Can I confess temptations?


Is it alright if I bring up temptations in the confessional, even if I haven’t fallen into sin? Would I recieve grace to help further combat those temptations? Is it alright as long as I let the priest know they are temptations, not sins I’ve actually fallen into? My friend said it helps her, so I was wondering if its okay. Thanks for your help!


I do not believe that this is the place for talk about temptations, although I am not currently finding evidence of this. However, I remember reading somewhere not to confess temptations.

Temptations are not sins, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation is really for just that: reconciling, confessing our sins. Temptations are not sins.

The reason it helps your friend is that she is emotionally sorting through the difficulties that she faces, owning up to them and hopefully can then stand better against them in the future. This is good, although it is preferable that one should set up a separate appointment outside of the normal confession time with which to talk about this with a priest.

My understanding.


I have asked the priest about the temptations before. Just be sure to make it quick so that you do not keep others waiting for too long.


You get the grace to resist temptations every time you receive Absolution, whether or not you mentioned the temptations. For that matter you receive grace to resist temptation whenever you receive Holy Communion. And when you ask for it in prayer–which we should do whenever we are tempted. It also helps to do mortifications (like fasting), but this should be done under the guidance of a spiritual director.

So I agree with the others, it is okay to get advice in the confessional on matters besides actual sin, but if you want to discuss it at length with the priest, make an appointment for spiritual direction with someone qualified and willing to give it.


You might find adoration helpful.


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