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Old Sep 12, '08, 9:49 am
Nikki82 Nikki82 is offline
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Join Date: July 23, 2008
Posts: 7
Religion: Catholic
Default how specific do you need to get during confession?

So here's the situation...
I have dont a whole lot of things that I'm not proud of. I went to confession and I only said that I committed various sexual indiscretions but I didnt get any more specific than that. Looking back I wonder if I should have, since the things I did arent your run-of-the-mill things. Also I worry that there were many things that i fantasized about and talked about with others people online but never acted on,but i'm afraid that my words and actions may have encouraged others to do horrible things.
on one hand, i feel like if i dont specifically confess these things i'll never really feel free of them, and on the other hand, i feel so ashamed of them that i'd be afraid of what the priest would think of me, like i'm some sort of monster.
it's kinda funny how my deviant sexual leanings used to be a source of pride for me, but now all they leave me with is shame and regret...
hopefully you guys can give me some insight on what i should do...
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Old Sep 12, '08, 9:51 am
Della Della is offline
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Join Date: May 18, 2004
Posts: 19,077
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: how specific do you need to get during confession?

If the priest didn't ask for more information, don't fret about it. You were absolved of all your sins in confession. If you feel you need to explain more, talk to your priest about it at your next confession and he will direct you. God bless.
"We must overcome our enemies by gentleness; win them over by forbearance. Let them be punished by their own conscience, not by our wrath. Let us not at once wither the fig-tree, from which a more skillful gardener may yet entice fruit." St. Gregory Nazianzen

Tiber Swim Team, Class of '87

"Sanctum erit, facere bonum in caritate"
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Old Sep 12, '08, 2:04 pm
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
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Join Date: March 26, 2008
Posts: 21,162
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: how specific do you need to get during confession?

The kind of confession you are describing is not misleading your confessor. Believe me, he knows better than you do how run-of-the-mill sin is. The belief that our sin is fundamentally different than anyone else's gives it a false glamour it does not deserve. The priest isn't going to think you're a monster, either. He knows you're a sinner, and that explains it all.

My confessor told me that the purpose of guilt was to get us to confession, to turn us away from sin and back towards God. After that, it has served its purpose, and should not be clung to. Clinging to the guilt of absolved sin is like running a fever after you've been cured. It is not a part of normal recuperation. Making amends is, a life of prayer and penance to turn ourselves back to God is, but wallowing in guilt is not.

As Revelations put it, "The accuser of our brothers has been cast out." You are permitting the Accuser to torment you. Ask your confessor, outside of confession, what to do about things that you still feel ashamed of after you've confessed the sins. That is a talk worth having, and it doesn't require that you get into all the gory details of a sin that has been absolved.
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Old Sep 12, '08, 3:11 pm
muffinmojo muffinmojo is offline
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Join Date: May 18, 2007
Posts: 354
Default Re: how specific do you need to get during confession?

You don't need to be graphic or super specific- you don't want to cause an occasion of sin for the priest by making him imagine what you describe, but you also don't want to obscure the nature of your sin.

Describe what you did in terms like 'I sinned against chastity through X' (adultery, artificial birth control, sodomy, whatever). Confess thoughts or fantasies as 'I have entertained impure thoughts' or 'Entertained lustful thoughts'. Leading others into sin 'I have led others into sin through suggestion'.

Language like that is specific enough to denote the nature of the sin without being explicit.

It's good your confessing though- many don't. I know it's hard..confession scares me...

Good job
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Old Sep 12, '08, 9:22 pm
BPW75 BPW75 is offline
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Join Date: July 16, 2008
Posts: 79
Religion: Catholic Revert (3/12/10)
Default Re: how specific do you need to get during confession?

King David was a man after God's own heart, and yet he committed adultery premedatatively and then went on to kill the husband of the woman with whom he committed adultery.

The Apostle Paul, the Chief of Sinners, hunted down Christians and had them put to death prior to his conversion.

There is hope for you. Turn from your sin and find out how to leave it at the Cross. If it's possible to make amends with the people that you may have caused to sin, do it.

Don't dwell in shame, abide in the grace of Almighty God, which covers all sin. He loves you.
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Old Sep 12, '08, 10:12 pm
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vee8 vee8 is offline
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Join Date: April 21, 2008
Posts: 864
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: how specific do you need to get during confession?

You need to say what you did and how many times you did it. If you are unsure of the number you should at least give an indication if it was just a couple of times or many times. This way the priest has a better idea of how big the problem is and can advise you accordingly.

Remember you are really talking to Jesus so dont be afraid. The priest in the words of absolution must say "I absolve you from your sins" I meaning I Jesus Christ not I the priest. In fact if the priest were to say Chist absolves you from your sins it would invalidate the whole thing.

Be specific now because at the moment of your death there will be no hiding anything, so it helps to befriend the judge in confession first.

I know it`s hard but just get it all out and be done with it. Dont worry the priest isnt going yell at you or react badly.
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