Recently I saw online a video of a priest preaching about folks who go to confession over and over with the same sin—in this case, pornography—and how they may be 'abusing' God's mercy.
Certainly pornography is a serious issue. Any priest who hears confessions knows that it has become a serious public health crisis. It has the potential to deform imaginations and consciences and to weaken and even destroy real relationships.
And it’s true enough, to go to confession without any contrition or willingness to ‘amend my life’ (as we say in a common version of the Act of Contrition), would be something sacrilegious and a sin of presumption on God’s mercy.
But is that what is going on when people come to confession over and over, especially in the case of this particular problem? In my estimation, no. Or at least it must be rare. I think what is usually the case is that someone wants to make a change, to find freedom from the emptiness and ennui of this problem, but doesn’t know how to begin to succeed.
They want to make amendment of life, but fail. Why?