18.8.15

Contrition - " the first and the most necessary constituent part of the Sacrament of Penance; an indispensable precondition of the forgiveness of sins at all times"

FUNDAMENTALS OF CATHOLIC DOGMA, DR. LUDWIG OTT, 1952:
"The Council of Trent defines contrition (contritio, compunctio) as : "Grief of the soul for and detestation of the sins committed, with the intention not to sin in future " : animi dolor ac detestatio de peccato commisso, cum proposito non peccandi de cetero. D 897. Thus the act of contrition is composed of three acts of the will which converge to one unity : grief of soul detestation, intention. It is neither necessary nor always possible that the grief of sorrow, which is a free act of the will, be expressed in sensory feelings of sorrow. The intention of sinning no more is virtually included in true sorrow for sins
committed.

Contrition, as is evident from the nature of justification, is the first and the most necessary constituent part of the Sacrament of Penance, and has been an indispensable precondition of the forgiveness of sins at all times (D 897). Subsequent to the institution of the Sacrament of Penance this contrition must also include the intention of confession and atonement. As contrition is an essential ingredient of the sacramental sign, it must be expressly awakened during the reception of the Sacrament of Penance (contritio formalis).

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