Act of Contrition
Definition: The prayer recited during the sacrament of penance after confession to the priest. The standard version is: “O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.” In order for the sacrament of penance to be effective, a hatred of sin and a sorrow for it (contrition) is necessary. Catholics go to hell if they die without confessing each and every mortal (serious) sin that they have ever committed.
Discussion: Catholicism errs in its understanding of how a person qualifies for heaven. It places the Catholic on a “spiritual treadmill,” where they are constantly receiving and losing the graces necessary to go to heaven. In contrast, a Christian receives forgiveness of all sins, past and future, as well as the imputed righteousness of Christ when they believe (Rom. 10:9-10). Heaven cannot be lost by the child of God. Also, the requirement to “do penance” to pay for sin denies the absolute judicial satisfaction made by Christ at the cross (Is. 53:11).
Articles & Viewpoints:
- What is an Act of Contrition – Contrition