Hi all, I am a convert, became Catholic 11 years ago. That said, confession always makes me nervous. I pray beforehand and think I am ready, but get really flustered when in with the priest and don’t always confess everything I intended to. I know that the act of going to confession absolves all your sins, which is comforting.

I went to confession today and for the first time not face to face. I had a really hard time understanding the priest and actually didn’t understand what my penance was. Because of being flustered I didn’t ask him to repeat himself, and even if he did I honestly don’t think I would have understood him. I am hearing impaired and he had just the voice I struggle with. Anyone ever have this happen? What do you do? I went ahead and stayed in the church and prayed for awhile before I left.

Bring an encrypted list that only you understand - and ask him to repeat himself. And given that you are hearing impaired, face-to-face may be the most proper way for you to attend, as your penance is critical to completing the sacrament.

Making a list of what you want to confess and then reading it during confession may help you to keep from missing those sins you want/need to confess.

From what I understand, when we are absolved of our sin, that is final, even it we do not do our penance. Sound like your heart was in the right place and was doing some kind of penance.

I also try to do penance of my own when I sin even before I go to confession. You might want to look into indulgences. An indulgences is defined as “the remission before God of the temporal punishment due for sins already forgiven as far as their guilt is concerned.” The first thing to note is that forgiveness of a sin is separate from punishment for the sin

I would go next time to Confession and let him know that you did not hear what the penance was and that you felt a bit anxious asking him to repeat himself. I would also let him know you prayed in the Church for awhile.

I confess face to face with my Confessor. If I have any question, I ask him to repeat himself, he says he does not mind. And most priests don’t mind at all.

Be at peace.

God bless.

I am also a convert(3 years now) and confession always flusters me. I try to be prepared and pray about what I will confess… Because I am so nervous I sometimes forget what the priest said as far as advice/counsel as soon as I am driving away from the church. I have also forgotten to confess everything I intended and forgotten or couldn’t understand what my penance was(was that 3 Hail Marys and 3 Our Fathers or only 2?) But you know what? It’s all good. I went, I was contrite, I confessed. I complete my penance as best I can. I also always go face to face - I need to see the kindess and understanding in the priests eyes. I see Jesus in his eyes and it is wonderful. I love this sacrament.

OK, some suggestions to assist with The Sacrament of Confession

First - read about it again in the CCC. Read about it in the bible when JESUS instituted this Sacrament. Historical background assist’s understanding and gives comfort.

Second - know that Confession is a SACRAMENT, not a counseling session with someone taking notes. Although, as a side bar, the Catholic Church has fewer participants attending mental health services, and one of the theories is that The Sacrament of Confession releases us from the anxieties which cause mental issues.

Third - the Priest is a gift from GOD’s grace to you - personally. Think what our souls would look like without Priest’s, we would all be condemned. After Confession, as part of your penance, say a prayer in Thanksgiving to GOD for having provided “that” Priest to “you” to hear your Confession. It is not an accident.

Fourth - understand that you are talking to GOD. “You” are talking to GOD through the Priest. “Come unto ME, all you who are tired and burdened, and I will give you rest…” paraphrase of JESUS. JESUS gives us rest from our sins and anxieties through HIS Priests.

Finally - rest in the assurance that you are following GOD’s plan of salvation in attending to your sins. Confession is HIS plan, HIS sacrament, HIS way. “Do not be afraid…” JESUS words many times in the bible.

As long as you think about “the priest” as being the “sole” entity in your confession, you will have issues, but he is not the “sole” entity - think of it as “PriestMail” to GOD.

Forgotten sins…need to be mentioned in the next confession if they were mortal …

Venial sins…while very good to confess some of them…need not be confessed.

Mention the that you did not hear the penance to the Priest in the next confession…he will guide you.

Let the priest know that you are hearing impaired, he will understand. Maybe you could give him a pen and paper and ask him to write your penance, if there is a concern that others that are waiting might overhear if he repeats it louder.

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