I thought would remark about something in this thread.
I am puzzled about the role of confession, particularly that it does not remove “temporal punishment” of one’s sins (unless, of course, receives an indulgence). I usually conceptualized it “as a fresh start” so one’s can move forward and focus on the challenges of future and not be mired in past mistakes, but it seems that one retains sins that is confessed even if one is contrite.
Moreover, it is particularly difficult for me to go to Confession, and consequently I do not frequently attend Mass (I only go about once a Month). I suppose my biggest fear is that I would be lonely during Mass, especially when I do not have anyone to talk to or sympathize with afterwards that I know.
I feel that my timidity during Confession to admit to the full extent of my sins morphed into despair when I heard a conservative priest during a talk say that one must dictate the number of times of a particular mortal sin one has committed. He made the specific example recounting Don Bosco’s account of a person who in confession mentioned that he committed a particular sin “two or three times” even though that person could recollect three instances of that sin. That person was allegedly damned for not disclosing the full extent of sins. When I heard that, I became sullen, and if that were true, God would be petty if he would damn someone for merely being too timid or frustrated to show that one has not made any progress struggling against that vice, even though one abhors that sin and sincerely wants to change.
That despair then evolved in spiritual apathy and lukewarmness, even as some confidants tell me to ignore that priest and that my sincerity will suffice to please God.
I lost much of my fervor and interest in Mass, adoration, and prayer for about a year, although there are some periods where I thaw. I am ofter bored, similar to how Gregory House is bored during clinic duty, and in my mind, I often explore complex intellectual issues. If I go to adoration during some Fridays, I sometimes behave irreverently (but I am not disruptive; I just write my thoughts on notebooks) or sometimes leave the room to take a walk around the neighbor. The things that inspire sentiments reverence, joy, and courage in me are actually quite odd and sometimes banal, but I do not derive such feelings being in proximity to pious people, celebrating the sacraments or engaging in prayer with others, or being in proximity objects of sanctity.