Thursday, April 20

First Confession

I've been very nervous about my first confession ever since I realized I'd have to make one at some point. I don't know why - it's not like I'm doing anything terribly bad. I just feel nervous.

There's a nightly mass at a church I've been considering attending (St. Thomas Aquinas), and on Thursday nights they have confession and Mass. I think I might go tonight and get confession out of the way. I don't know how "bad" a sin has to be before it is so bad that I have committed a mortal sin. I feel confident that my small infractions in the past few days do not count as mortal sins, but I'd rather get in the habit of frequent confession (weekly or bi-weekly), even if the only offenses I have done are small. I've kept a mental tally of my offenses, and so far I'm up to three. Again, nothing bad, but I don't want to forget one and then not have a chance to be forgiven of it.

I know we had a lesson about Mortal vs Venial sin, but I don't remember exactly the line between the two. Yes, I know mortal is with forethought and knowing that what you are doing is wrong but you do it anyway, but how bad of a sin does it have to be before it is mortal?

Also, is running a red light intentionally because it was yellow when you were close and you ran it because you were running late (when it was red before you got into the intersection) considered a mortal or a venial sin? See, I seriously need a regular confessor so that I can get these things worked out so I'm not running to confession every time I run a red light or speed or violate a traffic law.


At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is perfectly acceptable to conclude your list of sins with: "For these and for all other sins I have not mentioned here, I am heartily sorry." (This works for things you legitimately do not remember, and not for things you are intentionally holding back, mind you.)

A belated welcome to the Church, Cynthia!


At 6:49 PM, Anonymous John said...

Hello Cynthia-

I too have been going to confession more frequently. It beats missing confession for a decade! The writer above is correct, especially when you're not sure. The Catechism states (the numbers are the paragraphs were this is located in the Catechism):

1857-For a sin to be mortal three conditions together must be met. "Mortal sin is a sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."

1858-Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments corresponding to the answer Jesus gave to the rich young man-"Do not kill. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Do not defraud. Honor your father and your mother." The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.

2181-The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confimation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason(for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who delibrately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

I'd really recommend getting a paperback copy of the newest-1994-Catechism of the Catholic Church (mine was $13.95) to help with questions whether you're new to the faith or coming back after wandering in a very arid wilderness for a time.

I hope this helps But stop running those lights so close! There are crazy drivers out there!


At 10:01 PM, Blogger glorybe said...

I so remember how I felt my first time. It does help to tell the priest that it is your first time. He can help you with what is and isn't a sin etc. Also, I found going face to face was actually better than behind the screen. It makes it easier and more personal. Some people just can't, but it is worth a try your first time. Also, I found the dark old-timey booths to be too scary. (The cradles are o.k with it because they are used to it.) Just some advice from a fellow convert. God bless!

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous celticcherokee said...

Um, "cradles" are no more used to the old booths than converts. Few churches are left with the 'dark' (as you call them) booths. I've been a Catholic all of my 38 years and it wasn't until I moved to my new old (wonderful)church that I was previed to a good ol' fashioned confessional. Personally I love it.
Cynthia, all Catholics (including myself!) should be as aware of these things as you are. God bless you for examining your conscience so thoroughly!

Serious/mortal sin: Breaking one of the 10 commandments. OR breaking a major tenant of the Church such as intentionally not giving financially to the chuch or skipping Mass on a Holy Day; or acts of disobedience to Church law such as using artificial birth control. (yes, folks, that's mortal sin)
I encourage you to make a confession this week in light of Divine Mercy Sunday.


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