Can I be forgiven of some sins BUT NOT ALL SINS

Forgiveness isn't as cut and day as we might believe

Love Forgives

Many of us like to think if we tell God we are sorry for our sins then all of our sins are forgiven, but that just isn’t how forgiveness works. Forgiveness is received based upon how much love we have for God. If we love God a little, little is forgiven. Only if we truly love God is all forgiven. And sadly, most of us have shockingly very little love for God despite what we “feel” in our hearts, mostly because we simply don’t know what love really is.

“I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” (Luke 7:47).

Therefore, since we are great sinners and don’t want to only have enough love to be forgiven of a few sin, we need to know how to greatly love God, because only those who are completely forgiven of all of their sins accepts God’s saving mercy and are welcomed into Eternal Life, because “nothing unclean will enter it [Heaven] (Revelation 21:27).

If we can have enough love for God to accept forgiveness for one sin, one sin will be forgiven. But if we desire to have saving grace (sanctifying grace) dwell within us, so we can be welcomed into Heaven, we need a love for God so great it forgives every sin we have ever committed. Saving grace can’t live in a soul that still desires a single sin instead of God’s love. We must detest all sins and have all sins forgiven to not reject God’s saving mercy.

How Do We Love God?

Like I said, most don’t really know what love is. Frankly, love is a complicated topic as there are so many forms and degrees of love. I go into more depth in the article “How to Love God” (link at bottom of this article). But I will say that Jesus tells us many times in John chapter 14, “whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me” (John 14:21). Therefore, loving God is more than just how we “feel” in our heart. Loving God has to do with how we live our lives. Love has to do with how we “show” God we love Him. But the woman Christ was speaking about in Luke 7:47, who has “shown great love” and had all of her sins forgiven, didn’t have a chance to even “observe” God’s commands…yet, she had immediate true contrition (true love)…at the sight of Christ and accepted His forgiveness. How is this so?

“We ought to beg and beseech him in his mercy that our love may be genuine, unmarred by any too human inclination [longing for God alone].” (Pope St. Clement)

How could she show God her love–prove her love–if she didn’t even get a change to follow Christ (live His commandments)? This woman was able to show her love by the desires of her heart. God, who read her heart, knew she fully intended to change her entire life of sin–not just a few sins she didn’t like but all of them—from that moment on because of a great hatred for sin and true love for God she now possessed. This woman was able to have TRUE SORROW for her sins at the moment of her encounter with Christ. She poured out such a great desire to love God perfectly–to stop every one of her sins and live the commands of love perfectly–that she opened her soul to obtain complete forgiveness of all of her sins, and the grace that came from forgiveness gave her great strength to go out and actually live the desires of her heart. We want to grow in faith to obtain this kind of love of God too…not to just have it for a moment, but to have it continuously present within our souls, especially at the moment of our deaths, so we can not only live God’s commands but have complete forgiveness of our sins and accept God’s saving mercy when we die.

How Do We “Have” a Commandment?

Like God said In John 14:21 “whoever ‘has’ God’s commandments” loves Him? How do we “have” a commandment? Well, to “have” something, we have to accept it. If someone gives us something and we reject it, we don’t have it any more. Therefore, to “have” God’s commandments we must accept God’s commands as truth, as something we must follow to Live as God has clearly told us.

“If you wish to enter into life [Heaven], keep [obey] the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).

Now, that doesn’t mean we need to read the commandments or go to class to learn what they are to accept them and “enter into Life.” If that were true, then salvation would exclude the uneducated, since they would have no way to come to know how to love God from a lack of ability to gain knowledge of the truth [the law], which certainly isn’t true, because“[God] wills everyone to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4).

In Our Conscience We Know How to Love

Therefore, to give all people the potential to love Him, God placed knowledge of how to love Him in the hearts and conscience of all men. “The demands of the law are written in their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness” (Romans 2:15). If we wanted to know how to love God, we could find it within our conscience. However, sadly from sin, most of us have darkened or rejected that knowledge so greatly we are very confused as to what right from wrong really is (what is or isn’t love) even if we try to learn.

The deception from the evil one is great and has even caused many to think if we don’t “know” a sin we aren’t accountable for it. However, that is the devil trying to get us to make light and justify our sinfulness so we lack “fear of the Lord” and forfeit searching our conscience to gain self-knowledge. Of course we won’t ever know what all of our sins are, but with God’s help we most certainly can gain knowledge of the sins we desire and haven’t repented of. Unless the law is a man-made law that we weren’t informed of, in which we sinned against, or if the law was something we wouldn’t know…like many of the specific laws (ex: don’t eat certain meat) given to the Jews from the prophets, then we wouldn’t be accountable for it. But for everything else, which includes most of our actions, we would be most certainly be accountable for our sinful choices, because deep underneath all of our covering of our guilt, we know right from wrong. We can lie to ourselves and “say” we don’t know what we are doing, but if we wanted to know, we most certainly can. And God’s who reads the mind, knows the truth. Furthermore, those God has given more blessings and responsibilities in the faith to, who still don’t recognize the Law of love, are even more accountable (guilty) for their sins and will suffer more greatly for their abandonment of living the true faith.

God’s Word Can Enlighten Us to the Law We Already Know

We are so wonderfully blessed, so much more than the people were during the time of Noah…sadly only Noah, as Genesis 6 says, was able to open up his heart to know and live God’s law of love…all the rest of the entire humanity lived darkened to what love really was and everyone on the entire planet (outside of Noah’s family) perished as a result. Today, God in His unfathomable love for us has sent prophets and His Son into the world to enlighten us to what true love is. Now we can “have” God’s commandments–know, accept and decided to live what we need to do to be saved (how to truly love God)–by reading the commandments and the entire Word (the commandments explained). The blessed–those who can hear–can now regain that knowledge, which sin has darkened, with ease through the Holy Word and prayer.

“We are blessed, beloved, if we fulfill the commands of the Lord in harmonious, loving union, so that through love our sins may be forgiven” (St. Pope Clement).

Love God by Hating Sin

These commands we need to live, like I said, are the law of love. They teach us how to love God through loving our neighbor. How do we love God? We love God by hating sin and desiring to be like Christ, who was sinless and the example of what true love really is that we need to follow to obtain Heaven.

There are different degrees of love and hate like I said earlier. Love and hate can be just a feeling we have or love and hate can be so great that is moves from just a feeling into an action, which alters how we act. We can love God and hate sin only in thoughts or love God and hate our sins in our thoughts and actions. Sadly, loving God and hating sin in thought alone is the degree of love most have for God. But this degree of love doesn’t forgive a single sin. We must love God enough and hate sin enough to take that love and hate and have it change how we live daily…spuring us to work hard to remove sin so to love God and grow into His image by never taking our eyes off of His will so to live it perfectly .

How Can One Sin Be Forgiven

There are two ways sins are forgiven: either by confession to God through the help of a priest in the sacrament of reconciliation or confession before God alone. In order for a single sin to be forgiven by confessing straight to God or through the power God gave a priest, we must have contrition (sorrow). Without having real sorrow (perfect or imperfect contrition), not a single sin will be forgiven.

Again from the deception from the evil one to keep us blind and belonging to Him, real sorrow isn’t easy to obtain as so many have been deceived into believing. I will speak briefly about this here but I go into more depth in the article “What is True Sorrow.” There are three kinds of sorrow. Perfect, imperfect and worldly. Perfect and imperfect sorrow make up “real sorrow” even though imperfect sorrow is not quite sorrow and is also know as attrition–not contrition–as for sins to be forgiven with imperfect sorrow, someone must have the assistance from a priest, but it is possible to be forgiven therefore it is real contrition.

Imperfect Contrition

Imperfect contrition is sorrow that isn’t quite true sorrow because our sorrow is not mainly derived from love of God. It comes from love of self, since someone with imperfect sorrow, is moved to great repentance and change out of a great fear of suffering either in Hell, purgatory or some other consequence from God for the commands we have broken and not repented of. To obtain this kind of sorrow, it is moved by faith (wisdom-fear of the Lord–servile fear).

Servile fear is a type of “fear of the Lord” derived from a fear of suffering from sin, which make it good, as it is a gift from God, since it helps motivate us away from offending Our Creator and leads to the more perfect contrition (true sorrow for sinning because we have offended God whom love of God).

Even if someone were to advance so much in faith to gain imperfect contrition–a hatred for sin so great they would do anything than choose to commit a sin again for fear they would suffer eternally because of it–not just for some of their sins, but of all of all of them, then they would be forgiven completely for all of their sins during confession through the power God gave His priests. However, if this contrition still remains in someone’s soul at the moment of death, they still reject God’s saving grace and choose sin instead of Life. This is because at the moment of death, we won’t be in confession but will be repenting of all–even our venial sins–straight to God. And even a venial sin becomes mortal–rejects God’s saving mercy–if we don’t have true (perfect) contrition for it. We must detest every sin, even the sin of self-love (that of being more interested in our suffering in Hell, over the anguish we cause God from our sinfulness) if we wish to enter into Life. We must be truly sorry, have a disdain for ALL sin and not desire a single crime against God if we wish to be saved. We must truly wish we could be perfect saints and would rather die a horrible death than commit another sin against God like the woman in Luke 4:47, if we want to accept God’s saving mercy at the hour of our death and live eternally in Heaven. God’s mercy is great but we must be truly sorry for our life time of rejecting Him if we are going to accept it. God must be the one we love and are concerned about most, not ourselves. We must have perfect contrition.

Perfect Contrition

Perfect contrition is true sorrow. It is the contrition we need to accept God’s wonderful complete forgiveness for the restoration of our sanctifying grace that we received from Jesus’ sacrifice into our souls. Perfect contrition is a contrition so great we would rather die a thousands deaths then willfully choose a single sin again. It is a contrition that would cause us into daily action…to do all we can to stop offending Our Beloved Lord. We can have this contrition for either one sin that we are so outraged over committing, or with all of our sins as we wholeheartedly seek perfection (to never sin again). When we have grown in faith to possess this kind of contrition that means we have a disdain so great we would rather suffer any torment than commit that sin again and are willing to do what it takes to see we never do it again. But if we want Eternal Life, we need to have perfect contrition not just for some of our sins that we think are bad but for each and every sin we have ever committed and might commit. To obtain this kind of contrition takes much much grace. We must learn how to focus our eyes, not on the world, but on filling God’s will perfectly at all moments giving none of our desires to sin so we can truly be resolved to never sin again because we can’t bear offending Our Creator.

We can be forgiven of a sin–mortal or venial–if perfect contrition for that sin exists for that offence. If we are perfectly sorry for a venial sin, it will be instantly forgiven if we posses perfect contrition for it. If we are perfectly sorry for a mortal sin, it is instantly forgiven as well, but we must go confess that sin before a priest in the sacrament of reconciliation since there is no way to know if perfect contrition exists in our soul and much grace is despenced through that sacrament to help move our souls into true contrition and if really only imperfect contrition existed for that sin, then we can still have that sin forgiven in confession. Therefore, confession of all mortal sins is a must if we desire Life.

This is the sorrow we need within our souls for all of our sins, at least, at the moment of death to be saved. This sorrow alone perfectly forgives all of our offences we have committed against God when the priest is not present to help absolve us of our offences, which is how we will be at the moment of our death. Therefore we need to learn how to grow in faith, and for most of us, we must first gain great imperfect contrition and then have the servile fear move us into finial fear–perfect contrition–for each and every sin.

Perfect Contrition

Perfect contrition is true sorrow. It is the contrition we need to accept God’s wonderful complete forgiveness for the restoration of our sanctifying grace that we received from Jesus’ sacrifice into our souls. Perfect contrition is a contrition so great we would rather die a thousands deaths then willfully choose a single sin again. It is a contrition that would cause us into daily action…to do all we can to stop offending Our Beloved Lord. We can have this contrition for either one sin that we are so outraged over committing, or with all of our sins as we wholeheartedly seek perfection (to never sin again). When we have grown in faith to possess this kind of contrition that means we have a disdain so great we would rather suffer any torment than commit that sin again and are willing to do what it takes to see we never do it again. But if we want Eternal Life, we need to have perfect contrition not just for some of our sins that we think are bad but for each and every sin we have ever committed and might commit. To obtain this kind of contrition takes much much grace. We must learn how to focus our eyes, not on the world, but on filling God’s will perfectly at all moments giving none of our desires to sin so we can truly be resolved to never sin again because we can’t bear offending Our Creator.

We can be forgiven of a sin–mortal or venial–if perfect contrition for that sin exists for that offence. If we are perfectly sorry for a venial sin, it will be instantly forgiven if we posses perfect contrition for it. If we are perfectly sorry for a mortal sin, it is instantly forgiven as well, but we must go confess that sin before a priest in the sacrament of reconciliation since there is no way to know if perfect contrition exists in our soul and much grace is despenced through that sacrament to help move our souls into true contrition and if really only imperfect contrition existed for that sin, then we can still have that sin forgiven in confession. Therefore, confession of all mortal sins is a must if we desire Life.

This is the sorrow we need within our souls for all of our sins, at least, at the moment of death to be saved. This sorrow alone perfectly forgives all of our offences we have committed against God when the priest is not present to help absolve us of our offences, which is how we will be at the moment of our death. Therefore we need to learn how to grow in faith, and for most of us, we must first gain great imperfect contrition and then have the servile fear move us into finial fear–perfect contrition–for each and every sin.

Worldly Contrition

Even though imperfect and perfect contrition are the only contritions in which someone’s soul can accept God’s forgiving mercy, sadly most don’t possess such a great faith to have those kinds of contrition. Tragically, from not knowing truly what imperfect contrition is, most have been deceived into thinking they have at least imperfect contrition, but in reality, they don’t even have that. Most either have no contrition or worldly contrition. If someone actually feels like they truly hate their sins and are resolved to not sin that sin again, most of the time they are driven to those feelings of sorrow by worldly concerns making their sorrow worldly contrition leaving them without experiencing God’s forgiveness for either one sin or all of their sins depending upon how many sins they feel sorry for.

Worldly contrition is a sorrow for sinning that isn’t moved by faith (fear of the Lord: fear of God’s punishment for our sins or fear of the suffering we inflict upon God or our loss of our relationship with Him as a consequence of our sins). It is a sorrow for different reasons–having a reason not based on faith (not fear of the Lord)…not moved by the Spirit. It is having a feeling of sorrow for reasons no greater than an atheist, who is sorry when he does wrong too. For example: someone can be upset they yelled at their spouse. They feel sorry for their lack of patience and love. But just because someone “feels” sorry doesn’t mean they have real contrition to accept God’s forgiveness. Atheists are sorry when they do wrong to their spouses too. That is a normal human reaction to the wrong we do…not something driven by faith.

Our reasoning behind our sorrow must be above why an atheist is sorry for their wrongs; it must be driven by “fear of the Lord…the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). To learn more about fear of the Lord please read the article “What is Fear of the Lord” (link at the bottom of this article), because without “fear of the Lord” we can’t be saved.

Worldly contrition can exist for one sin or all sins, but that sorrow comes from not liking the negative consequences it has upon us or someone else. We see this clearly after we are caught committing a sin…all of a sudden, we will feel greatly sorry, not because we have offended God, but because we are now “caught” in the act and from our embarrassment we wish we didn’t commit the sin. For example: Lets say we are caught lying. Before we were caught we didn’t “feel” sorry but all of a sudden after we are caught, that embarrassment, drives us into feeling some remorse for the wrong we committed. Our reasoning behind our sorrow doesn’t have anything to do with harming our Creator or from fear of suffering God’s punishments from that sin, but we are sorry for getting caught and appearing less than perfect. For some of us getting caught can bring to the light–enlighten us to our misery–how we are greatly sinful and need God’s mercy to change. But for most, our sorrow is still only driven from self-love.

However, worldly contrition or consequences can lead to imperfect or perfect contrition if we respond to God’s call to conversion. Worldly contrition can help move someone away from sin and that is good since every sin we commit rejects more and more of God’s helping grace, which leads to more and more blindness. Countless people won’t rob or kill another because of the worldly consequences that are given to us from those sinful actions. And if we do commit those sins, we can feel great remorse when we have done such wrong when we experience the worldly consequences of our sins. For example, many women are greatly hurting from the consequences of having an abortion. They have great guilt that they took the life of their child especially when they mature outside of their wrong thinking that led them into that sin. But for many who are suffering such great grief, they want to feel peace, but many don’t obtain it because they have not yet gained real sorrow for offending God. Truly atheists have regrets for their abortions too. They just regret it because they wish they had their child to love or some other reason not moved by faith…their regrets are good, but their sorrow still isn’t the contrition one needs to accept God’s forgiveness.

God forgives all of our sins, no matter what it was, if we are sorry we have offended Him, whom we should be loving with all of our heart. Bounds of people don’t associate their wrong choices with having offended God. People will run to God for mercy and forgiveness, but they still won’t fully understand it is GOD WHO THEY HAVE OFFENDED MOST. They are still sorry for harming their child, husband or themselves….and NOT GOD.

Having sorrow for sinning, without mostly being sorry we have offended God, still doesn’t accept God’s forgiveness. We must have sorrow driven from “fear of the Lord.” We must know sin offends God and fear the consequences of that sin which drives us to real contrition. Therefore, for someone with little or no faith, giving them a worldly reason to amend is better than nothing at all. But it must move to imperfect and then perfect contrition for all of one’s sin if they want Eternal Life.

No Contrition

Sadly, for most of us, for most of our sins, we have absolutely no contrition of any kind at all…not for even for one sin. Horribly most don’t even try to improve themselves for reasons of faith or for worldly concerns. Most just live life, allowing what ever to happen to happen. They might see some sins and even confess them in confession to a priest, but they are only willing to “say” what their sin is, but they have no true resolve to stop committing it and make no real resolution to stop. There is simply no desire to change…no working desire to amend ones ways. Which is no contrition no matter what they “say” with their words.

Most have no true hatred for even ONE sin. To have a true hatred of sin, that accepts God’s forgiveness, we must hate the sin enough to be resolved to stop it. We can’t honestly tell God we love Him if we aren’t truly working to become like Him (stopping our sins). That is a lie. When we have a sin and don’t really work to stop it, we don’t truly love God. And even if we “say” we are sorry in confession, unless we finally during confession become resolved to change (for servile or finial fear of the Lord), our sin isn’t forgiven.

To be forgiven of one sin, we need to hate that sin enough to be truly resolved to amend that sin, which means, we are going to really make a resolution to and implement it into our lives to see we don’t commit that sin again. .

We can “say” we love God and want to be like Him. We can “say” we want to do all for His glory and that we hate our sins. But hating a sin is much more than just “thinking” we hate something. When we truly hate something, we avoid it at all costs. How can we truly love God if we are still complacent with some of our offences against Him…if we don’t do all we can to amend (stop) them? We can’t. How can we “say” we truly hate our sins, when we commit them over and over again not running to God’s grace (His strength) to help us stop them? We can’t. Without a true hatred none of our sins are forgiven and we are rejecting forgiveness.

To be forgiven of one sin in the sacrament of reconciliation (Confession), we need to grow in our faith to obtain enough of God’s grace to really hate the sin we wish to be forgiven with perfect or imperfect contrition at least while we partake in the sacrament of penance. But if we want Eternal Life, by having ALL of our sins forgiven (have sanctifying grace restored), we need to grow in faith so much to obtain great grace so to truly hate every last sin–not only during the sacrament of reconciliation–but at least, at the moment of our death.

The saints toiled to hopefully obtain this kind of love and sorrow, and we need to too. Therefore, if we aren’t working wholeheartedly to stop any sin, if we have grown complacent with any of our sinful ways, if are continuing to commit the same sins over and over again from a lack of correctly seeking God’s transforming grace to change, we lack true sorrow and don’t have all of our sins forgiven (lack saving grace). To learn more about what true sorrow is please read the article “What is True Sorrow” (link at end of this article).

“True absolution [true forgiveness of any sin] on the part of the one presiding [the priest hearing the confession is] only [given] when it is in accord with the decision of the internal judge [God, who reads our hearts and knows if real sorrow (perfect or imperfect contrition) exists]” (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church).

With each sin we hate, our love for God increases since every sin we love (desire) keeps us from truly loving God. The more and more sins we learn how to hate, the more our love for God grows. And when we truly hate all of them, then we have true love for God. We can’t merely hate our sins with our thoughts, as most think we hate our sins and don’t desire to sin, but the challenge is truly hating our sins which is proven by our actions, as we strive every moment of our life to rid our will and replace it with God’s seeking to perfectly live His Word.

True Sorrow = True Love = True Forgiveness = True Saving Faith

All Sins Must be Forgiven to be Saved

If we want to have Eternal Life and not choose Hell when we die, all of our sins must be forgiven and not only that the must be forgiven without the assistance of the priest in the sacrament of reconciliation, we need to have perfect contrition for every single sin we have ever committed. And if we want to keep that perfect forgiveness of our sins within our soul that perfect contrition needs to be continuously present within us.Perfect contrition is more complicated than we might think but it is imperative we understand. So to learn more read the article True Contrition.  To just give a brief definition, perfect contrition is having a sorrow so great we would rather suffering any pain than offend Our Beloved Creator with any sin–even venial ones. We prove our contrition is true as we live our life with such a great disdain for every sin that we look carefully at our choices to see if there is sin so to repent and not commit them gain and do what is necessary to avoid sin at all costs.The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches“Among the penitent’s acts [the person confessing their sins] contrition [sorrow -perfect or imperfect] occupies first place [since it is needed for salvation]. Contrition is sorrow of the soul and detestation [hate] for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again [to become a saint]” (CCC #1451). “When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else [even loved over our self and the fear we might suffer from our sins], contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity)” (CCC#1452)… The contrition called “imperfect” (or “attrition”) is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin’s ugliness [not being a real Christian] or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear).” Therefore the only types of sorrow that are real contrition, which can obtain forgiveness of our sins, are derived from faith (the Holy Spirit), which are perfect or imperfect contrition.However, if we have sorrow for all sin but it is only derived from fear of suffering on earth, in purgatory or in hell–known as imperfect contrition–then from the power God gave His priests, our sins can be forgiven and saving grace restored in confession, because our sorrow was moved by faith (wisdom – fear of the consequence of sin). Saving grace–complete true forgiveness of ALL sin–in the sacrament of reconciliation from imperfect contrition is only received if we detest ALL of our sins and are resolved to stop every one of them out of fear or love. However, that perfect forgiveness doesn’t last if we don’t move from imperfect sorrow into perfect sorrow, immediately after confession, as imperfect sorrow, which is derived from self-love over God, rejects God’s saving grace immediately after it has been restored in confession, since we can’t love ourselves over God–that is a mortal desire and rejects God’s mercy outside of the assistance from a priest. But at least the magnificent grace from the complete forgiveness of our sins was received, which will greatly help move a soul into continuous perfect contrition. That forgiveness is a fantastic benefit to move a soul to Life.
“Whose sins you [His priests] forgive are forgiven them [in Confession], and whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20:23).

No Sins Forgiven

Sadly, many of us are not resolved to stop any of our sins, and we might not want to sin, but we still sin without restraint, habitually committing many crimes against God over and over again, from a lack horror for sin or a lack of resolve to change. We might feel badly if we happen to see ourselves sinning but we are far from detesting the sin and aren’t truly trying to stop it from occurring again. Therefore, we don’t have any real sorrow (perfect or imperfect contrition) and lack much love for God, which of course provides no forgiveness of any of our sins. Sadly, this is where the majority of people live–without sorrow for any sin…they simply aren’t working to change.

However, to the surprise of many, who are trying to amend our life, we have no real sorrow for any of our sins either. This can be very socking to many who thought they were doing trying to be a Christian. This is because many of us want to change but for the wrong reasons. Even though we might want to be a real Christian, not just in word but action, many are still seeking to change for self-serving reasons, not from intentions derived from faith (fear or love–wisdom). Our intention to leave wrong and work on doing good much of the time is no greater than an atheist who seeks to improve, but does nothing from faith. Atheists only seeking to change because we want a better life for them self or others, since they don’t like the consequences of their actions, which is far from real contrition (imperfect or perfect contrition). Atheists are sorry they hurt themselves and others too by their wrong choices…they aren’t monsters with out emotion. They like to do good too, but for the wrong reasons. However, to have real sorrow (godly sorrow), our motive to amend must be derived from wisdom-faith, which is fear of the consequence of sin: fear of harming God and our relationship with Him (perfect contrition) or fear of the punishment we will receive from our sins (imperfect contrition). Anything else is false contrition (worldly sorrow), and is no real contrition at all. Sadly for many of us, the thought that we are supposed to try to not offend God, which should be our motive to change, is never even pondered in our minds even as we seek to do good thinking we are Christians…as many are solely focused on making our life better to benefit our-self–not God. Therefore, no forgiveness is received.

“For godly sorrow produces a salutary [true] repentance without regret, but worldly sorrow [false sorrow] produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Some Sins Forgiven

Others are only sorrow for some of our sins because they are only truly resolved and working to stop some offences and only have some love for God. Therefore, we will only have some of our sins forgiven. However, If someone only has imperfect contrition (attrition) for just some of their venial sins or all of their venial sins, and is only seeking to stop some or all of their venial offences, then in order for them to receive forgiveness of those venial sins, they will need the help from the power that comes from the priest’s sacred hands in the sacrament of reconciliation. Any sin, including mortal, in which contrition is imperfect–not true contrition–needs the priest’s power to be forgiven. Every sin, mortal or venial, we are truly sorry for–in which we can bring our souls into perfect contrition for–God’s forgiveness is accepted into our souls without the assistance of the priest in confession.

If someone has attrition for their venial sins, and doesn’t seek forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation, that sin pushes away some of God’s actual grace (God’s help) and “disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin” (CCC #1863). If someone isn’t sorry for any venial sin…that venial sin is now mortal since not being sorry for offending God is a grave offence against God. Those venial sins we are sorry for, with imperfect or perfect contrition, don’t break one’s relationship with God, but they do push away God’s actual grace leaving us with less assistance from God. Seeking forgiveness, for all sin, allows more of God’s helping grace into our souls to help us obtain Life. Every thing we do that reject’s God’s help (grace) predisposes and weakens us to commit mortal sin (serious sin that causes great harm to us and God). We must have true contrition for any sin not attrition to have any sin forgiven outside of the help from the priest in confession–even venial sins.

“Repentance (also called contrition) must be inspired by motives that arise from faith [wisdom/grace]. If repentance arises from love of charity for God, it is called “perfect” contrition” (CCC #1492).

However, if we can obtain a truly sorry heart, with perfect contrition, for some venial sins even our prayers, works of mercy or the use of sacramentals–such as holy water–allows God’s forgiveness and actual grace into our souls, and we will be forgiven of them. Now, this might be confusing as perfect contrition even without the use of a sacramental forgives our sins. So we might ask, why even use the sacramental, what good does it provide? Actually, it is true we must have perfect contrition to be forgiven of any sin outside of confession. And what the sacramental does is sends us additional grace for those who are properly disposed to receive it, who aren’t quite in the state of perfect contrition, which helps move the soul into the state of perfect contrition so their sins they may be perfectly sorry for are forgiven if the sins they are truly sorry for. Imperfect contrition doesn’t forgive venial sin outside of confession since it isn’t quite contrition it’s attrition. It is sorrow still derived from self-love: fear of our suffering, not fear of the suffer we cause God. Therefore, outside confession to a priest, imperfect contrition doesn’t forgive venial sins even with the use of any holy item or from works of mercy, etc. Because, of course, without sorrow, of any kind (perfect or imperfect), no prayer, act of love or use of a holy item or even confession will forgive any of our sins even venial ones.

As far as mortal sins goes, if we have perfect contrition for a mortal sin, God will forgive us of that sin outside of confession. However, since mortal sin is so damaging and it is impossible to know if our contrition is perfect (since we can’t read our soul) confession to a priest is required for any known mortal sin. It is much easier to bring our souls into understanding the real and great punishment we deserve from our sins (imperfect contrition) than it is to accept God’s grace and understand the great injury we are causing God and truly detest our sins because we are offending Him out of our love for Him (perfect contrition). St. Benedict Joseph Labre  teaches to be moved into this state of contrition we should, “Meditate on the horrors of Hell, which will last for eternity because of one easily-committed mortal sin. Try hard to be among the few who are chosen. Think of the eternal flames of Hell, and how few there are that are saved.”

Therefore, to be certain we don’t continue to suffer from the effects of unforgiven mortal sin, we need to confess to a priest. Also, one of the blessings of confession is that such a great contrition can arise from coming to know the horror of our known mortal sins, and through the grace in that sacrament, our souls could possibly become truly sorry, with imperfect or perfect contrition, for every sin while participating in the sacrament of reconciliation, and our souls would be restored to Life and receive the magnitude of actual grace that the priest can deliver into our souls. Therefore in seeking a saving faith, we should confess our sins to a priest, even if we don’t think we have imperfect or perfect contrition yet, as long as we have some guilt (sorrow)–some desire to change–even if it isn’t quite sincere yet, God will send us grace if we desire it. But we must understand, that when the priest in confession says “Your sins are forgiven.” He really means, your sins–which you have perfect or imperfect contrition for–are forgiven. We must have real sorrow to be forgiven.

Holy Communion also forgives those who are truly sorry for all of their venial sin and have no known mortal sins unforgiven. For someone to receive God’s forgiving mercy (grace) in Confession they must be truly sorry for every venial sin at least at the moment they are to receive God’s Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. If someone lacks true sorrow for any sin mortal or venial, Holy Communion should be abstained, since Our Lord shouldn’t ever be received into a soul that isn’t truly sorry (or at least believes to the best of their ability they are truly sorry) for their sins against Him. For when Christ enters into a soul who still desires to cling to his sins, isn’t resolved to change any sins, such an act scourges Him greatly and harms our soul too. See What Sins Can I Still Commit and Receive Holy Communion for more information.

Being truly sorry all of our sins, for a brief moment in our day or life, is quite possible for those who seek God’s grace to become so humble, but our goal in life is to acquire this kind of true sorrow (perfect contrition) constantly so we can continuously have God’s forgiveness of all of our sins within our souls (have saving grace)–especially at the hour of our death. Once we loose our perfect contrition from become complacent with any sins, love our selves over God, or commit a mortal sin, we reject God’s saving grace we received at our baptism or confession if our saving grace was restored. Working towards a saving faith, a faith that is in constant of perfect contrition is very hard obtain, but with God’s help…little by little removing sin after sin, we most certainly can receive the grace to come to truly love God. God will teach us how to truly hate all sin and truly seek His will alone (never desire our own will).

The greater love we have for God–the more sins we will be truly sorrowful, the more forgiveness (actual grace) we will receive. When we grow in such great love of God and finally become truly sorry for all sin, then we will receive God’s saving grace and live in wonderful continuous peace. If we can grow to have a continuous contrite heart, God’s forgiveness will continuously flow through us uniting us constantly with Him by have His saving Spirit again within us. What joy! Therefore, always try to put yourself into a state of real contrition for offending our beloved Lord, at least, when praying, serving others or using sacramentals so we may benefit from the forgiveness/actual grace God desires to send us to help move our souls into true contrition for all of our sins, all of the time- and then delight in His saving grace.

Please realize, God wants to forgive us of all of our sins and welcome us in Heaven, but when we still love/desire (don’t work to stop) any sin, we still reject God’s complete forgiveness and sadly choose sin instead. To enter into Heaven, ALL SIN needs to be forgiven which accepts God’s sanctifying grace into our souls. Therefore, we need to spend our life as God intends and work to grow in perfect love of God by seeking to hate all of our sins so our love for God can become at least true. The more we banish our self-love (our will) and our desire of sin, the more we will grow in love with God and hatred of our sins and the more grace we will receive. With every sin we truly hate–have true sorrow for–we welcome God’s forgiveness (for those sins) and much helping grace (actual grace) into our hearts. However, since we can’t love both God and sin, and the love/desire of sin repels God’s love (forgiveness/grace), we reject God’s complete forgiveness if we don’t truly hate just one sin (don’t honestly seek to stop just one offence). Sanctifying (saving) grace–the complete forgiveness of our sins–can’t live in a soul that still desires a single sin; therefore, when we finally obtain true sorrow for each and every sin–grow in true love of God–that is when we will finally accept God’s sanctifying grace and have our sins completely forgiven.

“Certainly Our Saviour clearly shows, and all Christians in simplicity understand, that in this just judgment…[the unfaithful shall be condemned] because those have had many favours [gifts and love from God] and yet no love [for God], much assistance [help from God] and no repentance [for their sins]” (St. Francis de Sales).

What is True Sorrow

How to Love God

What is Fear of the Lord

What are Mortal Sins?

Mortal sins are more complex than we might know. They are the serious sins we choose which reject God's gift of salvation...

What Sins Can I Continue to Commit and Still Receive Holy Communion?

If we aren't striving to stop ALL of our sins, we certainly should not receive Communion. Horribly, many receive God's actual Body and Blood when they should abstain until they grow in faith...

What is Fear of the Lord?

"Fear of the Lord" is fear of sin and its consequences. Without fear we are suffering great blindness...

Will Anointing of the Sick Forgive Mortal Sins?

No. For the most part, anointing of the sick doesn't directly forgive mortal sin. The evil one has been busy confusing us to the true Catechism (teaching) of the faith. The Catechism also says we must confess all mortal and venial sin prior to receiving...

Will an Indulgence Take Away My Punishment for My Sins?

For most, no. Again, this is another deception from the deceiver to make us complacent in our sinful ways...

How to Reject the Word and Live for Heaven

God tells us we must desire Him alone, and we love God by way of the cross. Yet, we are easily coaxed into desiring much that isn't God and loving God only some of the time, giving the rest of our heart to the world...

Why True Penance is Needed to be Saved?

Penance is something we do in reparation (to make right our wrong) for our sins. For the most part, a penance equal to the crime committed against God is necessary for salvation...

How Can Bad Confessions Damn Us?

We can learn how to confess well since there are many many ways our confessions are poor and reject God's actual grace He desires to send us to help us sin no more which reject God's forgiving mercy for some or all of our sins...

What are the Requirements for Salvation?

The requirements of salvation are simple: to sincerely love God by coming to believe so greatly that Jesus is the Way to Heaven that we are willing to change our entire life to follow Him and truly hate all of our sins when we fail...

How Can I Gain Humility?

Without humility we can't gain self-knowledge or correct knowledge of the Way. Because we have become so good at deceiving ourselves, we don't see most of our sins, therefore we need much humility so we don't continue to stay blinded to the Light and can become enlighten to the truth...

How Can I Pray Humbly?

Many of us don't realize the reason we don't hear God speaking to us correctly is because we lack a humble heart, but there is an easy way to humble ourselves before God...

How Does Our Pride Kills Us?

Truly, underneath each and every sin we choose is our pride (self-love). That is the underlying factor to all sin we choose. We die and reject God's mercy strictly from our pride. Coming to know our hidden pride is a blessing of untold measure and will awaken our senses to the sins we really love...

Why Did Jesus Die for Our Sins?

Jesus died to open up the gates of Heaven, take away original sin and all of our sins and their consequences before our baptism. However, for all sins we commit after our baptism, we are accountable for them and need to be forgiven and atone for them from God's mercy...

What is God's Will?

God has a wonderful, yet different plan, for all of our lives that will lead us to a fantastic life of joy on earth and for all eternity. If we follow God's will, it will lead us straight to Heaven. There is a real way to seek God's will and live it...

What is Desiring to Sin?

Desiring to sin, in short, is when we don't hate any sin and don't truly love God...

Who Suffer the Most in Hell?

From rejecting God's mercy, the one's God has given the most blessings to, when they reject that incredible love, they injure God's Sacred Heart the most and choose the worst sufferings in Hell...

What is God's Mercy and
How Can I Obtain It?

God's mercy—His love—is given to us in the form of GRACE. There are various types of grace from helping grace to saving grace. God blesses us with this grace to help move us towards perfection for the salvation of our souls.

Can Some of My Sins be Forgiven but Still Not Receive God's Saving Mercy?

If we have true sorrow for some of our sins God will forgive us of those sins, but unless we are truly sorry for all of our sins, we can't receive saving (sanctifying) grace...

What is True Sorrow?

True sorrow is when we detest our sins so much we would rather suffer the greatest pains than offend our beloved Lord in the slightest way...

How Can I Be Happy With All of My Shortcomings?

God intentionally made us all differently. Some have more gifts than others, but God didn't make a mistake and All is for the good of our souls...

How Can I be Happy when Things go Greatly Wrong?

God promises us Great Peace and we can have it, no matter what goes wrong or how much we fail, if we learn how to trust in Him...

How Can I Trust In God?

Trusting in God means having no fear, complaint or worry with anything that God allows, knowing that, from His love for us, He allows all for our good. God allows everything to lead us to Life, no matter how painful it is and will make everything better after we suffer a little and lead us closer to the path of Life—for those who do in fact trust in Him.

How Can I Over Come My Scruples?

Having fear of sinning is wonderful and a must have, but having anxiety over our sins and having no hope for salvation keeps us from the life of peace God wants us to have...

How to Desire God Alone?

Desiring God alone can seem like an impossibility, but it truly isn't. Desiring God alone, means we only seek what is pleasing to God...we only seek things that are to know, serve and love God. It means we don't seek sin and only seek His will. This is done by growing in love with God...

How Can I Truly Follow Christ?

Following Christ in today's world is not what most might people think. Some will love the truth, while others will simply reject it. But the Way is waiting for everyone...

How to Be Happy Suffering

If we can obtain enough of God's grace, we can have fantastic peace during the most intense horrific suffering, but we must have the faith to surrender our will to God's for the salvation of souls.

Stop Judging...Really? Are We Confused?

One of the great misunderstood words in the Word is "don't judge." We make judgments everyday, some are very much needed and quite good but there are judgments that are so harmful they actually lead others to their eternal doom...

How Can I Preach the Truth?

The Words of Everlasting Life are hard to preach, but we are all called to do everything for the salvation of souls since that was Jesus' intention for all He did...

Why Does God Allow Temptation, Suffering and Punishment?

Our Loving God does and allows everything to guide us to Eternal Life. What wonderful blessings temptation, suffering and punishments are. Yes, even punishments...

Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

There is much confusion as to what the after life is going to be like, but we can learn the true teaching of each so we can aim for the correct goal and get the assistance from those in Heaven and truly help those in Purgatory...

How Can I Console Someone Grieving and Not Lie?

Our hearts of love want to comfort others but from our mis-guided love, much of the time, we lie and claim we can read the soul of another, and tell the grieving their loved one is in Heaven. Oh, how damaging that is! We don't need to do this; we can love and comfort with the truth that brings honest hope...not a lie.

How Can I Stop Sinning?

With a true desire, proper examination of our conscience, honest resolve to change, and continuous effort, along with God grace to strengthen and enlighten us, we can sin no more...

How Can I Save the Soul of Someone Dying — Our Greatest Hour ?

One of the most difficult things to do is to truly help save the soul of someone dying. But if we neglect doing this, we are neglecting our Christian duty, not truly loving them and as horrible as this is, we are actually helping to dam them...

How Can I Really Love God?

We love God by obeying His Word, by following His example and by carrying His cross. The only way we can do this well is by accepting God's assistance through His merciful helping grace...

How Can I be Saved?

We are saved by true belief in Christ...