Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Feb 2, '12, 11:02 am
newangela newangela is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2009
Posts: 35
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default So confused about confession

Hello all-

I have only been a Catholic for two years now, and I am still feeling really confused about when to confess and what needs confessing. I didn't know any Catholics in my life when I joined, and my sponsor told me she didn't like to go to confession and never did, so needless to say, I didn't get well catechized there

I have been to confession about 6 times in those two years. I don't go to my own parish because they offer face to face confession, which I find difficult, so I go to a parish near my home which offers the traditional version with a closed door.

My issue is with what needs confessing. I have a pretty sensitive conscience, and I avoid occasions of sin, attend mass, and just generally try not to be in a state of mortal sin. I confess to God each night the things I've done which I know need improving. But I worry about whether I'm inadvertently doing things which need confession, not knowing it, and receiving the Eucharist when I should not.

Basically, I know I have some issues with anger as it relates to my children. I yell, I feel guilty, I try not to do it again, but this is a problem for me. Does it need confessing? I of course pray about it, and ask for grace to be and do better. But is what's happening a mortal sin? I have seen lists of mortal sins before, and I do know that in many areas, I am not struggling, which I know is God's grace.

I've rambled. Sorry. I hope someone has some advice to give.
Thanks!
Angela
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Feb 2, '12, 11:09 am
1ke 1ke is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: May 25, 2004
Posts: 24,278
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: So confused about confession

The best advice you are going to get is from your priest confessor. Next time you go to confession at this other parish, tell the priest you are a new Catholic who needs guidance on what and how to confess. Also tell him you have a sensitive conscience, you do not want to become scrupulous so he can help you form it properly.

There is a difference between what you "must" confess and what you "can" and "should" confess. You must confess mortal sins, but it does us much good to confess venial sins also. So, even if your anger towards your children does not rise to mortal sin, yes you can confess it and it will give you an opportunity to sacramentally receive grace to strengthen you in changing your interactions with them.

Again, talk to your priest in your own parish by appointment for help with confession or talk to the priest in the parish you attend for confession.
__________________
Pax, ke

ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Feb 2, '12, 11:09 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: January 14, 2009
Posts: 19,035
Religion: Christian! Catholic! Disciple of Jesus of Nazareth!
Default Re: So confused about confession

Only Mortal sin "needs" to be confessed (and that in number and kind and circumstance that changes it--like it was your husband you murdered).

Venial sins are recommended to confess directly in confession (at least some of them..there can be many in life at times)..but they can be forgiven in various ways and do not "have" to be confessed directly in confession (one can also intend the rest of the venial sins at the end of your confession under "and all the sins of my life").

For mortal sin one needs grave matter, full knowledge and complete consent.

Anger by the way is often in the venial area.

Ones confessor can guide you and it is good to study the Catechism or other good works.

Catholic Answers sells as I recall a good examine: http://shop.catholic.com/product.php...&cat=25&page=1

Feel free to pm if I can be of any help.
__________________
VIVAS IN DEO
IHCOY XPICTOY
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Feb 2, '12, 11:10 am
Splagchnizomai Splagchnizomai is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2012
Posts: 961
Religion: Catholic
Thumbs up Re: So confused about confession

Angela,

God bless you for wanting to more deeply partake in this sacrament.

I'd recommend that you read Fr. Z's 20 Tips for Making a Good Confession.

We should…

1) …examine our consciences regularly and thoroughly;
2) …wait our turn in line patiently;
3) …come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end;
4) …speak distinctly but never so loudly that we might be overheard;
5) …state our sins clearly and briefly without rambling;
6) …confess all mortal sins in number and kind;
7) …listen carefully to the advice the priest gives;
8) …confess our own sins and not someone else’s;
9) …carefully listen to and remember the penance and be sure to understand it;
10) …use a regular formula for confession so that it is familiar and comfortable;
11) …never be afraid to say something “embarrassing”… just say it;
12) …never worry that the priest thinks we are jerks…. he is usually impressed by our courage;
13) …never fear that the priest will not keep our confession secret… he is bound by the Seal;
14) …never confess “tendencies” or “struggles”… just sins;
15) …never leave the confessional before the priest has finished giving absolution;
16) …memorize an Act of Contrition;
17) …answer the priest’s questions briefly if he asks for a clarification;
18) …ask questions if we can’t understand what he means when he tells us something;
19) …keep in mind that sometimes priests can have bad days just like we do;
20) …remember that priests must go to confession too … they know what we are going through.

***

Scott Hahn has a good book on the sacrament, Lord, Have Mercy: The Healing Power Of Confession. Perhaps your library has it?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Feb 2, '12, 11:14 am
newangela newangela is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2009
Posts: 35
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: So confused about confession

Thanks for the advice...I can see from the list of "what to do" that the things on my heart are in the "struggles and tendencies" category. So, perhaps not confession worthy?
I do know I tend towards being overly critical of myself and my sins, and I don't want to veer into scrupulosity.

angela
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Feb 2, '12, 11:17 am
damooster's Avatar
damooster damooster is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: April 25, 2007
Posts: 824
Religion: Roman Catholic (but looking East)
Send a message via AIM to damooster
Default Re: So confused about confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by newangela View Post
Hello all-

I have only been a Catholic for two years now, and I am still feeling really confused about when to confess and what needs confessing. I didn't know any Catholics in my life when I joined, and my sponsor told me she didn't like to go to confession and never did, so needless to say, I didn't get well catechized there
Generally, you should confess as soon as you can after committing a mortal sin. If you have not committed one, I would recommend at least monthly confession.

Quote:
I have been to confession about 6 times in those two years. I don't go to my own parish because they offer face to face confession, which I find difficult, so I go to a parish near my home which offers the traditional version with a closed door.
You may benefit from having the same confessor as they can help you with repeat sins. However, you are free to continue doing what you're doing.

Quote:
My issue is with what needs confessing. I have a pretty sensitive conscience, and I avoid occasions of sin, attend mass, and just generally try not to be in a state of mortal sin. I confess to God each night the things I've done which I know need improving. But I worry about whether I'm inadvertently doing things which need confession, not knowing it, and receiving the Eucharist when I should not.
Get yourself an Examination of Conscience. You can Google it and I believe this website has one.

Quote:
Basically, I know I have some issues with anger as it relates to my children. I yell, I feel guilty, I try not to do it again, but this is a problem for me. Does it need confessing? I of course pray about it, and ask for grace to be and do better. But is what's happening a mortal sin? I have seen lists of mortal sins before, and I do know that in many areas, I am not struggling, which I know is God's grace.
This is a difficult one to determine since we don't know all of the details. Disciplining your children is not sinful by itself. However, if you yell at them for no reason then you may need to get help. But to answer your question: for a sin to mortal, you have to meet three conditions. The sin must be grave matter, you must know that it is grave, and you must consent to the sin anyways. Since you don't know if your anger issues constitute a mortal sin, you cannot be guilty of having committed one. But you should definitely talk to your priest about this.

Quote:
I've rambled. Sorry. I hope someone has some advice to give.
Thanks!
Angela
You were seeking guidance . No reason to apologize for that.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Feb 2, '12, 11:48 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: January 14, 2009
Posts: 19,035
Religion: Christian! Catholic! Disciple of Jesus of Nazareth!
Default Re: So confused about confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by newangela View Post
Thanks for the advice...I can see from the list of "what to do" that the things on my heart are in the "struggles and tendencies" category. So, perhaps not confession worthy?
I do know I tend towards being overly critical of myself and my sins, and I don't want to veer into scrupulosity.

angela
It may be good for you to get a "regular confessor"...he can advise you in the particulars as what may be good for you at this time.
__________________
VIVAS IN DEO
IHCOY XPICTOY
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Feb 2, '12, 12:18 pm
nickybr38's Avatar
nickybr38 nickybr38 is offline
Regular Member
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: May 20, 2010
Posts: 3,904
Religion: Catholic Christian
Default Re: So confused about confession

I'm a new convert as well (one year for me come Easter) and I'm having the same problem. I really have a hard time figuring out what is grave matter and what is a mortal sin...

Part of the problem is that the examination of conscience I use does not separate mortal sins from venial ones so I'm not sure what requires confession before communion and what doesn't. *sigh* I've taken to trusting the Lord to give me some wisdom. I always pray and ask Him if I can receive...

I hope you find the answers you seek and I'll be watching this thread hoping for some answers of my own.
__________________
"Faith as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain but doubt equally as small will stop it from moving."
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Feb 2, '12, 12:35 pm
Splagchnizomai Splagchnizomai is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2012
Posts: 961
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: So confused about confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickybr38 View Post
I'm a new convert as well (one year for me come Easter) and I'm having the same problem. I really have a hard time figuring out what is grave matter and what is a mortal sin...

Part of the problem is that the examination of conscience I use does not separate mortal sins from venial ones so I'm not sure what requires confession before communion and what doesn't.
http://www.saintaquinas.com/mortal_sin.html
In order for a sin to be mortal, it must meet three conditions:

* Mortal sin is a sin of grave matter
* Mortal sin is committed with full knowledge of the sinner
* Mortal sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Feb 2, '12, 12:36 pm
damooster's Avatar
damooster damooster is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: April 25, 2007
Posts: 824
Religion: Roman Catholic (but looking East)
Send a message via AIM to damooster
Default Re: So confused about confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickybr38 View Post
I'm a new convert as well (one year for me come Easter) and I'm having the same problem. I really have a hard time figuring out what is grave matter and what is a mortal sin...

Part of the problem is that the examination of conscience I use does not separate mortal sins from venial ones so I'm not sure what requires confession before communion and what doesn't. *sigh* I've taken to trusting the Lord to give me some wisdom. I always pray and ask Him if I can receive...

I hope you find the answers you seek and I'll be watching this thread hoping for some answers of my own.
Here's a good list. It also explains sin.

http://www.saintaquinas.com/mortal_sin.html
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Feb 2, '12, 12:37 pm
nickybr38's Avatar
nickybr38 nickybr38 is offline
Regular Member
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: May 20, 2010
Posts: 3,904
Religion: Catholic Christian
Default Re: So confused about confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by Splagchnizomai View Post
http://www.saintaquinas.com/mortal_sin.html
In order for a sin to be mortal, it must meet three conditions:

* Mortal sin is a sin of grave matter
* Mortal sin is committed with full knowledge of the sinner
* Mortal sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner
Yes, I know. What confuses me, personally, is that my examination of conscience does not specify if something is grave matter or not...
__________________
"Faith as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain but doubt equally as small will stop it from moving."
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Feb 2, '12, 12:39 pm
newangela newangela is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2009
Posts: 35
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: So confused about confession

Nicky, I agree with you! I have that trouble with the examinations as well. I do like the aquinas link...I think it does a good job of spelling it all out. I, too, rely a bit on the Holy Spirit to lead me as to when I need to get to confession, especially when I find myself confused about whether to go or not.

Angela
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Feb 2, '12, 12:47 pm
nickybr38's Avatar
nickybr38 nickybr38 is offline
Regular Member
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: May 20, 2010
Posts: 3,904
Religion: Catholic Christian
Default Re: So confused about confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by newangela View Post
Nicky, I agree with you! I have that trouble with the examinations as well. I do like the aquinas link...I think it does a good job of spelling it all out. I, too, rely a bit on the Holy Spirit to lead me as to when I need to get to confession, especially when I find myself confused about whether to go or not.

Angela
That Aquinas link is great. They should have given us this at confirmation eh?
__________________
"Faith as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain but doubt equally as small will stop it from moving."
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Feb 2, '12, 12:49 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: January 14, 2009
Posts: 19,035
Religion: Christian! Catholic! Disciple of Jesus of Nazareth!
Default Re: So confused about confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by newangela View Post
I do like the aquinas link...I think it does a good job of spelling it all out.

Angela
I would take some care with that link..some things can be misunderstood or distinctions not be evident....go right to the Catechism entries etc.
__________________
VIVAS IN DEO
IHCOY XPICTOY
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Feb 2, '12, 12:52 pm
nickybr38's Avatar
nickybr38 nickybr38 is offline
Regular Member
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: May 20, 2010
Posts: 3,904
Religion: Catholic Christian
Default Re: So confused about confession

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookcat View Post
I would take some care with that link..some things can be misunderstood or distinctions not be evident....go right to the Catechism entries etc.
As with anything more then one resource has to be used.. but as a basic overview that is one of the better ones I've seen.
__________________
"Faith as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain but doubt equally as small will stop it from moving."
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8307Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: Carlos1994
5071CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: mountee
4360Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: lsbar
4035OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: 3DOCTORS
3853SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3617Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3264Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3213Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: tina777
3205Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3071For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: tammany



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 9:45 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.