Monday, December 21, 2015

Attrition and contrition...

Come back as often as you need to.

One more comment.

Attrition, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia comes from the Latin attero, "to wear away by rubbing"; p. part. attritus.  The Council of Trent stated very clearly:
Wherefore attrition, the council in Canon v, Sess. XIV, declares: "If any man assert that attrition . . . is not a true and a profitable sorrow; that it does not prepare the soul for grace, but that it makes a man a hypocrite, yea, even a greater sinner, let him be anathema". - New Advent
I just mention that because the grace of the sacrament of penance, the merits of Jesus Christ, 'perfects' our contrition.

This is also why frequent confession is so necessary in breaking free of habitual sins - that occurred to me the other day when reading the root meaning of attrition - the Latin attero - 'to wear away by rubbing'.

Have confidence...

1423 It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father5 from whom one has strayed by sin.
It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction. 
1424 It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.
It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest's sacramental absolution God grants the penitent "pardon and peace."6It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the live of God who reconciles: "Be reconciled to God."7 He who lives by God's merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord's call: "Go; first be reconciled to your brother."8
1453 The contrition called "imperfect" (or "attrition") is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin's ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.52 

Everything is grace and mercy.

It's all good.


  1. Thanks for the timely reminder! I am also saving this to hand out at RCIA when we do our lesson on confession.

  2. One of the best arguments for frequent confession that I've ever heard. Thanks. It's a good reminder for myself when I get discouraged about confessing the same sins over and over.


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