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Stevin wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a few quick questions and I truly hope you can help me with them.

  1. Why is going to Confession important, if all our venial sins have been forgiven by receiving the Eucharist every Sunday at Mass and we haven't committed any mortal sins?
  2. I read somewhere that we should go to Confession once a year if we have mortal sin on our soul, but shouldn't we go to Confession immediately, if we have a mortal sin on our soul?

Thank you and please do some research on this, as I will be taking your answers very seriously.

May God bless you always,

Stevin

  { If we are forgiven all our venial sins when we receive the Eucharist, why go to Confession? }

Paul replied:

Hi, Stevin —

In answer to your first question. One reason the Sacrament of Confession is still important is that it gives us the grace in order to avoid the sins and bad habits we confess, whether they are venial or mortal sins. The Eucharistic grace nurtures our souls with Christ's love. The grace of each sacrament is aimed at different things. It is the goal, not only to receive God's forgiveness, but to also gain grace for the wisdom and strength to sin no more. (John 8:11)

Yes, you should go to Confession as soon as you commit a mortal sin.

The once a year rule mentioned in the second precept of the Church, is to an absolute minimum in order to maintain a relationship with God.

Paul

Mary Ann replied:

Stevin,

The Eucharist takes away venial sin that we have repented of. All sin requires repentance. Going to Reconciliation and confessing is a form of repentance, and specific repentance for each sin confessed. It also absolves all unconfessed sins, because forgotten sins or sins we are unaware of are included in one's intention.

There is another reason to go to Confession. The sacrament also has a healing grace, that repairs the damage done to us by our sin and strengthens us in regard to the sins we have confessed.

Confession is a very powerful, supernatural grace.

Mary Ann

Stevin replied:

Mary Ann —

You said:
The Eucharist takes away venial sin that we have repented of.

  • Did you mean to say repented of or un-repented of?

Thank-you for your answers; they were absolutely great. I do have a few other small questions.

  • Are we forgiven of all our sins, repented of and un repented of in the Eucharist or not?

I would think we are, because of the fact that we must be completely pure in order to receive the Body and Blood of Christ worthily and I'm sure the priest prays with us that our sins are forgiven before we go up to receive the Eucharist, and of course, these would only be venial sins, not mortal ones.

I will definitely be going to Confession often, however, I have a few more questions about venial sins.

  • Do I have to tell the priest the number of times I have committed a venial sin, or is that only for mortal sins?
  • If we don't remember the venial sins we have committed, are we still forgiven of them?
  • What is a Plenary Indulgence? I would like to do one some day.

I am indeed a faithful Catholic Christian, I just want to know as much as I can.

Thank you. 

Stevin

Mary Ann replied:

Stevin —

A sin must be repented of to be forgiven. With venial sin, it is sufficient that we are sorry for them in general, with some awareness of them. There are some we forget or haven't examined ourselves for and "discovered" or remembered.

The only venial sin that cannot be absolved is the one that is held on to purposely. In other words, if you are constantly using profane language, and have no intention of stopping, or you constantly use the Lord's name thoughtlessly in vain, and think it's fine, then that venial sin is not absolved by Communion. Nevertheless, it is not a barrier to Communion. This is why it is so important to examine our hearts regularly, so that we discover these sins, faults and weaknesses and be sorry for them, even if you never confess them.   Even so, it is good to confess them now and then, because the sacrament has a medicinal grace for those things.

You do not need to tell the priest the number venial sins you have committed. You are forgiven of the venial sins that your forget but are sorry for.

A plenary indulgence takes away all temporal punishment due to sin, as long as the usual conditions are fulfilled, which include a freedom from attachment to sin.

Mary Ann

Stevin replied:

Thank you so very much. I am going to be looking through your site to learn about the "unforgivable sin".

If you can provide me with a group of links that talk about this, that would be great.

I find it difficult to understand that there is such a sin that is unforgivable, and yet none of us truly know how it is that one sins against the Holy Spirit.

I'm looking forward to your response.

Stevin

Mike replied:

Hi, Stevin —

These two posting should explain the sin against the Holy Spirit.

Mike

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