Twelve Things to Remember About Confession


6. Love What is Beautiful, Good and True – Only when we have a true vision of God’s great goodness, Truth and Beauty will we have a proper loathing for sin. Think of it this way: Imagine a beautiful, wonderful, well prepared family meal where there is not only wonderful food and wine, but laughter, happiness, friendship and love. Compare that to a steady diet of crappy junk food eaten from a greasy wrapper while you are all alone. Sin is the junk food. God’s will is the beautiful banquet.

7. The Sin and Your Culpability are Not the Same Thing – Catholic moral theology distinguishes between the objective sin and the subjective culpability of the person. What this means is that your sin is one thing. It does not vary. A lie is a lie. It is always wrong. However, how guilty you are for that sin can vary according to the circumstances and intention. So, for example, a “white lie” is still wrong, but if your intentions not to hurt someone’s feelings and the circumstances were that it was a social nicety your culpability for that lie is insignificant. An intentional lie, however, with the circumstances to destroy a person’s reputation for your own benefit would mean that your culpability is very high.

8. There is no list of mortal sins – People often ask whether this sin or that sin is a mortal sin. There are some sins, like murder or abortion, which are, by their nature, mortal sins. However, referring to point seven above, you can see that most any sin could be a mortal sin if the intention and circumstances make it grave. Likewise, even grave sins, depending on the intentions and circumstances may not be mortal.

9. There Are Conditions for Mortal Sin – For a sin to be mortal there must be a. grave matter – the sin, by its very nature, destroys charity towards God or neighbor b. it must be done with full knowledge and c. full consent. In other words, you say, “I know this is a grave sin and I am going to do it anyway.”

10. Turning Back to God Lifts the Condition of Mortal Sin – The orientation of the heart is important. A perfect act of contrition with the intention of going to confession as soon as possible lifts the condition of mortal sin. There is more about this here.

11. God is in the Business of Forgiveness – God wants to forgive you and be reconciled. His mercy is everlasting and always outgoing towards you. All we need to do is co operate with God’s grace by repenting and accepting his gift.

12. God is not Willing for any to Perish – God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son so that all who believe in his shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

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