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If there is a “baptism of desire,” is there a “reconciliation of desire”?

Full Question

Suppose someone committed a mortal sin (meeting all the conditions of grave matter, full knowledge, and free will) and later sincerely and fully repented of it. The person desired to go to confession as soon as possible to be reconciled with God but was killed in an accident before doing so. What would be the state of that person’s soul? I know there’s a “baptism of desire”; is there such a thing as a “reconciliation of desire”?

Answer

In a sense, the Church does indeed recognize a “reconciliation of desire”—perfect contrition. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines contrition as “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again” (CCC 1451).

For contrition to forgive mortal sins it must arise out of our love of God. “When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called ‘perfect’ (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible” (CCC 1452).










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