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Anonymous wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a teenager who has committed a mortal sin. I have already been to Confession for it once and messed up again. I need to go back but my parents won't take me.

I am worried because I can't go anywhere around Mass time and I don't drive. I am also scared because I have to, with the rest of the family, receive Holy Communion on Sundays but technically the Church says I'm not allowed to.

I just don't have a time when I can go to Confession.

  • Can you please help and give me some advice?

Anonymous

  { I have to receive Holy Communion on Sundays but am not morally allowed to; What can I do? }

John replied:

Dear Anonymous —

Your desire to do the right thing is admirable. The first thing you should do is ask God to forgive you, on your own. You can say an Act of Contrition or just talk to God about what happened and ask for His help not do it again.

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my
sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all because I have offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am sorry for my sins because I have offended you. I know
I should love you above all things. Help me to do penance, to do better,
and to avoid anything that might lead me to sin. Amen.

Secondly, don't get discouraged. When we sin, if we allow Him to, God can even use that as a way of making us holier, because every time we mess up, it reminds us of how much we need Jesus. We can't do it without Him. No matter how hard we try; we can't keep ourselves from sinning without His Grace. So let's start by getting things right with God. This doesn't mean you don't have to go to Confession, but it's the most important thing you need to do right now.

You never know what door God might open up for you in terms of being able to get to Confession. I'd bet that if you ask Him to find a way for you to go, He may just find a way. Seeing tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, perhaps you could ask to be brought to Church tomorrow to get ashes. Then you can just ask a priest to hear your Confession.

There is one last point I want to address. For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must be present:

  1. It must be grave matter.

  2. The person must have sufficient time to think about what they are doing.

    So if you stub you big toe and you shout out the Lord's name in vain, it might be grave matter, but you didn't have time to think about it.

  3. finally, it must be committed with full consent of the will.

    To give full consent of the will you had to be fully awake and not influenced by force of:
    • habit
    • addiction, and
    • other mitigating factors.

I'm not saying that committing a mortal sin is not common, because it is, but it sounds like your desire is to serve God. If that's the case, if you're struggling with a sin that's a habit, then you're probably not committing this sin, giving full consent of the will. It's still sin. It's objectively grave matter, but it might not mortal in your case.

This is something you need to discuss with your priest. It doesn't change things. You still need to confess the sin but in case like this, you could say an Act of Contrition, receive Communion and get to Confession as soon as possible.

John

Mary Ann replied:

Anonymous —

If you have told God you are sorry, and you are, and you intend to confess when you can, then you are forgiven! Be at peace! Thank God for helping you.

You are right that you cannot receive Communion until you have confessed, but you can always get to Mass a bit early and ask Father to hear your Confession. If you cannot do that, don't be ashamed not to go to Communion. More people should show that respect to the Lord. No one will judge you, and it's nobody's business why you aren't receiving anyway.

You can always ask your mom or dad to take you to see Father for a Confession appointment, or you can ask either one to take you early to Mass for Confession.

Father may or may not have time to be able to hear your Confession right before Mass but do not commit a sin of sacrilege by receiving Communion when you have not been reconciled with the Body of Christ in Confession.

God bless you.

Mary Ann
[Four days later  Anonymous wrote]

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