By Father Kenneth Doyle
Q. I have done something terrible. I committed a mortal sin and then I received the Eucharist. Am I going to be condemned? I am very worried. I am 17 years old, and I was baptized just two months ago. If I go to confession, will I be forgiven?
(I was afraid that my parents would question me if I did not take Communion, so I went up to receive even though I knew it was wrong.) Please help me to know what to do at this point. (City and state withheld)
A. Please be at peace. You are not going to be condemned, and you will surely be forgiven in the sacrament of penance. It strikes me that some of our best-known saints made their way back from moral wrongs to find healing and joy in God's forgiveness.
I'm thinking of St. Paul, who once persecuted those who believed in Jesus; of St. Peter, who during Christ's Passion denied that he even knew Christ; of St. Augustine, who had fathered a child out of wedlock. God can forgive anything, and he wants to. His very purpose in creating us was so that we could share eternal happiness in his presence.
Just go to confession and tell the priest of your sin and the fact that you went to holy Communion despite recognizing its gravity. And congratulations on your recent baptism. Like most Catholics, I was baptized as an infant, but I often find that those who entered the church later on have a faith that is more reflective and stronger.
- - -
Questions may be sent to Father Kenneth Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org and 30 Columbia Circle Dr., Albany, New York 12203.