A Harsh Penance

Thank you for taking the time to answer questions. I went to confession this past weekend. When it came time for the priest to give me penance, the priest said he was going to give me a harsh penance (to pray for certain things everyday for a year and to pray at adoration once a week for a year). I want to complete my penance and i been working on it. The problem is I do not remember everything I need to pray about. Do I do the penances as best as I remember or do I need to ask the priest what the prayers where? Now I need to go back to confession. Can I go back to confession even though I have not finished my penance? Do I need to tell the priest I have not finished my penance? I am upset that I can't do my penance in full and seems I shouldn't go to confession if I can't complete the penance. Sorry so long. Thank you for any advice you can give and God Bless,


P.S. I am praying for you.


Dear V,

If a penance is unclear or overcomplicated, you are not bound to it. Just do the best you can. You might mention it in a future confession. If you have enough confidence with the original priest, you could talk to him. But otherwise it would be better to mention it to a priest you do have confidence in. Just something like, "Father, I wasn't able to complete the penance from the previous confession because it was too complicated and I couldn't remember it all." He will probably give you a new, less involved penance. Be assured that your sins are forgiven and that Christ has done all necessary to make satisfaction. Our penance (as well as any other sufferings or prayers) is ultimately a participation in his sacrifice which gives them efficacy. I appreciate the prayers. You are in mine.

God bless,

Fr. Bloom

Confession of Sins

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