Experiences in Confession

It seems there is a lot of trepidation relative to going to confession. Maybe this post will help people approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation without fear…

My question is What were your experiences in confession? Were you afraid, and if so, did the priest manage to lay your fears aside? Were you glad that you went? Did your experiences strengthen you so that you would not experience such a great deal of fear in the future?

Back in April of 2006, I went to confession for the first time in 40 years. I’d been a lax mass goer (Christmas and Easter) and away from the Church in general for a long, long time.

I’d done something that tormented me greatly, and the confessional seemed to be the best thing that I could do.

I went and told the priest that I had not confessed in almost 40 years – and I will never forget what he told me. He said “Welcome back to the Catholic Church. God has called you back to his flock and you are home again” I went on with my confession and I have to admit that I had tears in my eyes the whole time. It was a life saving experience for me.

I get nervous before going into the confessional… I guess everyone does – but I don’t really experience the embarassment and fear so much anymore.

Did you experience something similar?

Don’t feel bad, I don’t like going to confession any more than I like going for a physical. I find it embarrassing, plus I’ve had some nasty experiences with some priests who seemed to forget they’re acting in the place of Christ, things like what a priest friend of mine called the “You did WHAT?!” school of being a confessor. I haven’t been in a few months, and I know I should go soon, but I’ve been hard put getting myself to actually do so.

I had somewhat of a similar experience in confession some years ago.

I had refrained from receiving Holy Communion for about three days in a row; so on Monday afternoon, I decided to go to confession on the way home from work. I had one particular sin I wanted to get rid off. After confessing all my sins, the priest began the absolution prayer and the instant he lifted his hand sayin “I absolve you in the name of the Father…” I understood 100% that it was JESUS who was forgiving me.

It was a very intense experience; tears flooded my eyes and I had to hide my face and leave the church for some time, since I was embarrassed with the power of emotion that overtook my soul.

I had a similar experience earlier but not at confession.

God Bless

I can’t say I enjoy going to confession, but as a convert, I have a different outlook. There is a joy inherent in hearing “Your sins are forgiven.” Think about it, when we sin we offend a God so holy that it is incomprehensible. Yet he loves us enough to forgive us no matter how many times we fall. If we would fully grasp that, maybe we would have less apprehension about confession.

First off, I have never been met with anything other than kindness and compassion from the priest who is there in Christ’s place.

That being said, some confessions have been life-changing, some have been painful, and some have been rather matter of fact. Sometimes I am nervous, sometimes not, and the nervousness does not always correlate with the seriousness of the sins. I remember one confession after many years, where I was actually excited to be going. Sometimes I get advice that hits the nail right on the head and sometimes I get no advice at all. Sometimes I float out of the confessional, most often I don’t. Sometimes I feel a weight lifting, sometimes not. Sometimes I get a penance that is quite easy, sometimes I get one that takes me a few days and some self-denial to finish.

But whatever, it’s ALL good. Our pastor says that when we walk out of the door of the confessional, our soul is as clean as it was on the day we were baptized. That is well worth any price of admission.

I am a new convert confirmed this Easter and I had been terrified of going to confession all through our RCIA classes. I felt embarrassed and ashamed to tell the priest my sins. I felt like he would look at me in a different and judgmental way. He tried to ease my fears, but I was still having a hard time with it. When the time came for my first confession I was a nervous wreck. I went in a little confused but he motioned for me to sit in front of him and he helped me through it all. I almost didn’t confess one sin that has troubled me for years, but it was like he knew there was something else. He simply said in a fatherly way, “Is that all?” and gave me this look. Well, I did confess it and when he absolved me of my sins, I literally felt this burden being lifted off my shoulders. I cried, then I went and prayed before leaving the church, and then I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt so much better. It was a wonderful experience for me!!!


When I joined the Catholic Chhurch, I don’t think anything gave me chills worse than the very thought of going to confession. I dreaded it and put it off until the last possible day. Even then, I paced back and forth in front of that confessional until I probably wore hole in the carpet. I come from a strong Southern Baptist background where it was absolutely unheard of to admit to sinning, much less to your pastor. I finally went into the confessional and couldn’t believe how kind the priest was. I left knowing in a whole new way that I had touched Heaven. It was like a ton of weight had disappeared - a ton that I didn’t even know I was carrying. I was on a buzz for days - I almost couldn’t wait to sin again so I could feel that great again - joking. Even so, It was a long time before I got comfortable with the idea of confession. My turning point was one day when I needed to go to confession and was experiencing the traditional anxiety attack and I thought about the verse “Let us therefore come boldly before the throne of grace that we may abtain mercy, and find grace in time of need.” I spent about half an hour looking through the book of James for that verse. I wanted so badly to read it before making my confession. Time was running out, so I finally had to give it up. I went into the confessional, visibly trembling when the priest looked at me, picked up his Bible, and said " I think there’s something Jesus wants you to hear." Then he read the verse “Let us therefore come boldly…” - from the book of Hebrews.


Tezza, what does that icon mean? I have sat here puzzling for far too long!

It means I was moved to tears by Martha’s story. To me, it is God reaching down from heaven to comfort his child.

I just whent yesterday and it was great, It was the first time I did not have to confess a specific reoccuring sin.:angel1:

I usually go at least once every two months but lately its been more becuase I vowed to go once a week for Lent. the first time I whent for a long time was about a year and a half ago, and I was so nervouse and he said “welcome back, Christ is glad to have you back” it was so amazing and I was so touched and emotional that when I walked out I was hysterical it was so unbelievably liberating it is like a high, I could just feel the chains fall and collapse on the floor.

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