Confession confusion...

I converted Easter of '04…it took me a year to confess a sin, trying several times but never quite getting it out in confession (that I think was mortal, but am not sure as I was an emotional mess from it). I finally managed to get it said, but now I’m wondering…did I commit another sin by taking communion until I could get it all said?? I know the Priest knew it was from years earlier and I managed to get bits and pieces out at earlier confessions… I’m so confused. The Priest told me to leave it in the past, that it was over and done with and I’m forgiven, but now I’m wondering about having taken communion… I

Your sin was forgiven the first time you tried to get it out in confession, even if you didn’t fully succeed! Your subsequent attempts clarified it further for you. You have not sinned by recieving communion. Listen to the priest! it is over and done with, and you are forgiven. Go in peace.

It’s probably ok, but what you are describing is something that people will do.

Just to clarify, if you go into confession with 2 sins on your mind and only confess one, then when you leave you now have 3 sins - one being what I believe is called presumption. In a way, it is considered tricking the Holy Spirit. Think of confession as a talk between you and God. You need to trust that the Holy Spirit is there with you directing the words of the priest and helping you to confess. When you fail to mention something that came clear to you, you can hide it from the priest, but not from the Spirit.

If you had gotten anything out at all that allowed the priest to grasp what you were saying, then you were fine. If you willfully held back something, then you invalidated your confession and should return in such cases. Make mention that you had received communion while not in the state of grace. People do this and it must be confessed.

But also be careful with “scruples”. Once you confess sins, don’t dwell on them.

If you simply choose not to tell it, then yes you need to confess the sin of receiving unworthily.

But I think you need to trust the priest you are confessing to. It sounds like he feels you are confessing the same thing over and over, just adding details.

If you say, forgive me father I have sinned, I committed adultery.


you say forgive me father I have sinned, I was very attracted to my neighbor. I sinned in my thoughts. I tried to fight it, but one night I got drunk. We were just sitting there talking and he was so kind to me about my problems…In the end I slept with him.

Both are confessing the same sin. One just adds details. My old priest always taught young children to keep it simple. God know the details. A person can be seriously contrite and show serious contrition without getting into the gory details.

A priest may ask for details, be prepared to give them.

As I said, it sounds as if your priest feels you are confessing the same sin over and over with added details, not a new sin that needs to be forgiven.

Only you can know. But if in doubt, go and talk to your confessor. Ask him if he thought you were just giving extra details to the same sin or confessing new sins. This will help guide you in future confessions. God does not wish you to walk around with doubt, confession is a gift for us to be able to walk in confidence and hopeful joy. You will feel better to get this all settled from your confessor.

God Bless,

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