I was watching Father Corapi (previous show I recorded) today and he was speaking on confession. He said that one does not need to (and should not) give details about one’s sin. You should state it and tell how many times you committed the sin…but not go into great detail. I think I go into too much detail. I do not know if I can just state and move on. How do you know where to draw the line from needed background and too much uneeded detail. How do you handle this?
I promise I’m not following you, your threads are just interesting to me, tonight!
I sometimes go into details, if the sin is repetitive, and I tend to recommit it occasionally. A priest, if he knows some details, he might be able to offer advice that one hasn’t thought of, to overcoming a persistent state of mind, or habit pattern.
Normally, I don’t go into detail, though.
I pretty much have always followed the rule of stating sin and number of times (sometimes I don’t always give an exact number, cause I don’t always know) and allow the Priest to ask further questions if necessary. Has always worked for me…Take Care…
Thanks for answering, whatevergirl. I sometimes have little to contribute or ask. Tonight, as I sat at my computer to work, I thought about 3 questions that I have had for sometime.
Of course not, I try to make it in and out of there in five minutes or less.
Whenever it comes to work, I always manage to find myself doing something else. lol I am glad you asked the question…I sometimes ask too many.
I was going to reply to your other thread about a daily mass book, but I thought you’d think I was nuts replying to your third question. haha But, suffice to say, I bought my daily mass reading book off of www.wau.org. Amazon also has great ones, too. You can also read the daily mass readings, with reflection off of www.wau.org, as well.
Hope you find a book you like.
I’ve read that people were taught differently in different generations/eras about exactly how to go to Confession, none “better” than another. I generally give the background or details I think are needed to truly feel I have confessed whatever I’ve done and that I can feel good about the honesty of my Confession. A lot of background isn’t usually needed… It sounds as if there are a lot of “right” ways to confess.
I usually go through the Ten Commandments(detailed) and state the sins and number of times. If it is a Mortal sin though, one that is a problem for me, I go into detail. Sometimes I feel the need to get it all out. It makes me think afterwards more on what I can do to stop this with the helps of the Godhead. Just doing complete examination is hard enough to do. Again my hardest was going after 35 years and trying to remember all the many sins I had committed.
Most sins have one-word names: fornication, adultery, gossip, pornography, lying, masturbation, murder, anger, etc. As long as you specify the sin (not dance around it) with that one word and give the number of times, further detail is usually not necessary.
In fact, too much detail can simply serve to disguise the sin amidst a sea of words.
Generally, I just say what it was - usually a single sentence. If it’s something that I would like some insight into, I might elaborate slightly, but I am usually in and out in under 5 minutes. Last time I asked if I was wrong to feel resentful of all the people who are going to get my hard-earned money in return for not managing theirs properly. Boy did I get an earful on that one!
I do not. It is not called for and can confuse the issue which is…your sin…your sorrow for having commited said sin and your determination to avoid sin.
It usually isn’t called for, no. I do mention anything that might be relevant in terms of changing the nature of the sin, though - robbing a bank of a million bucks is a different thing to taking a dollar from your mother’s purse, after all, so that sort of detail you may want to mention.
I usualy do it by Catagory, i.e. “I broke the Xth command about X times, I broke the Xth commandment about X times per week for a month” is this enough detail or do I need to give more?
That may be somewhat too general, if it doesn’t indicate exactly what you did! Each commandment can cover a variety of sins.
Plenty of priests seem to be OK with your method. Personally I think it’s a little bit wimpish - I think it would help hugely to at least put an actual name to the sin - ‘I lied’ ‘I stole’ ‘I got drunk’ etc. As well, I think there are at least some times that you should give a little bit more even than that.
As per my example above, '“I stole” (sorry, can’t remember the number of that commandment) could mean you stole a buck or that you stole $1 million. Qualitatively the two breaches of the commandment are very very different - the tiny amount of the former means it’s most probably a venial sin unless there are some other unusual circumstances, whereas the latter is almost certainly grave/mortal sin.
With other commandments it could get even more complicated, as they really do cover numerous and quite distinct types of sin which should be given their proper names.
I, myself, will discuss with my confessor items that are troubling me. We then come to the conclusion if such said item is a sin, and it needs absolution, or not.
Using the example posed by theVickinator16, above, about partying, getting drunk and missing Mass, I suppose one could go into confession and make reference to breaking several commandments.
But wouldn’t it be more honest and straightforward just to say “I got drunk on Saturday and missed Mass on Sunday.”?
I never give details. I name the sin, as precisely as I feel appropriate, and the occurence…the entire confession process never takes more than 4-5 minutes. There have been times where I have missed out on receiving Holy Communion because the priest couldn’t hear my confession before mass after 3 or 4 people in the line before me took over ten minutes a piece. I feel that if there is a line up, it is your duty, out of charity, to make your confession as short and to the point as possible to ensure that as many souls as possible receive absolution. If you need to go into detail, make an appointment!
I think that sharing details can be a good thing, in the sense that when WE hear our sins spoken aloud, sometimes, we are taken aback. God knows our offenses before we step into confession…but, confession is to ‘reconcile’ with God. To ADMIT our errors, our sins, and to speak out loud, a good act of contrition. I have said details before, and while it can sting a bit…to say certain offenses out loud, a priest is acting as in the persona of Christ, and isn’t sitting in condemnation or scornful judgement of us. I think that some of us feel …this one detail, I’m sure Father has NEVER heard before, and he is going to read me the riot act. On the contrary, I have only had one confession where a priest was less than patient with me, but all others, where priests ARE MORE THAN EAGER to help us get past our sins.
I always think about that whenever I head to confession. It’s so uplifting.