Confession...


#1

If I do convert, I heard that you have to have your first confession and tell a priest EVERY SINGLE thing that you did that you can remember!!! :bigyikes: I mean, just the thought of this is a little scary in a way 'cause there are some things that you just don’t want to tell another person…it’s between God and you only! :tsktsk: There are some things you don’t want another person to know about!!! :o If that’s the case, I just hope it’s not in front of a billion people! :eek:

I heard that you have to go once a week. Let’s pretend you didn’t do anything bad in that week…still have to go?

Also, why do people say you have to go at least once a year? I thought it was every week!!! :confused:

blessings,
Nicole


#2

Nicole,

Confessions are always private- just you and the priest. In fact, you can even confess anonymously if you want- a lot of churches have screens in the confessional booths so that you and the priest can hear each other but not see each other. If you’re worried about what the priest might think of you later, you can go to a different church for confession, one that you don’t usually attend, so that you won’t feel like your parish priest knows too much about you. Although considering how much they have to do and how many people they administer the sacraments to, I’m sure God is merciful and allows His priests to forget or lay aside the sins confessed once the person leaves the confessional. I’m sure He doesn’t want the priests to be burdened with our sins after He has removed the burden from us.


#3

Dear ParisBlues:

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most beautiful sacraments of the Church. Because we as Catholics believe that are sin is not simply covered by the blood of Christ but that it is actually washed away by the blood of Christ, in the confessional we can experience a true cleansing. One of the most beautiful prayers of the Holy Catholic Church is the prayer of absolution that the priest prays for you after confession. There is nothing to fear about confession at all. Approach it knowing that you are coming to Our Savior’s ear; that Our Savior will hear you and will heal you.

In faith,

Fiat


#4

Nicole,

Believe it or not – this is one of the BEST things about being Catholic. When you put yourself totally on the line in total honesty, and lay everything out for the healing touch of Christ, miracles happen. Miracles that don’t happen when you just confess to your pillow. The presence of Christ and the Holy Spirit is tangibly present in that room . . .

If you think this confession will be difficult for you, do what I did: Ask Jesus to do it for you.

I hope your RCIA has good preparation for this. If you are well prepared, it can be the best experience of your life – partly BECAUSE it is difficult.


#5

And, it is required that Catholics confess once per year, it is reccomended that we go often - once a month is what our Priest suggests, unless there is need more often because of a mortal sin.


#6

rather than relying on what you heard second or third hand about Catholic doctrine and practice, why not look for the nearest Catholic church and enroll in their Inquiry Class. This is for people who want answers to questions before they decide whether to get into RCIA and join the Church. it is informal, no pressure, no commitment, but a good way to get answers. he said, she said probably is not going to be very reliable or helpful to you.


#7

[quote=Paris Blues]it’s between God and you only! :tsktsk: Nicole
[/quote]

Not in THIS church! You’re thinking Protestant…


#8

[quote=Paris Blues]If I do convert, I heard that you have to have your first confession and tell a priest EVERY SINGLE thing that you did that you can remember!!! :bigyikes: I mean, just the thought of this is a little scary in a way 'cause there are some things that you just don’t want to tell another person…it’s between God and you only! :tsktsk: There are some things you don’t want another person to know about!!! :o If that’s the case, I just hope it’s not in front of a billion people! :eek:

I heard that you have to go once a week. Let’s pretend you didn’t do anything bad in that week…still have to go?

Also, why do people say you have to go at least once a year? I thought it was every week!!! :confused:

blessings,
Nicole
[/quote]

I converted at 25, so I can relate to your fears about first confession and the many sins that have been added up over a lifetime! However, the priest will help you. We went at a special time set aside for the RCIA candidates to go to confession, so the priest knew it was our first and helped us through it. If you go on your own, just tell the priest it’s your first confession and he’ll help you. You don’t have to list every single sin you ever committed. The big ones I would tell individually, the others you can put together into areas of sinfulness (like, impatience, anger, jealousy, etc). Get a book that shows you how to make confessions and do an examination of conscience so that you will be prepared and know what to expect. You can take it into the confessional and follow it.

As for regular confession, yes it is a good idea. Even if you haven’t committed any “big ones” you have committed small ones, like yelling at someone in traffic, thinking bad thoughts, being uncharitable, etc. Once a week, once a month, something like that. The more frequent the better-- so the Saints tell us.

There is no set timeframe for confession or when one must go. However, all Catholics are obligated to receive Holy Communion once per year (at a minimum of course) during the Easter season. One cannot receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin, therefore one must go to confession prior to receiving the Eucharist if one is aware of mortal sin. So, that is where the once a year thing comes from. It’s not that you have to go to confession once a year, but that you must receive the Eucharist once a year, and to do so it must be preceded by confession if you are aware of mortal sin.

Does that make sense?


#9

I just made my first Confession this past April, right before I converted. I was Extremely Nervous and Scared weeks before I had to do it. I was so nervous I almost made myself sick with worry. I prayed A LOT before my first confession. I did several novenas, for myself and for my confessor. I also had a Holy Hour right before my first confession. Let me tell you that this helped a ton. My first confession was wonderful. It was one of the best exeriences of my life. I now go every week-not because I have to go, but because I want to go. After my first confession, I decided that I was going to learn to love Confession-and I did just that. Confession is now one of the highlights of my week.

Scout :tiphat:


#10

Scout, 1ke,
Thank you for your advice and sharing, it will help me I’m sure in making my First Confession come Easter. (smile)


#11

Not to quibble, but the Code of Canon Law intratext.com/IXT/ENG0017/_P3G.HTM
expressly states (989) that we are to confess our grave sins once at least once a year. So there is a time frame on it. It may be related to what you are talking about with the Eucharist. I seem to recall reading in the Canon Law some other time that we were required to go to confession at least once during lent. But I can’t find that under confession so I don’t know if my memory is failing me or what… [sigh]…

Peace,
Chad


#12

Nicole,

Fear not, confession is indeed a spectacular source of grace! I converted this year, and at 43 years old I had lots to confess and was very nervous about this sacrament.

It was AWESOME!

I still feel jumpy when I go back, but I go anyway 'cause I know it’s good for me and afterward it’s like I’m a new person again. Through confession, not only are our sins forgiven but we are given the grace to more firmly resist sin in the future.

There’s a really good book, Frequent Confession by Benedict Baur. I highly recommend it.


#13

[quote=neophyte]Nicole,

Fear not, confession is indeed a spectacular source of grace! I converted this year, and at 43 years old I had lots to confess and was very nervous about this sacrament.

It was AWESOME!

I still feel jumpy when I go back, but I go anyway 'cause I know it’s good for me and afterward it’s like I’m a new person again. Through confession, not only are our sins forgiven but we are given the grace to more firmly resist sin in the future.

There’s a really good book, Frequent Confession by Benedict Baur. I highly recommend it.
[/quote]

I am an Cradle Catholic and I still get nervous, but, I always feel great afterwards. It wasn’t that easy doing your first on at seven either :wink: … My daughter when she did hers was in there for about 15-20 minutes… You could imagine what was going in through my mind :smiley: . How much trouble could she have gotten into in seven years… She takes it very seriously though, and that is a good thing.


#14

Do it often… do it with conviction… do it with heart… do it with love… do it with sincerrity… but by all means DO IT!

http://www.esj-lille.fr/atelier/magan2/teo/heriter/images/confession.jpg


#15

Hi all,

If a person is coming to Christ for the first time, having never been baptized, why is there a need for them to confess all their sins in order to be forgiven, since Baptism washes away all of their sins and puts them into a state of grace? I seem to remember reading somewhere that the two planks of forgiveness/reconciliation are Baptism and Confession. I can see why all sins after Baptism have to be confessed.

Thanks and blessings,
Gene C.


#16

[quote=Gene C.]Hi all,

If a person is coming to Christ for the first time, having never been baptized, why is there a need for them to confess all their sins in order to be forgiven, since Baptism washes away all of their sins and puts them into a state of grace? I seem to remember reading somewhere that the two planks of forgiveness/reconciliation are Baptism and Confession. I can see why all sins after Baptism have to be confessed.

Thanks and blessings,
Gene C.
[/quote]

You are right. General confession for people coming into the Church is for those who are already baptized. If you were baptized 3 years ago, your confession should cover only those three years.


#17

It’s definately not once a week, I try to go once a month at least, anyway Confession is a real burden lifter.

It lifts tremendous burdens from your mind, so for me some don’t know what they’re missing by not going to Confession.

Advice I heard when I was young was, Be Sorry, Be Brief, Be Gone.


#18

Hi Nicole,
Your fear is not unsual…I left the Chruch for almost 15 years, then I came back, first by going to confession…I was terrified!
But don’t worry…just tell the priest this is your first confession and ask him for guidance…he will help you along.
Along with the others advice…here is a little confession guide.
catholic-pages.com/penance/howto.asp
Pray also to the Holy Spirit to help guide you:gopray2: …he won’t let you down.:slight_smile:


#19

My priest told me that (a) priests don’t connect the voice with the person as a rule, even when they’re parishioners; (b) that one of the most surprising graces of ordination is that the priest does actually forget what he hears in the confessional. This isn’t the case with spiritual direction, where the priest, of course, knows who the person is - but Fr Beattie (who is by no means a pious parson type, but a very high-powered Jesuit) assured me that no priest would talk to a parishioner thinking: “Hmm - she’s been knocking back the booze again, judging by what she told me in confession…”


#20

I heard that you have to go once a week. Let’s pretend you didn’t do anything bad in that week…still have to go?

Frequent confession can be a blessing, or at the least an examination of the conscience, every night before you go to sleep. Everyone is on a spiritual path and trying to make progress.

At the start you might be confessing: "My last confession was last week, and since then I’ve robbed three liquor stores and cheated on my taxes."
Then someday it might be: “My last confession was last week, and since then my mind wandered twice during Lauds.”


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