. Fr. John Hardon wrote that Penance is "the punishment by which one atones for sins committed, either by oneself or by others." And that punishment is "Any ill suffered in consequence of wrongdoing." The catechism states that: **Satisfaction

***1459* Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused.62 Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate" his sins. This satisfaction is also called "penance."

1460 The *penance *the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent's personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ, "provided we suffer with him."63

The satisfaction that we make for our sins, however, is not so much ours as though it were not done through Jesus Christ. We who can do nothing ourselves, as if just by ourselves, can do all things with the cooperation of "him who strengthens" us. Thus man has nothing of which to boast, but all our boasting is in Christ . . . in whom we make satisfaction by bringing forth "fruits that befit repentance." These fruits have their efficacy from him, by him they are offered to the Father, and through him they are accepted by the Father.64

The punishments of sin

1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.83


#17

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