For the last couple months, I have been going to confession twice a week. When I went today (to a different priest), he said I should only go once a week. Is this something the Church teaches? I thought we were encouraged to go as often as possible.
that advice was to you personally as part of your own confession by a priest resonding to your needs. No frequency of confession is not a church teaching, other than the requirment to confess mortal sins once a year. Yes you should ordinarily obey your confessor.
I agree one must obey one’s confessor, but I understand that only to apply to the penance received.
If, however, a person suffers from scruples, we often advise them here to have only one confessor, who will also function as a spiritual director. The OP mentioned that he went a different priest than usual, and so I would not consider the priest’s advice on frequency of confession to be binding.
That being said, Mark, confessing twice a week is more than the average. That is not bad on its own, but it may indeed indicate scrupulosity. I would encourage you to examine yourself regarding whether you suffer from scruples, and to put yourself under the direction of one confessor.
Uh oh, if thats the case, I made a big ‘boo boo’
But wait, we are encouraged, at least to go to confession frequently, just as long as we dont overdo it. Am I right?
From what I read, Ven. Pope Pius XII went to confession everyday,
I’d imagine that a Pope would need daily confession and mass, considering the responsibility that he holds over the universal church. He would want to be certain that he is doing his very best to carry out the will of God.
You may go when you want…
Some have gone daily. (including Saints)
But remember 2 things…1. avoid scruples. 2. Venial sins are forgiven in many ways…prayer, contrition, Holy Communion. I also suggest using holy water with contrition.
But yes a good norm is once a week…or every 2 weeks…or maybe once a month
The Priest can recommend you not go more than once a week…but it is up to you.
Thought if you become scrupulous…or develop some tendency to scruples…get a regular confessor who can guide you.
I would go to Confession every day if I could. I don’t suffer from scrupulosity, I just think frequent Confession is a great thing. So did Pope Paul VI:
Frequent and reverent recourse to this sacrament, even when only venial sin is in question, is of great value. Frequent confession is not mere ritual repetition, nor is it merely a psychological exercise. Rather is it a constant effort to bring to perfection the grace of our Baptism so that as we carry about in our bodies the death of Jesus Christ who died, the life that Jesus Christ lives may be more and more manifested in us. In such confessions penitents, while indeed confessing venial sins, should be mainly concerned with becoming more deeply conformed to Christ, and more submissive to the voice of the Spirit.
In Divine Mercy in My Soul: The Diary of St. Faustina, St. Faustina describes being judged on Judgement Day and recounts how she is amazed that every little sin she committed is brought up (I’m paraphrasing here, it’s been a time since I last read the diary); she says something like she can’t believe she was being judged for that particular sin because she didn’t think it was that bad (or something like that). I’ll look these up when I get home, but my point is that frequent Confession is a great thing. If sin is what separates us from God, how can it be a bad thing to consistently reject it by Confessing it?
It has been a while since I read his biography, but didn’t Padre Pio chastise people for going to confession so much?
Sure, but what is “frequently”? Avoid scrupulosity, avoid being in a state of mortal sin.
an individual penitent should obey his own confessor and not monday-morning quarterback his confession or the priest’s advice, it does little good and may do harm to ask random input from random third parties.
Yes if a person has a problem say with scruples…and puts themselves in the care of a confessor…yes such can be very good…
and such can be very good for other reasons…
But we are not required to “obey” a confessor “necessarily”…
For example someones confessor can tell tell them something that is wrong…(like no worries you can use contraception) (I hope such would NOT happen and if so …a call to the Bishop would be in order…) if such where to happen…well they should certainly not obey them…
Now if ones confessor tells them not to murder…or not to use contraception…yes all means put those words into action!
But certain advice can be …well “advice”…and sometimes one can find better advice etc.
(of course one is to do the penance…unless some good reason exists for to be changed…then such can be changed)