A few Confession Concerns

  1. I was in Confession the other day and I confessed a sin that I believe I had committed at least two times, but may be more. Anyway, I said something like, “I think I did this sin twice, but I may done it more. I am not totally sure.” I worry that I may have done it more than twice and may have known it at the time, but I still said at least twice (which would be true either way). Anyway, will that invalidate a Confession?

  2. I have heard some people say that, since I am not Confirmed yet, I should not receive Confession. I worry about this and, at one point, awhile back ago, I Confessed saying I might have received Confession unworthily at some point (as well as Confessing when I was allowed to receive Communion when I should not have…I remember making a thread about that…the Priest had sort of tacitly approved it). I now worry that did I invalidate that Confession because I continue to receive Confession.

  3. Since I worry that I do not go into enough detail or may have missed a sin prior Confessions, is it okay to Confess that I might have/worry about having committed sacrilege or invalidating Confession? I guess I take the stance I’d rather Confess a “might have occurred” sin, even if I am sometimes almost 100% certain I did not commit it, since it is always I am ALMOST 100% certain I did not do something if I am worried about it. I tend to do that a lot (Confessing a sin I “might have” or am “worried about” and I will usually preface those Confessions saying I am not sure if I committed said sin or that I am worried about it, but would rather Confess and be safe), but then I worry if I commit the sin again did I Confess with the wrong heart or something and invalidate?

  4. Since doing my ‘First Confession’ (on my own, I went to Confession and basically, using notes, went through the sins I have committed since Baptism as best I can remember), I worry that I may have missed sin (basically, remembered sins pop into my head). Also, I worry that there are some sins that I believe I committed before Baptism and I remembered them and Confessed them, even though I was almost certain they were Pre-Baptismal. Is that wrong?

I worry about all this especially after reading things like St. Leonard’s sermon on how so very few people are Saved in the end and how there are so many ways people invalidate Confessions. For example, I worry that in some of my Confessions I may not have been fully wanting to avoid the sin or something.

Nsper, what did I tell you about hanging out here second-guessing your past confessions? It is NOT going to help your scrupulosity - quite the opposite.

The golden rule is you can only invalidate a confession by DELIBERATE abuse of the sacrament. There are only three ways you could stuff up:

  1. consciously telling a falsehood in the confessional - saying ‘I’m 30 years old’ in the full knowledge that you’re really 50, for example. ‘I don’t know how old I am, I think I might be 20’ is fine if you honestly don’t know and that’s your best guess, ‘I’m aged somewhere between 10 and 100’ is also fine. Neither are even approaching falsehood, neither invalidates the sacrament.

  2. consciously omitting a mortal sin that should be confessed. In regard to this, you only need to worry about sins
    a) that on the balance of probabilities DID actually happen, and
    b) where on the balance of probabilities - before, or during the time you sin, not after - you met each of the three criteria for mortal sin.

In other words it’s not a mortal sin if you ONLY decide on reflection after the event that it was one - you need to know beforehand or while you’re doing it that it is a mortal sin and then choose to do it or continue doing it anyway.

  1. Having - whilst in the confessional - no regret of any kind for your sins, and no wish of any kind to avoid sinning in future. A good rule of thumb is ‘do I think the opposite of what I’m saying in my Act of Contrition’.

Even imperfect contrition is fine as long as it is real. It’s not the level of contrition that matters - contrition is an act of the will as much as a feeling. You should know this if you’ve read your catechism - even imperfect contrition is enough to procure absolution in the confessional. The only problem is if you completely lack contrition.

St Leonard is NOT the Magisterium - not infallible in his teaching. Trust the Magisterium’s teaching, which goes against your understanding of what he’s said.

What about my second concern?

I had my first Confession before I was confirmed. You sort of have to. You have to go to Confession before you receive the Eucharist, and if you get Confirmed and receive First Communion on the same night, well… :wink:

No worries there at all, though are you sure that your RCIA group wasn’t going to go as a group at some point? That’s how we had our first… the priests stayed late on a Tuesday night and helped us all through it.

And Lily’s right about the scrupulosity… the only way you can screw up a Confession is by deliberately leaving something out, or deliberately telling a lie. If you forgot something, it’s still forgiven, but you would want to confess it the next time you go for good measure. If you think you may have sinned, but you’re not sure, that means you didn’t. Mortal Sins are sins that we know to be evil, and we do them deliberately and with full knowledge. However, it’s still good to confess those, in my opinion, and to ask for guidance from the priest if you’re unsure, as long as you’re not going out of your way to find things wrong with yourself, if that makes sense.

Well, the RCIA group does have an official ‘First Confession’, but it is not until next week. I decided to do First Confession on my own at another parish:

  1. The Priests at my own parish all know me and, since I was delving back several years and I have some embarrassing sins that I am really ashamed of and I was worried about Confession to people who already know me, I decided to go to a different Parish for FC

  2. Since I had been going to Confession regularly and had come to the realization that I need to make a First Confession where I go back to Baptism (the first time I made a Confession, it was when I was still Episcopalian and the Catholic Priest allowed me to do that and sort of tacitly also allowed me to receive Communion twice when the University’s Episcopal Chapel House closed for the semester break…I later Confessed that 2x reception of Communion in case it was sinful…anyway, when I received that first Catholic Confession, I only Confessed back to when I had received Anglican Confession, NOT back to Baptism). After all, before I had not really thought about the whole thing, it could be excused that I was not purposely covering sins up since I had not really given thought to the fact that I needed to Confess back to Baptism or, sometimes, if the concern did cross my mind, I just looked forward to official First Confession. I think it was after reading that sermon by St. Leonard that I decided to go make First Confession on my own before I made another regular Confession.

nsper7, it sounds like you could benefit from getting spiritual direction from ONE good, trustworthy Catholic priest who can help you understand scrupulosity, and help you know what is the best way for YOU to make your regular confessions. You don’t want to go through the rest of your life doubting the absolution you received, wondering whether you have confessed properly, etc.

Confession (after you have received the sacrament) should always give you peace, not added anxiety.

Agreed… even if that priest “knows” you. It’s their job to help you out with these things, and you shouldn’t worry about them judging you. They’ll never share your confession with anyone else, and they’ve heard it all, I’m sure nothing would surprise them :smiley: It’s important that you get some direction in all this.

=nsper7;4977573]1) I was in Confession the other day and I confessed a sin that I believe I had committed at least two times, but may be more. Anyway, I said something like, “I think I did this sin twice, but I may done it more. I am not totally sure.” I worry that I may have done it more than twice and may have known it at the time, but I still said at least twice (which would be true either way). Anyway, will that invalidate a Confession?

Dear friend, WELCOME, we are so glad that your joining us!:clapping:

I’m a RCIA facilator. Guess what, we don’t always have the answers your seeking and are intitled too. This is really a matter you should discusss the next time you go to Confession.
But NO! It has not been invalidiated.

I will share what I’m sure about. Jesus Is extremely happy that you are going to Confession!:extrahappy: And yes you may, and you can continue to receive this Sacrament before you are officially welcomed into :the Church."

Your new at it, so don’t be hard on yourself! God reads your heart, knows that your nervious, and sincere. So, no, I don’t beleive that you made a bad Confession. Still it will give you comfort to discuss the issue with your priest the next time you Confess. So, share your concerns.

  1. I have heard some people say that, since I am not Confirmed yet, I should not receive Confession. I worry about this and, at one point, awhile back ago, I Confessed saying I might have received Confession unworthily at some point (as well as Confessing when I was allowed to receive Communion when I should not have…I remember making a thread about that…the Priest had sort of tacitly approved it). I now worry that did I invalidate that Confession because I continue to receive Confession.

I do not believe that this in any way invalidates your Confession. However, I would suggest to you, that you began each Confession by explaining to father that your in RCIA, and have not received all of the necessary sacraments for full entry into the Church. This will assist father in guiding your spiritual growth. Which is a very good thing.

  1. Since I worry that I do not go into enough detail or may have missed a sin prior Confessions, is it okay to Confess that I might have/worry about having committed sacrilege or invalidating Confession? I guess I take the stance I’d rather Confess a “might have occurred” sin, even if I am sometimes almost 100% certain I did not commit it, since it is always I am ALMOST 100% certain I did not do something if I am worried about it. I tend to do that a lot (Confessing a sin I “might have” or am “worried about” and I will usually preface those Confessions saying I am not sure if I committed said sin or that I am worried about it, but would rather Confess and be safe), but then I worry if I commit the sin again did I Confess with the wrong heart or something and invalidate?
  1. Since doing my ‘First Confession’ (on my own, I went to Confession and basically, using notes, went through the sins I have committed since Baptism as best I can remember), I worry that I may have missed sin (basically, remembered sins pop into my head). Also, I worry that there are some sins that I believe I committed before Baptism and I remembered them and Confessed them, even though I was almost certain they were Pre-Baptismal. Is that wrong?

No for two reasons.

First we call this a “general confession”. Being baptized as an adult, certainly has removed all your sins up to that GREAT moment. and even all the lasting effects of sin. Still it is a good and vaild practice to Confess them, because it is a cleansing of your mind and heart as well as your soul. Don’t make up sins, but it is always better ti error on the side of being right, than worrying if I misses yhis or that.

What a beautiful way to come into the Only Church actually founded by Jesus Himself! Way to go! You did GOOD!

I worry about all this especially after reading things like St. Leonard’s sermon on how so very few people are Saved in the end and how there are so many ways people invalidate Confessions. For example, I worry that in some of my Confessions I may not have been fully wanting to avoid the sin or something.

Dear friend, Only God (and Mother Mary) are perfect. Don’t worry about what may have been, rather work on “what can be” and with God’s Mercifual Love and Grace, you’re going to be just fine.

Continue to study your faith, because you can’t share what you don’t have! Attend Mass and receive Jesus as often, daily if possible, as you are able.

Look forward with GREAT JOY, to rceiving the Sacraments of Eucharist and Comfirmation.

We are all sinners…

"All Saints have a Past… and all Sinners have a Future!:yup:

Luke 15: “‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance!”

Love and prayers, and once again, WELCOME HOME!

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