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IMPERFECT CONTRITION

Sorrow for sin animated by a supernatural motive that is less than a perfect love of God. Some of the motives for imperfect contrition are the fear of the pains of hell, of losing heaven, of being punished by God in this life for one's sins, of being judged by God; the sense of disobedience to God or of ingratitude toward him; the realization of lost merit or of sanctifying grace. Also called attrition, imperfect contrition is sufficient for remission of sin in the sacrament of penance. It is also adequate for a valid and fruitful reception of baptism by one who has reached the age of reason. And if a person is unable to go to confession, imperfect contrition remits even grave sin through the sacrament of anointing of the sick.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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