I need to go to confession badly, but I need some help with the particulars. For many, many, years I struggled with sins of impurity. Over the years I have made some vague and nondescript confessions, and received absolution. Several months ago, I confessed my recent sins and then struck up the courage to say “I think I made some bad confessions in the past…” The priest stopped me and said that it didn’t matter, and that God now forgives me for ALL of my sins. I left feeling relieved that I didn’t have to confess anything embarrassing or personal, but now I feel horrible. I think that until I confess my sins by name and number, I will struggle with doubt and insecurity.
Now, when I go to confession, I want to work up the courage to mention the specifics. Here is where I need help:
– I am guilty of countless impure thoughts and glances. I am same-sex attracted. Do I need to mention that many of these thoughts/ lustful glances were mostly towards men? Or is it descriptive enough to mention that I am guilty of the thoughts and glances and is WHO IT WAS not important?
– When sins stretch over the course of years, how do I even begin to think of the number. For example, my struggle with impure actions by myself. Do I have to mention it started when I was around 11 and continued until I was 21, and usually occurred so many times a week or day?
– Is it enough to mention looking at indecent material, or do I have to mention exactly what it was.
– Is it a mortal sin if a young child saw the inappropriate material I was looking at through my own carelessness and selfishness having it visible?
– Finally, do I need to confess immature stuff from my high school years? Kissing a girl or dancing with girls inappropriately at our high school dances?
Sorry for rambling on and for the long descriptions here, but I am really worried and stressed about this. Can anyone help me out with some thoughts and advice?
Thanks you in advance!