I want to go to Confession, but I don't really feel bad for my sins. Can I still be forgiven?
I want to go to Confession, but I don’t really feel bad for my sins. What do I do? Can I be forgiven?
That’s a really common experience. After all, if we think about it, one of the main reasons (if not the only reason!) why we sin is because there is something pleasing about it. Even when Eve saw the fruit, it was “good, pleasing…and desirable to the eyes." It seems that the only reason we choose to do anything is because we are convinced that it will make us happy. And sometimes it does. Sometimes sin makes us happy.
With some sins, the happiness fades really quickly: the moment is past and we physically, psychologically, or emotionally feel the hurt or emptiness. But other times it may take quite a while until the unhappiness really begins to set in. Sometimes, we may not ever get to the point of realizing (in that deep, sensed, way) what we’ve lost until after we’ve turned our life around and returned to Christ. I’ve spoken with many people who didn’t realize how their sins were emptying their life of love, joy, and other good things until long after they were reconciled with God. I’ve known this in my own life as well.
try to give them up. Where does that leave them in the end? Still miserable. And still out of relationship with God. And I have also known people who could not muster up one single tear for very serious sins, but who chose to begin taking the steps back to God’s heart who are now great signs of hope to those who know them.
is the chaplain for Newman Catholic Campus Ministries at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He also serves as the Director of the Office of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth. This column is a feature of
and is published here with permission. You can submit questions to Fr. Mike at email@example.com. You can also listen to Fr. Mike’s homilies