I have written time and time again about going to confession often and as needed. The Church teaches that all Catholics are required to go to confession once a year as a minimum. This is only for those few souls that don’t commit any mortal sins throughout the year, how blessed are they! The Church teaches though that if you do commit mortal sins, you need to go to confession as soon as possible, and are unable to receive Holy Communion, until you have confessed said sins.
How often should we go to confession?
I would say that since we aren’t perfect, at a minimum, we should go once a month. I also would say that if you have mortal sin on your soul, go immediately. Make a sincere act of contrition, and sin no more. Confession gives us the ability to grow in holiness, so the more often you go, the better.
If we really understood the gravity of our sins, we would want to go daily and we would confess all of our venial sins as well. It is not required to confess venial sins, but, it is a good and pious practice to do so. The graces will come forth and even venial sins will become avoidable.
We are all called to make it to Heaven, but when we are unrepentant of our sins, we can not go, but eternal damnation will await us. Confess as often as you need to.
O my God, I am heartily sorry for
having offended you, and I detest
all my sins, because of Your just
punishments, but most of all because
they offend You, my God, who are
all-good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of
Your grace, to sin no more and to
avoid the near occasion of sin.
Precisely HOW does one make an “act of PERFECT Contrition”? I have read a very old booklet on this subject, and it states that we must acknowledge, even if we don’t Feel any emotions thereto, the many occasions of the Love of God in our lives and in that of humanity as a whole, as a specific statement in our act of contrition, and not just focus on the just punishments. Is this right? If not, what is the right way to make an act of perfect contrition? The priests I ask say they do not know or that one isn’t necessary or that all that’s needed is to pray “Jesus Son of the Living God have Mercy on Me a Sinner”???. Thank you.
Those examples fall a little bit short. Perfect contrition is when you are sorrowful and detest your sins because of love of God. Imperfect contrition (or attrition) is when you are sorrowful and detest your sins for other reasons (like loss of Heaven and pains of Hell). I wrote a bit more about it on my newest post, which you can find here.
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