Is this the first time you have felt this trouble that pehaps all your previous confessions weren’t good enough
Before, I usually felt my confessions were good enough in the sense that I tried to make good confessions and that they were valid and my sins were forgiven…(though I always felt I forgot to confess like a million sins, especially from my past, or not in sufficient detail for the ones I did confess, etc., and so I felt I needed to confess those in my next confession all the time, even though they were forgiven).
It was only after this particular confession that I started feeling that perhaps this one and those other confessions were messed up because I might not have made a conscious act of the will to be sorry and repentant, due to distractions (at least on some of my past confessions, I don’t know how many).
Just, the most reliable course for the scrupulous is following the advice of the confessor
I would try to follow the advice of my confessor…but he is not always faithful to the Magesterium. (He might have even told me some incorrect things in the confessional itself before; I don’t remember). So I don’t know if I can trust him.
Since he is the only Catholic priest in a three county area (and I have no drivers license; I rely on my parents to give me a ride to church), there is no other priest I can talk to in person. (The only other opportunity I would have to talk to another priest in person is twice a year when my parents visit Illinois where there are more priests, or a visiting priest is at my parish). My only other option for help is the Internet.
Why did you go to confession?
Quite simply, I wished to be forgiven of my sins. Like I said, I simply didn’t make a conscious act of the will to be sorry and repentant of my sins, at any time before or during confession. I’ll try to explain a little what I mean by a “conscious” verses “implicit” sorrow and repentance (for all my confessions).
Basically, before these confessions, the reason I did not make “conscious” acts of the will (all the time, though I did some times, at least for some of the sins, such as came to my mind at the time) was this: I was trying not to think about my sins any more than I had to (because that fed my scrupulosity). Once I remembered them, I simply mentally recorded them. Most of them were ones which I believed were already forgiven, since they were simply sins I had simpy forgotten to confess in previous confession, or were ones which at the time I was not sure were mortal or not, and I figured I would presume were not (since I was in doubt, and I have been told scrupulous people should assume doubtful mortal sins were not mortal), though later on when getting ready to go to confession and making a written list, I decided they were (though that might have been my scrupulosity.).
Basically, I figured it would be safe to wait till my next confession to make such a conscious act of will, and in the meantime not to take any chances feeding my scrupulosity by dwelling on them anymore than I had to. So at the time I mentally recorded them, I did not make a conscious act of the will to be sorry and repentant for them, any more than today I would make a conscious act of the will not to murder someone. (I was planning on making such a conscious act of the will to think to myself and pray to God “I am sorry and I repent” during confession). At the same time, though, to continue my analogy, just as if today I were put in a position to murder someone, I would certainly reject it, so too, before my confession, at the time I was thinking about these sins that I remembered, if I had been asked outright if I were sorry for my sins and I repented of them, I certainly would have said yes.
But, as I said, I tried not to think about them anymore than I had to after mentally recording them, so as not to feed my scrupulosity (not to mention, while not all the time, many times I would have been distracted at the time in trying to make such an act then as well). I figured I would be making an act of contrition in the confessional anyway, and so I wanted just to mentally record my sins, but then immediately afterwards try to think about something else, so a million other things didn’t pop up that were scrupulous thoughts.
However, when I have tried saying acts of contrition in the confessional, like I said, my mind was distracted by my nervousness, and I couldn’t concentrate.
(continued in another post)