"Some say that I am too good. But if you come and kneel before me,
isn't this a sufficient proof that you want to have God's pardon?
God's mercy is beyond all expectation."
It is not simply feeling bad or guilty or ashamed or afraid we’ll get caught. The church calls this “imperfect contrition”
It’s okay, but it’s not good enough “Perfect contrition” is the realization that we have not reached God’s glory for us. It is the deep understanding that we have failed God and his love and that we have “done what we ought not to have done and left undone those things we ought to have done and there is no health in us.”
Once we truly repent we can truly receive mercy. - Fr. LImperfect contrition not good enough?
Yes it is. To be fair, I don't think Fr. L was saying it wasn't - it just read like that to me. When a person is struggling with habitual sin and making frequent confessions, the fear of only having imperfect contrition can discourage one from seeking reconciliation and continuing to struggle, with the help of sacramental grace, to overcome a particular sin.
Imperfect contrition, or attrition is certainly 'enough' to receive mercy, the forgiveness of sins. To gain a plenary indulgence, one must be free of any attachment to venial and mortal sin, and truly repentant. Therefore, it is necessary to make Sacramental Confession. Imperfect contrition is enough to receive absolution and the complete forgiveness of sin in confession. That is what happens in the Sacrament of Penance, reconciliation, confession - the priest in persona Christi absolves the penitent from sin. The confessional is the 'tribunal of mercy'.
Go and understand the meaning of mercy.
I think a lot of things will be said during the Jubilee Year of Mercy which could have the potential of keeping some souls from even trying to be reconciled or making an effort to receive the Jubilee Indulgence. In trying to understand 'the meaning of mercy' one can get tangled up in the theological strings attached to it - the formal, technical conditions and dispositions attached by the Apostolic Penitentiary to obtain the gift of Indulgences for the Jubilee. Ordinary people can be easily discouraged because they do not understand Catholic teaching.
To gain the Jubilee Indulgence, one must be free of any attachment to venial and mortal sin, and truly repentant. I tell people to not let that deter them because imperfect contrition can be perfected in and through the sacrament of penance. Likewise, one may have the 'will' to be free of attachment. It is better not to get too scrupulous over it. We need to trust in what the Church teaches and especially place all of our trust in the Divine Mercy remembering God's mercy is inscrutable. In other words - do not let anything stop you from running to the Divine Mercy with confidence and love. The Holy Year has been proclaimed to attract the greatest sinners, and even the not so great - the lukewarm, the fallen away, the sanctimonious, the cino, the poor, the rich. Trust is the key. One does not have to be perfect - far from it. Don't wait to 'feel' perfect contrition - just go to confession. As alcoholics like to say - let go and let God.
Don't waste your time on my pious musings, rather check the Catechism. These matters are explained there for the ordinary person. Even if you approach the confessional with imperfect contrition - the Lord, in his mercy, imparts the forgiveness of sins, and he himself imparts perfect contrition. Our actions may never be enough to satisfy - because we have no merits of our own to plead our cause - but the merits of Jesus Christ are infinitely efficacious and supply for all that we lack.
The Catechism on Contrition
1451 Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."50
1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.51
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
"The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy." - Source