Let’s Talk About Firm Purpose of Amendment

Today I’d like to bring to attention one of the most important subjects that could ever exist in the spiritual life of a Christian. Unfortunately, this matter has been profoundly forgotten to the point where it could be that the majority of Catholics of this generation may have no idea of this crucial topic for their salvation.

In an effort to promote the spiritual well-being of the souls of my Catholic brethren who have discovered with diligence the Catholic Faith through the work of Most Holy Family Monastery. Who reject baptism of desire, blood and invincible ignorance. To those that do not practice any kind of contraception including Natural Family Planning (NFP), and that reject the line of anti-popes from John XXIII up to Francis. I would like to share information about firm purpose of amendment. Here are two letters about the issue that two people exchanged with Most Holy Family Monastery. So, without further due, let’s move on to the content.

Dear MHFM,

I confessed [a mortal sin]… to a validly ordained priest, but did not have the firm purpose of amendment. I committed the sin again. I have since been praying the 15-decade rosary each day. I tried to mention this sin and the previously confessed instances of it to a validly ordained priest in a later confession. The priest refused to hear it. He would not let me mention repeated instances. He said, “God wants me to be at peace.” I ask that you pray for me. I do have the firm purpose of amendment now.


MHFM: If a confession of a mortal sin was made without the firm purpose to stop committing the sin (that which is called the firm purpose of amendment), then that confession was sacrilegious.  A mortal sin was committed in making it. Hence, at your next confession (when you do have the firm purpose of amendment), you would need to mention that you made a sacrilegious confession. You would also need to confess again the mortal sin under discussion and how many times you committed it.

It’s not clear from your e-mail whether the priest understood that you were confessing a sacrilegious confession and therefore also re-confessing mortal sins which had been mentioned before, or if he thought that you were unnecessarily repeating sins which had already been forgiven.  If he understood the former, then he’s a liberal and a bad priest.  Sadly, that’s the case with even a good number of the “traditional” priests.  If he gave you absolution without allowing you to mention everything you needed to mention, then you need to go to a different (valid) priest and make the confession.  From reports we’ve received, many of the “traditionalist” priests justify various mortal sins. 

Certainly if a person is truly scrupulous and is repeating sins which have already been forgiven, or confessing as mortal sins things that are not, then forbidding a penitent to confess certain things would be the correct counsel.  But this was certainly not one of those cases.  Many of these priests are so liberal that they assign clear-cut mortal sins – such as a confession of a mortal sin without the intention to stop the sin – to the category of “scrupulosity.”


Personal commentary: I want to share with you how the central subject is discussed in this first letter. Of how very dangerous the forgetting of true purpose of amendment is, as it will cause a sacrilegious confession and the eternal loss of a soul. Even worse, the loss of a soul that presumably could already posses the supernatural Faith with which he can please God. And what is more tragic is that, because the majority of Catholics converts of this generation descend from heretical families and have had to fight against all obstacles and poisoned sources to find the Faith and Catholic morals, confuse what is true firm purpose of amendment. Being that the most widespread version of this is the following: Habitual confession, with a desire varying in intensity and maybe with the idea of not mortally sinning again, a desire perceived as utopian or as impossible to not sin mortally, but with a more or less clear certainty that the soul will sin mortally again.

To this false firm purpose of amendment is added a whole twisted interpretation about what the life of a christian is and the fight against sin, where fighting with sin means relapsing again and again into mortal sin, yet confessing them habitually. What is most important right now is to spread with all swiftness possible that such a definition of firm purpose of amendment is false. As we will see in the following letter on the matter.


If I understand correctly what you are saying: a person who commits a previously confessed mortal sin does not have the firm purpose of amendment necessary to make a good confession and thus, makes a sacrilegious confession.  This is not necessarily true, especially in cases of habitual sin, in which a person is addicted to a particular sin and is struggling to overcome the temptation or tendency to commit that sin.  Such a person could enter the confessional and have the intention to avoid those sins and their occasions and actually refrain from committing the sin for a time and then out of human weakness, fall and give into temptation again.  On the other hand, if a person went to confession with the idea that they will or want to commit the sin again which they are about to confess, then of course that would be a bad confession. 



MHFM: You have misunderstood and misrepresented what we said.  The person who wrote to us said that he went to confession and did not have the firm purpose to stop committing the sin.  That’s a sacrilegious confession.  It’s very straightforward.  We did not say that if a person ever commits a mortal sin that he previously confessed, that proves that the previous confession of that sin was sacrilegious. It’s theoretically possible for a person to have a sincere and firm purpose to not commit a particular mortal sin anymore, but then weaken in his/her resolve some time later.  Hence, the person would commit a new mortal sin, but his/her previous confession was not sacrilegious.  However, we would say that such a situation is rare.  There is also a grave danger in what you are saying about habitual sin and addiction to sin.  People who are “addicted” to a mortal sin are not ready to go to confession and shouldn’t be given absolution, as explained below.

Many persuade themselves that they are committed to changing their lives and to breaking from a mortal sin when, in fact, they are not ready to do so.  They do not intend to take the necessary steps.  They thus deceive themselves and commit sacrilegious confessions. As St. Theresa of Avila said: “Bad confessions damn the majority of Christians.”  A person who is in mortal sin must have the firm purpose to literally convert from the sin, and to take the drastic actions (if necessary) to bring that about.  It’s theoretically possible for someone to get to that point, and then fall back into the sin; but in most cases where a person commits mortal sin habitually he/she has not, at any point, reached the level of a firm purpose to change.  

That’s why people who have been mired in a particular mortal sin for a stretch of time should not go to confession and should not be given absolution until they have reached the point that they are sincerely ready to change and not look back.  Too many think that confession is just a salve of conscience, while they can continue to sin in the manner they desire. 

Personal commentary: With this excellent doctrine, one can derive serious consequences for the spiritual and moral Christian life. Confession should signify a true conversion, where a person prefers to die before mortally sinning again. It’s sad to think how a very simple and direct truth, could have remained very forgotten, even perhaps centuries before the Great Apostasy. With these types of topics, on realizes, that perhaps the great majority of all the confessions that have been confessed, were sacrilegious for not having been preceded by a true conversion, which was also a mortal sin attributable to the priests who instead of kicking out false penitents from the confessionary, like Padre Pio did, they would give an absolution that turned those confessing into sacrilegious with a reassured conscience.

When one meditates on all of this, then the testimony the Devil gave, forced by Divine virtue, regarding the sanctity of St. Francis and the context of the world in the year 1226 gains a greater meaning.

The following quote comes from, “The little flowers of St. Francis”, part II, consideration V, page 136:

Then Landulph conjured him in the name of God to tell him what was the truth regarding the holiness of St Francis, whom he affirmed to be dead, and for St Clare, who was still alive. And the devil answered him:

“I must tell thee the truth whether I will or not. The anger of God the Father was so enkindled against the sins of the world, that he was ready to pass sentence upon it, and to destroy all men and women from the face of the earth, unless they would repent. But Christ his Son, praying for sinners, promised to renew his life and Passion in the person of a man, namely, in St Francis, a poor mendicant; through whose life and doctrine many throughout the world should be brought back into the way of truth, and many also to penance. And now, to show to the world what he had wrought in St Francis, he has been pleased that the stigmata of his Passion, which he had imprinted on his body during life, should be seen and touched by many since his death. In like manner did the Mother of Christ promise to renew her virginal purity and her humility in the person of a woman, to wit in Sister Clare, that by her example many women might be delivered out of my hands. And the eternal Father, being appeased by these promises, deferred his final sentence.”


Let’s Talk About Firm Purpose of Amendment

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