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Matthew Cohen wrote:

Hi, guys —

I realize that I must go to Confession if I commit a mortal (versus venial) sin. I believe that I am a good person.

  • I attend daily Mass
  • do my best to avoid temptation
  • pray often, and
  • seek to follow God's will.

However, I struggle often with uncontrollable thoughts about sex, ill feelings towards bosses, and coworkers who bullied and harassed me in the past, and dealing with psychics (who gave me hope when I had thoughts of harming myself).

I fall into these sinful thoughts and actions because I am weak, even though I pray fervently and often for God's help. It hurts me when I know I am sinning or am going to sin. I know what I am doing and I beg God for His forgiveness before (or while) I commit sinful acts — some of which are too hard to control.

I likely commit mortal sins a few times each week. Since I attend daily Mass, I would like to participate in Communion every day however, most priests are available only on Saturdays — and sometimes on Fridays as well.

  • Considering our society and my situation, must I refrain from participating in daily Communion until I go to Confession on Friday or Saturday?
  • If Confession is not possible or impractical, can I say a sincere prayer of contrition, receive the Eucharist, and later go to Confession to receive the sacrament of Penance?


  { In these cases, must I refrain from daily Communion until I go to Confession on Friday or Saturday? }

Bob replied:


You ought to have a frank discussion with a priest who can be your regular Confessor to help you make good decisions about reception of Holy Communion. What you are doing could be a mortal sin in your mind but not really in truth. Sometimes people:

  • are scrupulous, or
  • have a disorder that creates a mental fixation (compulsion) and other factors that mitigate culpability.

A good spiritual director or Confessor could help you sort this out, but the goal should be to receive Communion as frequently as possible.

You are doing well to keep praying and attending Mass; that is key. If nothing else, it will teach you how dependent all of us are on His grace to overcome our fallen nature.


Bob Kirby

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