Can we repent of original sin?

Q. Can we repent of original sin?

 

A. Original sin is a deficiency of sanctifying grace and supernatural life in the damaged human nature we have inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve, as a result of their sin. Actual sin, on the other hand, is sin that we have personally committed by an act of our own free will. 

For this reason, we can repent of actual sins, having genuine sorrow for what we have done or failed to do, and intending to do better. But we can’t “repent” of original sin in that way, since it comes to us apart from our free will and is not of our own doing.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about original sin. The sacrament of Baptism cleanses us both of original sin and of actual sins committed up to the time we’re baptized. PT

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