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ForgotMySins Francis wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a question about previous forgotten sins from long ago. When finishing a Confession and prior to receiving absolution, I always say, for these sins and any other sins that I may have forgotten.

The priest then absolves me. I am a aware that if, during a Confession, I forget to mention a recent mortal sin, that it is still forgiven with the proviso that I confess it at my next Confession.

About a year ago, I had a priest tell me not to worry about sins that are many years in the past, since they have been forgiven. I took that to mean all sins. Since that time, I have not followed-up with him.

I should preface my question by saying that I am 64-years-old. I also suffer from anxiety and excessively worry about his response to me. It seems that I am having memory flashbacks, usually:

  • after using one of the many Examination of Conscience forms available, or
  • of some memory that triggers it.

If I remember, I confess the sin(s) but there are other sins where I can't remember if I confessed them or not.

I am afraid that I will always have this problem and that I may be falling into scrupulosity. To be clear, I am not looking for a get out of jail free card.

I desperately want to make a good Confession but most of all, if I can, I want a clear answer.

Thank you,

Francis

  { What if I desire a good Confession but can't remember whether I confessed sins from long ago? }

Bob replied:

Dear friend,

All of your sins have been forgiven. It doesn't matter if you later remember a sin that you formerly forgot; it was forgiven.

The only circumstance where it would not be forgiven is when one deliberately withholds confessing a sin. It is conscious decision not to confess a sin that voids a Confession. Otherwise, you need to let go and start trusting in Divine Mercy.

Memories of the past and regret will likely always be there. When that happens, just talk to Jesus and say,

Thank you so much for this new chance at life! I'm really grateful and I want to do better. Help me and walk with me today. I love you and am really glad you are the source of my strength and my life.

Gratitude squashes despair and worry.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Francis replied:

Bob,

Thank you for the very quick response.

Your reply does help put my mind at ease.

  • I also appreciate your advice on dealing with memories however to be clear these are all sins, correct?

I truly believe that I confessed all grave sins during my Confessions but there may have been a grave sin that I did not remember until later.

Again thank you.

Have a blessed day!

Francis

Mike replied:

Dear Francis,

You said:
I truly believe that I confessed all grave sins during my Confessions but there may have been a grave sin that I did not remember until later.

Then like you said in your original question to us:

. . . I am a aware that if, during a Confession, I forget to mention a recent mortal sin, that it is still forgiven with the proviso that I confess it at my next Confession.

So as you said, just mention it at your next Confession.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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