Confession Question


#1

I was received into full communion in the Catholic Church this Easter, so I have not been a Catholic very long, although I have been attending Mass for 2 years. I am a middle-aged adult married woman. I have a questions that it mortifies me to ask, but I can't ask anyone I know because it is so shameful.

I have maturbated, but in Confession I didn't not specifically say that I did this sin. I 'hinted' at it, I guess you could say. I am truly sorry, and have repented, and so far I am avoiding doing this sin again. Do I have to say that word in confession? Is there some way I can tell Father this without actually saying it? Have I done enough already? I just can't seem to bring myself to say this to him in explicit words. :(


#2

Impurity with self is another term.


#3

You would have to try A LOT harder to shock a priest confessor.


#4

I'm actually struggling with exactly the same problem... Technically, we're supposed to be willing to undergo any amount of personal embarrassment in pennance for our offenses for the sake of the love we have for our Creator, but this can be particularly hard if we know the priest personally... I actually ended up going to another parish to do it.

Purposely withholding a mortal sin from the confessor for the sake of (sorry) one's own pride is grievously sinful. I came very close to doing this; I was at the other parish, and I told the priest (whom I had recognized, horrifically, to be the same one that used to be at my current parish, a man that I both knew well and had a great deal of respect for) that I had committed the deadly sin of lust, and he immediately asked me if it had comprised of "pornography and... what usually follows"? (I am a guy). I paused for a second, teetering on the edge of wether to tell a lie during holy reconciliation or not, but thankfully said "yes father."

I was very lucky that I had such an attentive confessor; most people are forced to bring the awkward topic up themselves. Unfortunately, to be forgiven by God in the sacrament of confession, one must fully confess the sin, out loud, to the priest, oneself, and to God, in full sorrow for the action that has separated one's soul mortally from God. (And by "unfortunately" I mean "It is extremely fortunate that.")

Hope this helped, please don't put your eternal soul as close to the line as I did over something so stupid.


#5

First of all, welcome into full communion with the Holy Catholic Church, founded by Jesus. New catholics are such precious souls. I will keep you and those who received the sacraments of initiation this Easter in prayer. Thanks be to God, you now have the benefit of God's mercy in the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Next, let me assure you that you are not the only one to tell your priest this sin. I am in the same demographic (female, married, over 40) and struggle with this sin. I share your mortification at having to confess this, and am thankful for that, as remembering it helps to keep me from falling into it more frequently. The words I say are "I was impure with myself" (same sin, easier for me to say) Never let embarrasment keep you away from appraoching the confessional with true contrition, as Satan would just love that!
Remember that Jesus himself (in the person of your priest) awaits you with open arms in confession. Run to Him and tell Him you are sorry, and He will shower you with mercy, love and grace.


#6

One needs to confess mortal sins (and one needs to give ones state in life too) in number and kind (and that which changes the kind --like it was your brother you murdered).

By kind it cannot be "general" for mortal sins but must get to the actual kind. Though one need not use the technical word.

Here from Jimmy Akin senior Apologist at Catholic Answers:

jimmyakin.com/2007/03/specific_confes.html


#7

I think it’s a lot easier to just spit the word out and be done with it than worrying about how to dance around the subject. If you’re really that nervous just go to a different parish. I guarantee you aren’t the first person who’s confessed that, just pray before hand and ask God for some courage to make a good confession.


#8

I agree with a lot of the comments on here, but I'll add a thought as well:

You know this to be a sin, but do not get hung up on it when examining your conscience before confession, if you are sat in the queue stewing on one thing that you have to confess, you may neglect other things that you will regret not confessing explicitly later.

Along the same lines, try to confess this first and then it is over with. If you think to yourself 'I'll leave that bit 'til last' then you give Satan the nook he needs to put into your mind the idea of simply leaving it out altogether.

I think it is a truly rare person that does not struggle with this at some point in their lives (and in many cases, throughout their lives). Be strong, go and be absolved, and never worry that a priest will judge you for what is said in a confession.

Prayers and best wishes.

Martin


#9

[quote="pkrjenkins, post:1, topic:323829"]
I was received into full communion in the Catholic Church this Easter, so I have not been a Catholic very long, although I have been attending Mass for 2 years. I am a middle-aged adult married woman. I have a questions that it mortifies me to ask, but I can't ask anyone I know because it is so shameful.

I have maturbated, but in Confession I didn't not specifically say that I did this sin. I 'hinted' at it, I guess you could say. I am truly sorry, and have repented, and so far I am avoiding doing this sin again. Do I have to say that word in confession? Is there some way I can tell Father this without actually saying it? Have I done enough already? I just can't seem to bring myself to say this to him in explicit words. :(

[/quote]

Baltimore Catechism No. 3*Q. 789. When is our Confession entire?*
A. Our Confession is entire when we tell the number and kinds of our sins and the circumstances which change their nature.

Q. 790. What do you mean by the "kinds of sin?"
A. By the "kinds of sin," we mean the particular division or class to which the sins belong; that is, whether they be sins of blasphemy, disobedience, anger, impurity, dishonesty, etc. We can determine the kind of sin by discovering the commandment or precept of the Church we have broken or the virtue against which we have acted.

Q. 791. What do we mean by "circumstances which change the nature of sins?"
A. By "circumstances which change the nature of sins" we mean anything that makes it another kind of sin. Thus to steal is a sin, but to steal from the Church makes our theft sacrilegious. Again, impure actions are sins, but a person must say whether they were committed alone or with others, with relatives or strangers, with persons married or single, etc., because these circumstances change them from one kind of impurity to another.

Q. 792. What should we do if we cannot remember the number of our sins?
A. If we cannot remember the number of our sins, we should tell the number as nearly as possible, and say how often we may have sinned in a day, a week, or a month, and how long the habit or practice has lasted.
audiosancto.org/inc/BC3/bc3-19.html
Q. 1324. In what does the sixth commandment differ from the ninth, and the seventh differ from the tenth?
A. The sixth commandment differs from the ninth in this, that the sixth refers chiefly to external acts of impurity, while the ninth refers more to sins of thought against purity. The seventh commandment refers chiefly to external acts of dishonesty, while the tenth refers more to thoughts against honesty.

audiosancto.org/inc/BC3/bc3-34.html


#10

Thank you dear friends for all your replies. You've been very helpful, and I draw strength from your wisdom and experience. I may go to another church to confess, but I feel more confident (if I can use that word) to confess to Father than I did before. I've only been to confession twice, and it makes me very nervous. I don't know why; I guess I'm afraid I'm going to 'mess it up,' yet that seems to me to be one of the points of confession: we 'mess up' and Christ gives us a 'do over' sort of. More than a 'do over,' a 'start over.' I know it's more special than that, but you get the picture. Yes, I believe the shame of this will make it easier to avoid. Already, there are occasions that have come along when I could have said something wrong or had a wrong thought and before I went any further I thought, "Is this worth it? Because you will have to confess this."

I am soooo happy with my decision to become Catholic. I spent a decade studying and thinking, and the last two years much more actively studying and seeking God's will. In spite of some of the difficulties I have encountered, I truly believe that I am where God wants me to be.

Thank you again for all your replies and help!


#11

If I committed murder say and lied under oath and missed Sunday Mass 2x.

And I went and knowingly hid the murder by saying "I hurt someone" but confessed the others. I would not be making an invalid confession and sinning more. I would need to go back and confess that did such in confession and then confess murder, lying under oath and missed mass 2x.

Now I am not saying that is what you did. I note this for information for any who need it.

(see Jimmy Akin's link above on how we need to confess the actual kind but that there are more than one ways to say something to do so).

Know that Jesus of Nazareth loves you! He is the Good Shepherd. Confession is where we are to accuse ourselves of our sins and have them forgiven -- coming to know true life again if we lost it or increasing in it and making it more lived if we have not.

It is there for our life!

(now some readers out there struggle with scruples in terms of confession --they should have a regular confessor who can guide them --they need to turn to the Good Shepherd and listen to their confessor --setting aside any scruple)


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.