Fear of Confession.

I was just recently confirmed into the Church back in April and I have only been to confession once. I have so much going on in my conscience and I know that I need to go again. The problem is, I am somewhat close to my priest and I would feel weird going to him for confession. I know he will not judge me but I wouldnt feel comfortable around him knowing what I had done.

I want to go to him because he would be able to offer me better advice than a priest who does not know me. I hate having this fear and I don’t know how to get over it. I’ve promised myself to go for more than a month now and cannot muster up the courage to go. Please help!

Go behind a screen. He’ll recognise your voice, but it still makes a difference, at least to me.

When I go, I know the priest knows who I am, it’s very informal feeling, I don’t bother saying how long it’s been. He gives good advise, absolves me, and I’m on my way. He knows people are embarrassed and will not acknowledge in any way that you’ve been. He’s not allowed to let what is said affect anything outside the confessional.

Just go, you’ll see. Go behind the screen. :slight_smile:

I know how it can be going to a priest who you know and care about very much. My first regular confessor is a priest who’s first language is not English (he’s Polish). One day he introduced me to another Polish priest as the girl who would be an nun one day (even though I have no intention to) (becaue I walk two and a half miles in horrid weather for Mass)I found out what he said becasue he told this to another Priest who was unrehearsed in English an repeated it. My heart was heavy when I had to confess to him a HUGE sin. I really did not believe that he would ever think of me the same.

Then two weeks ago when his brother (who dosn’t speak a word of English) visited he introduced me in Polish…and afterword I realized that he called me a little saint:love:

These priests have heard it all, remember. And, they themselves sin and go to confession. Some of them have also had HUGE sins. If anything, they respect you more for having the humility to come clean.

Kevin,

Not to worry, the seal of the confessional is such that the priest may not treat you any differently after confession than he did before. He has heard it all so you cannot shock him. You are, of course, correct that a priest who knows you can provide better spiritual direction, and that’s why you should try to always use the same confessor – it will help to develop a relationship that can be of great help in times of spiritual trouble.

BTW, imagine what it’s like for clergy to go to confession – we work with these guys!

Deacon Ed

I used to be afraid and embarrassed. Now, I realize that Jesus’ forgiveness is much more important and we really only need to fear NOT BEING honest more than BEING honset. Somehow we all think our sins and issues are weirder than everyone elses whether they be those sick thoughts, sexual sins, hatred, anger, slefishness … Guess what? We humans are probably not as different as we think we are and we probably all share similar experiences in the spiritual struggle.

The only thing I DON’T LIKE is when a priest does not seem to stand with the Church on what IS a sin and what IS NOT a sin. We have some serious problems in this area today with all the dissent, etc. and it’s very painful to confess to these priests because you have to somehow accept that they teach against the Church but they forgive your sins. As I say, there’s some very serious issues here.

I’ve been called scrupulous when I really just wanted to please God and be holy. It’s very painful because it rips at the very core of our spirituality in the depths of the confessional. Satan has slithered into all kinds of areas these days.

The Catholic commission on the sex abuse referred to the “Smoke of Satan” that has been operating even among clergy.

This seems to be one of the greatest problems today, not the embarrassment of our sins.

If I have to confess something that really embarreses me, I go to another priest I don’t know, behind a screen. Other wise, my priest with a screen. I can’t do the eye contact. I always end up crying any way, which makes me feel silly.
If you go to your priest or another, just go. Also it isn’t counseling, he is there to forgive the sin. Don’t worry about advice, you need penance. You also never know how great another priest could be.
the point is to just go… you can do it!!!
Blessings

[quote=Deacon Ed]Kevin,

Not to worry, the seal of the confessional is such that the priest may not …

Deacon Ed
[/quote]

My name is Kim actually. :wink: I am quoting Kevin Smith in my signature.

These posts are so awesome! It’s so true what one of the posters said about needing penance rather than counseling–for this Catholic the penance always brings the healing.

I have felt fearful of Confession so many times in the past, only to go and find it wasn’t nearly so scary after all. The priest, wherever I go, is always so kind and understanding. They truly have heard it all, even the young ones! When I have expressed my fear to them they were even more kind and loving.

The benefits of Confession far outweigh any fear of mine!

I’m not sure who said this but it helps me: *Feel the fear and do it anyway! *

I hope you’ll let us know what happens! Meanwhile, God bless!

[quote=StratusRose]My name is Kim actually. :wink: I am quoting Kevin Smith in my signature.
[/quote]

Kim,

My apologies…I guess I didn’t read carefully enough.

What other posters have said about forgiveness vs. counseling is not completely correct. Since part of the purpose of confession is to help us avoid the occasion of sin, we sometimes need direction to do just that. By using the same confessor he is able to discern a pattern in our sin and, thereby, offer advise to help avoid a particular sin.

It is not counseling in the psychological sense, but it is counseling in the spiritual sense.

Deacon Ed

:gopray: I had to be thankful after reading this I have been Catholic for 44 years and still the most difficult thing for me is confession. Of course going to the priest that knows you is always best but is the hardest thing to do. I always tell myself I am not going to have to confess the same thing next time. The priest hears it so much, that I have to admit I do try harder so I don’t have to say those same things again and again. What a beautiful sacrament that just cleans us up for Christ. The more you go to the priest that knows you, the more it helps in spiritual direction. If all else fails find another priest, but the longer you wait the harder it is to go.

Hi Folks!
One thing to remember is that feeling afraid is very much ok! I have gone from going maybe once a year to now going once a week. Does it get any easier? Not for me I am afraid and I would sincerely begin to worry if it did get easier. Then I may just be getting accustomed to my sins and their source.
I am beginning to realise that I am not afraid of the Priest, screen or no screen nor of the wonderful Sacrament itself, but of myself.
I am afraid of admitting my faults and failings as it goes against the desire of the world and the flesh.
I am afraid of revelaing myself to God, who already knows me better than I know myself.
I am afraid of the sincerity I have and the ability I hold in order to change for the better as I promise to do during Confession.
I am afraid of having to delve deep into my self and discover that I am far from perfect even though I may think that I am doing quite ok.
I am afraid of my own conscience and its ability to remind me of things I may have forgotten and must now confess.
But afraid of the Sacrament and receiving absolution? No.
I don’t believe you are afraid of the actual sacrament of Confession either. Rather I suggest that you, like myself, are afraid of the preparation and revelation of your true self.
None of us like to admit our weaker side.
I would urge you to go more frequently not so that it gets any easier but that you learn more about and benefit more from the Sacrament at a better pace!

God Bless your efforts,
Fergal
Naas
Ireland

As a convert to the Catholic faith, I also had a great deal of anxiety regarding the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The first few years I went sporadically. Through the prompting of the Holy Spirit I got the courage to confront a particularly embarrassing and sinful habit that I hadn’t been able to overcome. I started to go to Confession monthly; more often if needed. This helped to overcome much (not all) of the anxiety. I realized that Jesus wanted me to be there; He knew what I had done and wanted me to be reconciled. I learned humility and I also grew in my respect for the ministry of priests. I go to Confession with much more joy now. I know that only by being reconciled to God will I have true peace. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the Catholic Church’s wonderful treasures. :yup:

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