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  #1  
Old Jun 11, '04, 11:07 am
ppcpilot ppcpilot is offline
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Default long time since last confession...

Have any of you gone a long time between confessions? I haven't been in like 15 years...mainly because at the time I didn't agree with that portion of church teaching...but now I feel as if my soul is filthy and longing to be shined anew.

I am very scared and don't know what to expect. Can anyone share their experiences?
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  #2  
Old Jun 11, '04, 11:16 am
The Barrister The Barrister is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

20+ years for me. Scared me to death. I jotted notes to myself on several pieces of paper and carried a copy of the Act of Contrition as I had not yet memorized it, but I HAD to get to confession ASAP.

I spent days (literally) going through my past sins and cataloging them. I pulled many helpful guides to the examination of conscience off the net and poured over them, trying to ferret out every last sin.

I went into the confessional - it was pitch black. Couldn't see a thing. Had to crack the door open to see my notes! I became very emotional at several points, but the monsignor was very kind and understanding, and helped me quite a bit to make a good confession.

Just remember - unless you go to a brand spankin' new priest, there's probably NO chance he hasn't heard your worst sin at least a hundred times before.
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This is just my opinion. I am not a theologian or Canon lawyer.
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  #3  
Old Jun 11, '04, 11:20 am
gomer tree gomer tree is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

It will be the scariest experience of your life before you go in, and while you are in there it will transform into the most rewarding.

I had gone 15 years before going to confession. I had a lot of soot on my soul, and I shudder today to realize that I was living in a state of mortal sin, separated from God. Had something happened to me during that time... well, I can only praise God for His mercy in keeping me around long enough to bring me back to the confessional.

Honestly, I was shaking before I returned. I had forgotten how to make a good confession. If you go to a good Priest, he will help you along - he will just be glad you came back.

I just heard a guy on the radio say that he came back after a 30 year absence, and before he went back he sat at the computer any typed up the list of his sins. It really opened his eyes. While I didn't do that, I highly recommend it.

You probably won't remember everything. That's OK. If you sincerely confess everything you remember the Sacrament takes care of the shortcomings. You are only obliged to confess a forgotten sin at a later time if you recall an unconfessed mortal sin. I have done that, because after missing for 15 years, I didn't remember everything.

Finally, the Priest I went to gave me a great piece of advice: once you confess, Satan won't like that one bit. He will try to keep the guilt of what you did with you, making you doubt that God's forgiveness can really be so simple. Don't fall for it. Once you are absolved, your sins are gone! Knowing that made that confession a literal "born-again" experience, as a Protestant may explain it - a weight lifted, a sense of relief and joy. Also, Satan will continue to play upon your weaknesses. This is why it is imperative that you keep going back to get the graces to fight those long-ingrained temptations.

Just do it. If you can't bring yourself to go to a Priest face to face, or one you know, then go to another behind a screen. Do not let fear or pride keep you from the confessional. You won't regret it.
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  #4  
Old Jun 11, '04, 11:24 am
Maggie Maggie is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppcpilot
Have any of you gone a long time between confessions? I haven't been in like 15 years...mainly because at the time I didn't agree with that portion of church teaching...but now I feel as if my soul is filthy and longing to be shined anew.

I am very scared and don't know what to expect. Can anyone share their experiences?
Just got confirmed, so I'd never been to confession before at all. And everyone in RCIA shared their confession stories and let me tell you it doesn't seem to me like yours is an unusual story. I forgot everything I was going to say when I went. I literally sat there and stared at the poor priest. Next time I did what the barrister said and brought notes. But they are so kind. Once you tell them how long it's been I bet they are kinder than ever. They'll be so glad you've come home!!! And I've asked other people here and it doesn't seem like they mind if you bring the act of contrition with you, the priest doesn't seem to mind that I do. I'm still sincere when I say it, I reference it, I don't read it, if you know what I mean.
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  #5  
Old Jun 11, '04, 11:27 am
Jennifer123 Jennifer123 is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

I'm so glad you are being led by the Holy Spirit to come back to Christ through the healing sacrament of confession!!!

My initial conversion was through an RCIA program that was less than orthodox. The night we spoke about confession, well let's say it didn't leave too much of an impression as I never really saw the need to go all that much and when I did, I wasn't very forthright. Needless to say it didn't take long for me to revert back to living my life the way I wanted to, Jesus Christ and His Church were important but were an afterthought really. I disagreed with a lot of the teachings and doctrines. Looking back now, I can't believe I ever called myself Christian!!

My re-conversion was due in part to EWTN, Catholic Answers and all the other exciting evangelists we all know and love. It led me to confession with a sincere need confess years of various stuff that I had squirreled away. It was hard, for one particular thing I had done I had to wait years to partake in communion again, but it's led me to a growing humilty and peace that I wouldn't give up now for anything. I love to go to confession now, see the need for the powerful cleansing it provides, and can see in my life the many graces it gives.

It's painful to realize how you may have hurt your relationship with the Lord but know he's there waiting your return with open arms. Don't delay and "Do not be afraid for I am with you always".
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  #6  
Old Jun 11, '04, 11:38 am
Mandi Mandi is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Barrister
Just remember - unless you go to a brand spankin' new priest, there's probably NO chance he hasn't heard your worst sin at least a hundred times before.
It is understood in the Priesthood that by the time a priest has finished his 1st year he will have heard every sin conceivably possible. And besides God already knows, better to say it now to God now than to have it presented to all at final Judgement!

Last edited by Mandi; Jun 11, '04 at 11:39 am. Reason: spelling error
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  #7  
Old Jun 11, '04, 11:38 am
Mjohn1453 Mjohn1453 is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

It also helps to pray to a great confessor like John Vianney to intercede for you.

It is inspiring to hear these testimonies. Keep praying!
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  #8  
Old Jun 11, '04, 11:59 am
ppcpilot ppcpilot is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

Thanks for the encouragement! Did you guys say "I did x thing x times?" I have no idea on how many times I have sinned a particular sin. It's been a lot, tho!
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  #9  
Old Jun 11, '04, 12:05 pm
Jennifer123 Jennifer123 is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppcpilot
Thanks for the encouragement! Did you guys say "I did x thing x times?" I have no idea on how many times I have sinned a particular sin. It's been a lot, tho!
It does mention that in my confession giude, to try to go that with the best of your ability. I've had a priest say that's not necessary, but he's young and I suspicion not very orthodox. That's my opinion though!!
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  #10  
Old Jun 11, '04, 12:12 pm
Didi Didi is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

You will be SO glad you experienced this gift given to us by Jesus. The sacraments are indeed GIFTS that Our Lord gave us to help us on our journeys to heaven! And, I don't know about you, but I need all the help I can get!

Try not to be scared. Jesus loves you SO much and is just waiting to shower His mercy and forgiveness upon you. Fr. Corapi tells the story about the VAST OCEAN OF MERCY Jesus has for us:

Think about the worst possible sins we can commit. Then imagine all the times these sins have been committed by all people throughout all time. Wrap these into a ball and cast them into the SEA. The ball would still be the size of a small rain drop compared to the vast ocean of mercy Our Lord has for us!

As for saying the number of times you commit a sin, this is often difficult and especially if you haven't confessed for a number of years. Don't worry about it unless it is a significant sin and you distinctly remember the number of times you committed it. Unless you leave something out on purpose, your sins will be forgiven!
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  #11  
Old Jun 11, '04, 12:17 pm
Mjohn1453 Mjohn1453 is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

If it is a mortal sin the priest may ask you how many times you committed that sin. It is alright to answer "Fr. I have no idea but it was a lot...a little." There are certain mortal sins that are committed a lot, and others seldom enough to recall their instances and a priest knows that and won't try to ask the impossible.
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  #12  
Old Jun 11, '04, 1:04 pm
VociMike VociMike is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

I went about 30 years. Yes, it was tough to summon up the will to go, but I had Come Home and I needed to submit and be cleansed.

The priest was wonderful, I confessed and repented (boy did I!) of my sins, and was assured of their forgiveness by the words of Christ Himself. Not a bad morning's work!

Just do it! Submit to the will of Christ, and take the medicine He left for us. I doubt anybody ever regrets their first confession after a long absence.
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  #13  
Old Jun 11, '04, 1:20 pm
Salmon Salmon is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

Fr. Corapi tells in his "testimonial that he hadn't been to confession in 20 years. He says that the poor old priest who granted absolution probably suffered "brain damage".

He also relates that when his own dad requested that John (Fr. Corapi) hear his confession, his dad began: "Bless me father, for I have sinned. It has been 50 years since my last confession."

We may think we're all world-champ sinners, but the priests have heard it all before.

Peace in Christ......................Salmon
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  #14  
Old Jun 11, '04, 1:43 pm
gomer tree gomer tree is offline
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

I listened to a tape set by someone (can't remember the name) of someone who came back to the Catholic Church after leaving it and becoming Mormon. Then he left that and became an atheist. He told his story of going to confession - he scheduled like an hour block in advance! Honestly, I think that's a great idea, to make a special appointment (maybe an hour is too long, maybe it isn't).

He said that he actually apologized to the Priest for him having to hear all of this. The Priest replied that it was his pleasure to hear it. Priests want to hear our worst! When we are telling our worst, they know we are sincere and are giving a good, honest confession. They rejoice at hearing a good confession because they know this person is doing exactly what Jesus wants. Far from being judgmental about how bad you are, they are thinking the opposite! Confession is a good and holy thing, and a gift of our Lord.
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  #15  
Old Jun 11, '04, 1:50 pm
Hawkeye
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Default Re: long time since last confession...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppcpilot
Have any of you gone a long time between confessions? I haven't been in like 15 years...mainly because at the time I didn't agree with that portion of church teaching...but now I feel as if my soul is filthy and longing to be shined anew.

I am very scared and don't know what to expect. Can anyone share their experiences?
Tell the Priest the time that you have not confessed since, and don't worry, you cannot shock a Priest.
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