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Q. How much sorrow is required within the sacrament of reconciliation for sins to be forgiven? If I do not feel deep sorrow but simply recite the act of contrition, does that make my confession invalid? Perhaps even a mortal sin or a blasphemy?

A. You do not need to feel anything. You do not need to attempt to measure the level of sorrow that you may or may not have. Your very presence for the celebration of the sacrament is a valid expression of your belief in your need for forgiveness. Everything else in the sacrament is a gift of God’s grace. It cannot be earned, merited, or measured. It is a gift.


Q. No matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise, I simply do not feel worthy enough to receive holy Communion at Mass. As a result, I do not present myself for the sacrament. I feel like I am missing something,
but I am not sure what it is. Any suggestions?

A. The prayer that congregants recite before reception of holy Communion at Mass repeats the words the Centurion spoke to Jesus in Scripture: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof” (Matthew 8:8). In your unworthiness, you are missing the sacramental presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. I suggest you reconsider both your attitude and your practice. Strict interpretation is not required, and it is not helpful for your continued spiritual growth.

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