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This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.

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Confession Help

Oct 5th 2013 new
Okay...so I just watched "Crossing the Goal" on EWTN and one of the speakers said to try to go to Confession at least once a month before partaking of the Eucharist.

Now, I am a new Catholic and I go to Confession EVERY time I'm in a state of mortal sin, and as soon as I am in mortal sin or realize that I may be. I understand that one is not to partake in the Eucharist if he/she is in a state of mortal sin.

So how can Catholics participate fully in Mass if they aren't fully confessed before doing so?

I will go forward and receive the Blessing if in a state of mortal sin at Mass, but never would receive the Eucharist. I thought this is the way it is to be done.

Just confused.


Appreciate any replies,

Michael
Oct 5th 2013 new
Our participation in the Mass is not contingent upon sacramental communication. Active participation in the Mass is primarily spiritual, meaning acts of the intellect and the will, and therefore a spiritual communication in the sacrifice will suffice. Spiritual communication can be received by a person with perfect contrition for his unconfessed mortal sins, while sacramental communication cannot due to the fact that it would be a sacrilege. Only priests are allowed to communicate sacramentally in the case that they cannot have recourse to the Sacrament of Penance to have a mortal sin absolved.
Oct 5th 2013 new
(quote) Chelsea-743484 said: Our participation in the Mass is not contingent upon sacramental communication. Active participation in the Mass is primarily spiritual, meaning acts of the intellect and the will, and therefore a spiritual communication in the sacrifice will suffice. Spiritual communication can be received by a person with perfect contrition for his unconfessed mortal sins, while sacramental communication cannot due to the fact that it would be a sacrilege. Only priests are allowed to communicate sacramentally in the case that they cannot have recourse to the Sacrament of Penance to have a mortal sin absolved.
Chelsea,

Understood. Thank you for your awesome reply.


Michael
Oct 5th 2013 new
It is beneficial to go to confession for venial sins as well. I find that the spiritual direction I receive sharpens my conscience and assists me in furthering my relationship with God.
biggrin
Oct 11th 2013 new
Michael,

The understanding that you expressed is generally correct. We are to confess every mortal sin. Sometimes folks SHOULD go to confession every day, because they sin every day in a most grievous way. But that is very difficult, from a practical standpoint. Heaven help us if we die in such a state. Generally, those who let their life get so bad likely go less often than more often. It should be clear how serious a matter this really is.

Interestingly, those that tend to go more often show their concern for the state of their soul and express their sorrow for offending God more honestly. Just my observation and opinion. Don't ask me to prove it. But I can give lots of reasons why this is likely true.

To me, it seems obvious that there is an inverse proportionality relationship between quantity and gravity of individual's sins and the frequency (or lack thereof) them going to confession.

What Chelsea said is correct.

I am a big proponent for individuals going to confession often, even if just to confess venial sins, or sometimes just to get advice when struggling to achieve higher/greater virtue or fighting a particular temptation.
Oct 11th 2013 new
Michael:

WELCOME to the catholic Church!! it's good you're here. You're engaging in the right practice. Be careful not to be scrupulous, but also continue being mindful of the state of your soul. I do the same thing and go to confession regularly - especially when I know (or suspect) that I have committed a grave sin.

Try not to worry about others. Some receive unworthily for years. Others refrain from Communion for no good reason because they feel unworthy. We can only live right ourselves and try to spread the word when the right occasion presents itself.

Oct 11th 2013 new
(quote) David-364112 said: ...... Be careful not to be scrupulous, but also continue being mindful of the state of your soul.....

How does one do that? I find as I go deeper into my faith I find I wrestle more with scrupulosity.
You and I have gone to college so I'll frame it that way. If we fail a course we get to do it all over again. There's added expense but you do get to do it all over again and this time learn the material. I have had to do it once so I know. But you don't get to do Earth all over again if you blow it (ie, go to Hell).. So how do you know?
Oct 11th 2013 new
Jim:

It's good you're making this progress. But beware of scrupulosity. A well-formed conscience is imperative, but spiritual neurosis is counterproductive and a ruse of the enemy. We must be on guard against this crippling condition.

Read St Faustina's "Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul". It teaches us to be contrite for our sins out of love for Christ (rather than terror of hell) and also to rely on God's great mercy. We don't get any free passes. God expects us to live according to his commandments and will for us. But God will provide amazing assistance to those who are sincere in this endeavor and ask him for help.
Oct 22nd 2013 new
Hello, Michael. Welcome to the Church. biggrin I, too, am quite new, so I can understand your question quite completely as it is one I had faced before myself. I will explain it to you via the Catechism since that makes best sense to me, though if you've got it figured out already please ignore... or just accept it as further confirmation of what you know!

The Catechism describes penance Catholics can do in daily life, both to show they are deeply sorry for their sins and to express outwardly a conversion back to the things of God. I'm not going to list everything in thorough detail, though all of the information you seek regarding the Sacrament of Reconciliation can be found in Chapter 2, Article 4 of the Catechism (on the Vatican's website for immediate access). The Eucharist and Penance is noted in the Catechism as a "daily conversion" as within the Eucharist is the sacrifice made by Jesus to reconcile us to the Father. In partaking of the Eucharist, we are publicly and inwardly confessing we are turning from our sins back to Christ, and we are relieved of our venial sins. As you are already aware, partaking of the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is a grave sin in and of itself. These are sins we commit knowing full well what we are doing, choosing instead to oppose God's law regardless. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is necessary for these sins, as is the heart to go from Reconciliation with the desire/intent to commit that sin no longer. I personally feel abstaining from receiving Christ in the Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin shows your trust in Him as well as your outward display of a penance for the gravity of your sins. It shows you acknowledge His holiness within the Eucharist, and humility at His feast. I want to say from experience that it is an admirable thing you do so as many Catholics are too embarrassed to refrain, some even choosing to avoid Mass entirely due to their mortal sin (and thus adding to the list).

I'll tell you something a priest has told me before that is helpful. There is such thing as too much guilt, just the same as there is too little. Being in excess of guilt only allows for Satan to weigh on your heart how unworthy you are, and thus keep you in a state of uncleanliness for unnecessarily long amounts of time. If ever tempted to avoid Mass due to your sins, ignore that thought. It's not of God! Christ has already freed you from your sins, so that is unnecessary. Do as you've done before, completely shut out the Enemy and don't give him a foothold, and get back to confession as needed. That's the only thing that will cleanse you and prepare you for a state of worship and charitable acts again.

As for venial sins, I agree with the others in that it's good to confess those as well if they are weighing on your heart. If after the confession of our sins in the Mass I still feel unrest in my spirit, I withhold myself from the Eucharist, even if just for venial sins. It has been my experience that God grants peace when I am in the right, so in such circumstances I examine my conscience to see if perhaps I need to go once more to confession. That is just something I do, though, as I want to be in a state of celebration and without a heavy heart when I approach Christ in the Eucharist. The Church states a conversion experience does take place when you receive the Eucharist, thus venial sins are forgiven. That aside, that is just my own conviction within me. In 1458 (Article 4 of the Catechism) it is written "Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. 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." One of my favorite (former) Sisters said it rather simply this way: "If you are dirty, you take a shower. If someone told you it was only mandatory to take a shower once a year, would you abide by that? Or would you rather do so more frequently to remove the stench and be clean?" So much more our spiritual shower via the Sacrament of Reconciliation!

I'm sorry that was so long-winded, but this is obviously a Sacrament I feel quite passionate about considering so many of us take it for granted. If all else fails you, ask God for the spirit of discernment in when you should return to confession. He won't lead you astray!

God bless, and again, welcome to the Church!
Oct 22nd 2013 new
Welcome to the Church! Michael! YAY! wave theheart Well said everyone. We can say the Act of Contrition all day long if we have committed venial sins, until we get to confession. We may also talk with Jesus and ask for His forgiveness until we can get to a priest. And confession itself is a Grace and we get great Graces from confession even if we are not in grave sin at the moment. hug rose Praying theheart
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