I Must Confess! I Cannot . . . Confess.

In 2nd grade, most Catholics learn about and receive the sacrament of Reconciliation which is more commonly known as “going to confession”. But it is so much more than just confessing our sins.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1424), it is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: “Be reconciled to God.” He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call: “Go; first be reconciled to your brother.”


There are three parts to this sacrament:

  1. Contrition
  2. Confession  
  3. Satisfaction

But here’s the thing, I’m a sinner. I sin all the time.  Not just venial sins either. I’m talking about the big 10! Mortal sins. Breaking Commandments.  And not just one Commandment. Several.  Well, two . . . off the top of my head.

So now that I recognize these sins {both venial and mortal}, why haven’t I moved on to step 2 of confession? Because contrition is not only the examination of our conscience, it is the conversion of our heart: sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again (CCC 1451). There’s the kicker! Resolution not to sin again. That’s the part that gets me.

Okay, why don’t I go ahead and confess the sins I know I have no intention of committing again {which happen to be the mortal sins} and wait to confess the others? Because it doesn’t work that way. We cannot receive absolution (satisfaction) while withholding some of our sins. It’s all or nothing!

“When Christ’s faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, “for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know.” – CCC, 1456

Sure, the CCC also says that we don’t need to confess venial sins. {Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. -CCC 1458} Strongly recommended. But right now, I cannot in good conscience receive absolution and the Eucharist even though they are just venial sins. {*Sigh*} So I’ll continue to receive a blessing at Mass and pray that God grants me resolution needed for conversion of heart.

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One thought on “I Must Confess! I Cannot . . . Confess.

  1. […] ready for it. I just couldn’t shake the slump. It didn’t help that I was still having trouble with my conversion of heart and hadn’t been to confession yet. But there was just something else that I needed. God only […]


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