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Steven wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • If I don't say how many times I committed a sin in Confession, am I still forgiven?


  { If I don't say how many times I committed a sin in Confession, am I still forgiven? }

Paul replied:


To the best of your recollection you must state how many times you committed: a mortal sin, or something you suspect might be a mortal sin.

If you know the amount of times you've committed one and you purposefully hide it in Confession by staying silent or giving it a false number, you probably are not forgiven.

It would be important to come clean to the best of your knowledge in your next sacramental Confession.


Mike replied:

Hi, Steven —

Thanks for the question.

Along with what Paul has stated, I encourage you to focus on the ontological nature of the priesthood.

Ontology has to do with the "study of being". When we go to Confession we may think of the Confessor as our close personal friend Fr. James who knows all about us, but we have to see beyond our personal friendship, and remember that Jesus is using the body of Fr. James
(Fr. James being Jesus), to forgive us of our sins.

It's my guess, that our priests have probably heard much worst then:

I've committed this mortal sin 200 times. : )

To my knowledge, you do not have to mention the number of times you commit a venial sin, but for mortal sins, as Paul said, you do.

  • Can it be a little embarrassing?

Yeah sure, but that's just human nature; the dividends you get from this, far out weigh the embarrassment.

I also want you to meditate on what we say in the Creed every Sunday.

"Our Lord was a man like us in all things but sin."

That means He understands and emphasizes with our struggles; No, this doesn't mean he condones our frailties, but that He understands our human nature because He created our human nature.

Just some thoughts to pray and reflect on. If any embarrassment is related to your friendship with the Confessor, there is nothing stopping you from finding another priest for that week or month to hear your Confession. The important thing is that you go.

Every Confession we make, that is done completely, with a good heart, does a lot to destroy that bastard satan and his legions.


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