Your attitude after you have sinned



Just wanted some opinions with regard to how you feel/should feel, etc after you have sinned.

In the past, when I sinned before God, especially any mortal sins, I would feel so ashamed, and then sometimes despair of God’s Mercy, and feel like I failed miserably, and then just drive myself crazy thinking that I am the worst person in the world, etc.

Now that I am older, I think that it’s probably not a good idea to just sit there and allow yourself to feel that way. That if you are sorry, and plan on confessing that it’s ok to trust in God’s mercy, and let go of the guilt.

Is that right?

Also, I was told and have read that after you sin, if you are truly sorry, and pray the Act of Contrition with the intention of Confessing the next time that Confession is available (I can’t seem to get an appointment for one around here) that you are restored to God’s grace.

Is that right too?


I know that my confessor advises me to say an act of contrition for any venal sins during my examination of conscience and that my sins will be forgiven. Mortal sins are to be confessed as soon as possible after they are committed. I too am troubled by guilt, often out of proportion to the sin. I simply ask God to forgive me and help me not to sin again and then, when I am next at confession, I confess and receive absolution, then perform my penance. I try not to get too caught up in guilt before I have an opportunity to make a good confession. This guilt is not productive, and is in fact damaging to my psyche.


How I feel after sin has changed as my journey toward the light has progressed.

My focus on my sinfulness and healing used to be heavily egocentric…making myself the victim, therefore confession, contrition, and penance was all about healing me, making myself feel better,etc.

While sin puts my salvation at risk, God is the injured victim, so now I see sin and healing as theocentric.

When I put God first, think of God first, love god first…instead of putting myself first…the world is properly ordered once again.

So, when I sin I am saddened, not because of my guilt, or for how my salvation might be at risk’ but because of the hurt I have given our perfect and merciful God.


My own opinion is that you should not wallow in the guilt and let it overcome you. But, allow yourself to reflect objectively on the sin and why it is wrong and make up your mind to reject it firmly. Ask the Lord in prayer for true contrition for your sins.

For mortal sins, along with the Act of Contrition, do your very best to get a confession as soon as you can maybe even another parish if the timings permit. I recall something that even if the mortal sins are forgiven by God when you say the Act of Contrition, we still need to go to confession because we should not presume that we are forgiven.


My opinion is that, after the misfortune of committing a mortal sin, one should pray for forgiveness and say the act of contrition.
Until the nearest opportunity to go to confession, it’s better to believe that you will be forgiven, so that you can keep on your devotions(eg. Praying the rosary every night, and then refusing to pray that night because you committed a mortal sin, I don’t think it helps matters, neither does refusing to attend mass) and avoid falling into despair or committing more sins in presumption(eg. since I am no longer in a state of grace and would probably go to confession soon, what does it matter if I commit more sins).
Pray, read the bible, attend mass, do not receive communion, go to confession as soon as possible.


I don’t know if this is normal, but. I always feel some kind of rebellious “pride” after i sin.

SO basically everytime i sin its a double-sin. :mad: And guess what happens then? I go ahead and grant myself the next sin, and then the next…

This goes on for maybe 2 weeks before i realize:

“Oh no. What the **** have i done…”

and then the anxiety hits like a sledgehammer and i feel so ashamed and unworthy i dont even dare to read the bible or wear a cross. What eases the guilt is prayer and avoiding sin for about a week. And maybe then i dare to confess.

I dont know if these feelings are normal but hey. Thats how i tend do experience it :blush:


Of course we ought not to turn into wallowers, but it is also true that Paul speaks of godly suffering, which produces repentance.

There is an appointed time for everything. First there is time to suffer, then time to be glad. Don’t be glad before you’ve repented. Don’t be sorrowful after you’ve repented.


When I sin (often, too often…) and I consider it is a mortal sin, I ask myself: what would I do if I was in the state of grace? How would I behave towards Christ, towards my neighbors, towards myself? And I do just that.

Of course, I repent. I manifest my contrition. I seek the sacrament of Confession expeditely and refrain from receiving Holy Communion until I am properly disposed to do so. But shame, sorrow, and all other strong, passionate feelings I have learned to be nothing but pride and vanity.

A good reading is the old and respectable “Spiritual Combat” by Dom Scupoli. There is a section on exactly this question, and it is quite an interesting section. The book is in the public domain, although nice booklets are found in Catholic bookstores.


I thought about the whole ‘sinner’ concept the other day. Then i realised that i love (rotherly type love) someone who is a ‘sinner’, & when i think about them i.dont see their ‘sins’, all i see is the good they are trying & the struggles & suffering they have endured. I realise they dont consider themselves a ‘sinner’ & that therefore I cannot judge. But know that they have loved & have suffered because of that. I guess we are all called to be someone’s good samaritan. I am not saying not to be concerned with sin, when you understand it, but i do think that this is how God loves us.


You should always be contrite and sorry and do penance but you should also have piety and be easy on yourself. The gravity of the sin also comes into play.


I usually feel disgusted and angry with myself (which is probably making it worse, just by the nature of what the usual sins are for me) but perhaps thats because the majority of my sins tend to be the same 2 or 3 things over and over. I find as time goes by though, that through constant prayer and sincerely asking forgiveness, the willpower not to commit sin increases. I just get tired of it, and it decreases in frequency. Hopefully that trend will continue for me, but I’m young and (probably) have a long way to go on my earthly journey, so to speak.


Great answer!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: There is nothing more appealing to satan than someone who goes into despair after a grave sin. If you think that you and God are “done” then there is nothing left but the evil one. Continue to pray as usual and know that God loves you the same as before you sinned. Get to confession but know that you can be forgiven before you get there. Refrain from the Eucharist if in doubt but know that God still hears your prayers and loves you infinitely.


Scott, I too am often disgusted with myself after I fall but, after receiving absolution from my confessor, all the negative emotions are gone, nailed to the cross with Christ. I feel immediately after that I am just another sinner saved by Christ. I always pray that the Holy Spirit will enable me to remain humble and to avoid occasions to sin and further strengthen me against the temptations of Satan.

I once remarked to my confessor that I hated to come in and confess the same sin(s) repeatedly, and he responded, “I can assure you that you are not the only one who does this.” My confessor is awesome in the encouragement that he provides me, as well as his advice on combating certain sins.


After sin there is always guilt I would think. After the sin of Adam and Eve, they both hid from God which expressed their guilt. A good conscience sees sin for what it is as evil and admits to it thru guilt.

Once the sin is forgiven thru perfect contrition with intention of going to confession as soon as possible, or confession itself, then the guilt is lifted, for the slate is clean again. Then it is that a person rejoices in the Lord with thankfulness and love.

The sorrow felt for past sins is for the ingratitude and hardness shown to one who died for us, and the happiness felt is our heartfelt appreciation for his goodness shown to us.

So guilt is good and should be known for it serves a good purpose of exposing our wrong doing. And it help us to want to be sorry to find relief from our misery and return to him who is all good for forgiveness.

Just some thoughts on how we are made.


I feel weak, miserable and pitiful. I’m disappointed with myself at times, too.



I know that the sin committed it’s root is in selfishness.

I resolve to try harder to avoid selfishness and try as I do, inevitably my weakness prevails and I sin.
The important thing is to keep trying to lead as virtuous a life as possible.

God know that each and every one of us are weak, but if we try to turn to Him to help us in our weakness then we have some hope with His mercy poured upon us.


I know I will be forgiven if I am sorry and confess my sins. It is hard to continue to pray when you yourself have alienated yourself from God by your own free will and sin but you still must. Maybe the devil won that day’s battle(s), but that doesn’t mean he will win the next time, and he cannot win the war, if we still strive to love and obey our Master.

Very good point; we should remember that when the time for suffering and sorrow ceases, we need to let it go. Satan wants us to dwell and feel unforgiven.

I agree. I had read on here, perhaps it was in error, that God does not hear our prayers when we are in mortal sin, and we have no right to say prayers for ourselves, others, rosaries, etc. until we confess. After a difficult confession, I asked the priest: Does God still hear my prayers, for myself and others, even when in mortal sin? He told me yes, and to continue even when in a state of sin. I’m so blessed that God led me to ask and have the question answered by an authority. Such is a weakness of message boards that we need to remember.

I do too, but I can’t let it overwhelm me to the point of despairing of God’s Love and Grace, insomuch that I give up.


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