I am Catholic but when it comes to confession I always get embarrassed even when the priest is not able to see who I am. Do priests think of people differently when they tell them their sins? Will a priest judge me on the sins that I confess?
I prefer to go behind the screen myself as well. It’s easier for me personally to remember that it’s truly Christ I’m confessing my sins to, and receiving my forgiveness, penance and absolution from. I’m in a large city, so although I think that my priest remembers me, from many articles I have read, they rarely do. Our sins may seem to be unique to us, but I think that’s our pride kicking in.
One time, I did have an issue with something the priest said to me in the confessional, and I know it was because of something he saw or perceived while I was standing in line and he was going into the confessional. That’s another reason I prefer the screen, which is perfectly valid.
No, priests don’t think any differently about us.
No, you will not be judged for what you confess.
I understand your embarrassment, although you shouldn’t feel that way. Priests are there to help us and guide us.
I think that it is normal to feel somewhat nervous going to confession. I know that I usually would get a little bit nervous. I would always be afraid that I was going forget to say something, etc.
No, priests don’t think of people differently, they are not there to judge. Only God can judge.
Also, you should remember that priests hear hundreds, if not thousands of confessions, so I believe few things can surprise them.
When you leave the confessional forget your sins, as the priest do, they are part of the past now. God forgave You.
For me, it helped to confess more regularly, which means once a month for me. And I confess face-to-face with the priest and I feel quite comfortably this way.
kn1994. You asked:
Do priests think of people differently when they tell them their sins? Will a priest judge me on the sins that I confess?
Don’t worry about it one way or another. The Priests have heard it all.
I would suggest when examining your conscience before your Confession, make a list of what you want to Confess and when you get “in there”, just read it to him (unless in the Confessional God puts something else on your heart to say–then by all means confess that too).
Staying behind the curtain as you have done may help (especially at first).
Try to frequent the Confessional. Then you will perhaps overcome this reluctance.
Public speakers use this concept too. They overcome their public-speaking trepidation by frequent public speaking.
Another thing you might consider is going to a different parish Priest who does not know you (if this is practical for you).
After awhile I suspect your Confessional apprehension will dwindle considerably if not abate completely. Part of your interior life will probably even look forward to Confession.