Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life, Dating, and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Frank Collins wrote:

Hi, guys —

Although I think I understand the difference between venial and mortal sin:

  • How can I go to Confession and ask for forgiveness for a sin when I know I'm going to commit that same sin again?

It isn't like I want to be against God; It's more like I can't help it. My sin is more in the weakness of the flesh, but it is still a sin. As they say,

the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak! (Matthew 26:40-41)

Any clarification on this point would be greatly appreciated.


F. Collins

  { How can I go to Confession when I know I'm going to commit that same sin again? }

John replied:

Hi, Frank —

Thanks for the question.

The issue is whether you intend to commit the sin again, not whether you know you are going to.

Some sins are habitual, especially some sins against chastity. We need to resolve to try and resist them, even though we know our own weakness. In those cases, although the matter is grave,
we may not have full consent of the will and so the culpability for the sin is lessened.

Nevertheless, we need to be willing to take steps to avoid the sin.

For example: If a person is struggling with an addiction to pornography, they have to resolve to avoid it. They can start by getting rid of any porn they may have in the house. They might have to block it from their internet access.

Sometimes it requires a lifestyle change. If someone is cohabitating outside of marriage,
they need to change that situation as soon as possible and, in the mean time, take steps so they don't fall into fornication.

It all boils down to whether or not you are willing to take some steps to avoid the sin in the future. God is always willing to forgive, but we don't want to take that for granted. Rather,
he wants us to be empowered by His Mercy, not only to be forgiven, but to overcome the sin.

Confession gives us grace to overcome the sin if we avail ourselves of the grace given.

I hope that helps,

John DiMascio

Mike replied:

Hi, Frank —

This is a very good question.

A question that many struggle with in this sex-saturated culture.

What I do is after mentioning all known mortal sins and any venial sins, I ask in the confessional for the grace to make a better firm purpose of amendment.

If you are still struggling, just keep asking for the grace to make a better firm purpose of amendment in every Confession you go to.

Perseverance and prayer are the keys.

[Related Posting]

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.