Hello Father Angelo,
I’m looking for an answer to the question I constantly ask myself. Jesus always invited to conversion. I couldn’t say if I received a sign from Heaven, but I felt like a fire of irrepressible conversion inside me which also urges me to go to confession. I would like to know whether salvation from eternal punishment is possible for converted sinners (I mean: even if one has committed mortal sins), or if there is no escape from hell for them. I am seriously worried and very sad. When the day of judgment comes, I don’t know what will happen to my soul and body. I always hope in Christ and Mary. I pray the Holy Rosary every day, and also to St. Michael the Archangel and St. Pio of Pietrelcina as well. I also pray for the conversion of sinners in the world and for the liberation of the holy souls in Purgatory. I was a sinner myself, and I don’t know if my prayers are reaching heaven. I hope so. Thanks in advance. Kind regards,
I hope for your answer. Please.
Peace and good to you.
The priest’s answer
1. You would not be repentant of your sins if the Lord had not brought repentance in you.
Repentance of sins solely caused by fear of hell, although not the most fruitful repentance, is of supernatural origin however.
It is a good and salutary grace, not sanctifying yet, with which the Lord animates the conversion in sinners.
Theologians call it actual grace.
2. I believe that the unstoppable fire of conversion you feel inside and the need to go to confession are clear signs that your repentance comes from Heaven.
Be certain, these feelings are not coming from you, but from the Lord who is touching your heart in a very healthy way.
Listen to what the Council of Trent teaches: «That imperfect contrition called attrition, which is commonly conceived either from the consideration of the ugliness of sin or from the fear of hell and pains, if excludes the will to sin with the hope of forgiveness, not only does it not make man hypocritical and more sinful, but it is a gift from God and an impulse of the Holy Spirit, who certainly does not dwell in the soul yet, but only moves; with the help of this impulse the penitent prepares the way of justice».
Although attrition without the sacrament of penance cannot “per se” lead the sinner to justification, nevertheless it disposes him to implore the grace of God in the sacrament of penance.
In fact, the Ninevites, usefully shaken by the fear of Jonah’s terrifying preaching, did penance and implored mercy from the Lord (Jonah 3) ”(DS 1678).
3. This text just describes your mood.
We are talking about the impulse of the Holy Spirit: here is the irrepressible fire that you feel inside your heart and that pushes you not only to conversion but also to confession, that is, to draw near to the Sacraments and the Church.
4. The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites another passage from the Council of Trent which also depicts your situation: «When the conscience is thus shaken, an inner evolution can begin which will be brought to completion, under the action of grace, from sacramental absolution.
By itself, however, imperfect contrition does not obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but disposes one to receive it in the sacrament of Penance (DS 1677) » (CCC 1453).
5. So, don’t delay any longer.
Respond with equal readiness to the unstoppable desire for conversion and confession that God has aroused in your heart.
Entrust your journey to Our Lady, who undoubtedly implored and obtained for you this grace, a work which is greater than the creation of heaven and earth, so that what the Lord is expecting from you through this conversion doesn’t find any obstacle and is brought to completion.
I gladly accompany you with my prayers and remembrance in the Holy Mass.
Meanwhile, I bless you and wish you well.