I will not sin again
I will try not to sin again
When saying the act of contrition during Confession, I use the simple act of contrition which I was taught many years ago in preparation for 1st Confession:
O my God, because You are so good, I am heartily sorry that I have sinned against You and with the help of Your grace, I will not sin again.
I have always understood that the last words of this prayer, I will not sin again, show my intention at the moment of confession, to reject sin. At this precise, holy moment, it is my will that I do not commit any further sins.
Some years ago when I was saying this act of contrition at confession, the priest corrected me saying that as I would commit sins in the future, it would be better to substitute I will try not to sin again for the original words I will not sin again. This substitution would better reflect that owing to my fallen nature as a sinner, the likelihood is that that I will commit sins in the future.
I have found it difficult to go with this correction: 'try not to' seems a weaker intention than 'will not', and, to receive absolution , the penitent needs to express a firm intention (at the point of confession) to avoid sin (in the future), doesn't he?
In saying will not, the penitent fully intends at the present moment, not to fall into future sin, even though he realises that he may eventually succumb to temptation......in which case he would seek the Sacrament of Confession at the earliest opportunity, and having confessed, make an act of contrition, in which he would restate his intention not to sin again.
25 March – Feast of the Good Thief: St. Dismas
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