Sunday, September 26, 2010

Aquinas solves the Contrition Debate

SO. I haven't blogged in a long time, mostly on here because apparently chinese pornographers keep leaving large amounts of comments to my posts, and so I've been at Recusant Corner.

However, I stumbled across something tonight that I thought I'd post as it was very relevant to a longstanding debate that has occured on this blog for the last year (or more).

Contrition vs. Perfect Contrition vs. Imperfect Contrition.

My scruples surrounded the idea of perfect contrition and the term 'perfect love for God'. As is the case with most post-Tridentine Catholic theology, the grounds are a mess. There are so many qualifiers and hastily thrown together documents and a rebuttle of a misunderstood Protestantism, that it left me without much hope.

So for some reason, after all this, I went back to St. Thomas, and read these words which shocked me:

"we must say that sorrow, however slight it be, provided it suffice for true contrition, blots out all sin." -

Now as far as I exegeted this chapter of the summa, St. Thomas seems to be arguing that any sorrow for sins is a divine and therefore infinite sort of thing. Thus sorrow for sins possesses the infinite and gracious efficacy that sanctifying grace has, and where one is the next will follow. Basically resulting in a theology where, sorrow for sins with any kind of conviction, is a sign of efficacious grace, and necessarily entails a desire for confession, and necessarily gives one the ability to hope for their own redemption.

(which is good as I haven't been to confession in a month, and can't go until Saturday).

Things are always simpler with Aquinas.