Perfect contrition and confession question
#1
Today I committed a mortal sin, probably the first since I returned to the Catholic Church. I am deeply sorry. I have a couple of questions.

1) How do you know if you have perfect contrition vs imperfect contrition? I am afraid of going to hell, but I do also feed bad that I've offended God by breaking His law. Is that perfect contrition?

2) I know that perfect contrition remits mortal sin even before confession, but I know you need to have the intention to go to confession as soon as possible. As a scrupulous person with OCD, I have trouble narrowing down 'as soon as possible'. Can you wait for your usual Sunday Mass and ask the priest then to hear your confession, or do you have to seek out a priest before that time in order to be forgiven? After some run-in with a couple of, shall we say, less-than-helpful priests in the past (one of whom used an invalid formula of absolution), I prefer to confess to the priest who says our Latin Mass. Is that okay?
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#2
(04-28-2017, 07:07 AM)MichaelNZ Wrote: 1) How do you know if you have perfect contrition vs imperfect contrition? I am afraid of going to hell, but I do also feed bad that I've offended God by breaking His law. Is that perfect contrition?

You can't know you have perfect contrition any more than you can know you are in the state of grace. There's no human way to be metaphysically certain of this, because it is not something material that we can feel or observe. You can only have a moral certainty — you can know you tried your best, removed any impediments, are not aware of anything that would prevent contrition or sanctifying grace, etc.

If you tend to be scrupulous or obsessive, that should come as a relief, too. You don't need to worry, because no matter how much you do, you can never be perfectly sure.

Perfect contrition comes from an actual grace given by God as it must be a supernatural hatred of your sin because by that sin you have offended Him. You need to ask that grace. Pray for it, and especially ask Our Lady to obtain it for you.

There is an incident from the life of St. Gemma Galgani where she was praying for the conversion of a great sinner, and Our Lord refused her several time, so she eventually told him : Listen, I know I'm a sinner, you've told me that many times, and thus don't deserve to be heard by you, but there is one who prays for sinners and who you must hear — Your Mother wants the conversion of sinners, so listen to her, for she prays for this man. And Our Lord granted the request, and the man was converted.

We can't ever be sure we're in the State of Grace or have Perfect Contrition, but we can ask God, through Our Lady, to save us poor sinners by giving us these.

(04-28-2017, 07:07 AM)MichaelNZ Wrote: 2) I know that perfect contrition remits mortal sin even before confession, but I know you need to have the intention to go to confession as soon as possible. As a scrupulous person with OCD, I have trouble narrowing down 'as soon as possible'. Can you wait for your usual Sunday Mass and ask the priest then to hear your confession, or do you have to seek out a priest before that time in order to be forgiven? After some run-in with a couple of, shall we say, less-than-helpful priests in the past (one of whom used an invalid formula of absolution), I prefer to confess to the priest who says our Latin Mass. Is that okay?

You should confess as soon as it is reasonably possible. You don't need to run to the first possible confessor you find, but you need to make a more than just casual effort.

Given you have a reasonable distrust of certain priests given the invalid formula, that would seem to be some level of moral impossibility to go to them.

To wait two days is not unreasonably long, but perhaps you can call up a good priest and ask to come and confess today or tomorrow. Most good priests will happily make a few minutes time to hear a confession.
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#3
You can never know for sure that your contrition was perfect but when the priest gives you absolution after a good confession then you have the moral certitude that your sins were forgiven.
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