Feeling very uncomfortable in confession


#1

I attend a small church with only one priest.

At confession, I confess ‘behind the curtain’. My husband and I live in a foreign country and we’re the only ones in the Church with American accents. There is no way my confession is anonymous.

I really feel I can’t make a ‘good confession’

Should I just find another church to make my confession? I am a very private person and this is really bothering me.

What does anyone think I should do?

Thanks


#2

[quote="Simca, post:1, topic:348963"]
I attend a small church with only one priest.

At confession, I confess 'behind the curtain'. My husband and I live in a foreign country and we're the only ones in the Church with American accents. There is no way my confession is anonymous.

I really feel I can't make a 'good confession'

Should I just find another church to make my confession? I am a very private person and this is really bothering me.

What does anyone think I should do?

Thanks

[/quote]

Remember for the first few centuries after Christ confession was public - imagine what a deterrent the idea of confessing publicly would be against sin!

Remember also that many people find benefit from having a regular confessor who knows them, their character and patterns of sin. Perhaps you are being called to challenge some preconceptions about the sacrament and gain extra help and graces by doing so?

Just what do you mean when you say you 'can't make a good confession'? Remember the priest is a human being and a sinner like you - probably guilty of equally bad or possibly worse sins in his life, and needing regular confession himself. He is most unlikely to judge you or think badly of you in any way.


#3

A good Confession is not dependent on whether or not it is made anonymously. What matters is the spirit of contrition and firm purpose of amendment on the part of the penitent. I go to Confession about once a week, sometimes to my pastor, vicar or one of the local Benedictine monks I know from attending Mass at their Monastery. I would hazard to guess that most recognize my voice, but it doesn't bother me in the least. In fact, I think sometimes it can be helpful having a priest who knows something about me. My vicar especially has been trying to help me with being oversensitive and with maintaining interior peace and silence. His insights have been very good for me.I still prefer to be behind the screen, but I'm not afraid to go face to face.

One time I went to Confession and sat on the wrong side. I'm sure the priest noticed my startled expression as I saw his face, but I figured it was too late to turn back so I made that Confession face to face.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.:D


#4

[quote="Simca, post:1, topic:348963"]

I really feel I can't make a 'good confession'

Should I just find another church to make my confession? I am a very private person and this is really bothering me.

[/quote]

I think u are worrying too much about this. The priest, even if he does recognize your voice, is not going to say anything about what u confess to him outside the confessional, nor is he going to judge u. More than likely, too, he probably won't even remember any of the sins u tell him since:
1) he's not there to remember people's sins
2) I'm sure he hears many confessions aside from yours.

God bless! :)


#5

=Simca;11524876]I attend a small church with only one priest.

At confession, I confess 'behind the curtain'. My husband and I live in a foreign country and we're the only ones in the Church with American accents. There is no way my confession is anonymous.

I really feel I can't make a 'good confession'

Should I just find another church to make my confession? I am a very private person and this is really bothering me.

What does anyone think I should do?

Thanks

THANKS FOR ASKING!

IF, you can find another Confessor; than you are free to do so. HOWEVER keep in mind that both heaven and HELL are real, and Eternity is forever.

A priest is BOUND by the seal of Confession that even literally under the threat of DEATH he cannot reveal what has been shared with him in the Sacrament.

Secondly; no matter what you have done it is extremely unlikely that it is a new sin for this priest.

Third: the benefit of having a regular Confessor is that He is able to BETTER guide you in how to avoid what ever sin or sins are problematic for you. YOU benefit not HIM.

Forth: Christ as our Creator KNEW full well HOW difficult it would be to Confess our failings. THAT itself is, God hopes, a deterrent to further sinning.

THE most important thing is not to hold back for any fear. God IS Merciful Love. We, none of us, know when we will be called to Judgment, so go to Confession OFTEN>:thumbsup:

God Bless you,
Patrick


#6

I really think if it makes you that uncomfortable you have every right to find another Church to confess in.
Mary.


#7

[quote="Simca, post:1, topic:348963"]
What does anyone think I should do?

[/quote]

Can I ask, have u gone to confession with this particular priest yet? If u haven't yet, I would recommend at least trying to do so at least a few times, and maybe after the 3rd or 4th time, if u still feel really nervous or extremely worried, then finding another confessor certainly might be for the best (as long as it's pretty close by, u shouldn't have to drive to another state or anything to find one :D).

But please do try a bit more (if u haven't already) and see how u feel afterwards. :)


#8

I know that it is personal to each individual and that is why they have the behind the screen confession but I have confessed face to face with priests that I know very well in my parish. And, I might add, these are some very embarrassing sins. I just know that the priest is human and is not going to look at me in any different manner. I am not a priest but I do teach adult religious education classes. One day I had a lady who knows me very well confess that she had committed a very serious sin. She told me the sin and asked what she should do. Most would have found this sin very embarrassing to confess but yet she brought it to me. I still know this lady and until I typed this post I have yet to see her differently or pass any judgment on her. Priests hear confessions all of the time and hear anything that you might confess over and over again. And if it is an unusual sin (which I cannot think of one since even perverted sexual sins are not uncommon) it still won't shock the priest.

I fully understand your humility and that is what it should be. We should not feel at ease to confess how we offend our God and neighbor. But what you should focus on is the infinite mercy of God and His willingness to forgive you. If I were a priest I would be humbled that someone like yourself could come to me and that Jesus would give me the power to forgive and leave it at that. God bless you and Merry Christmas. :)


#9

Simpca, I was embarrassed to Confess one day. I almost always confess face to face. My priests know me and all my baggage. On this occasion, mortified to confess the same sin again, I said, "Father, I know you are acting in persona Cristi but you are still human, I worry you will disdain me since you know me. My priest, the dear man responded warmly, "There is no Father (name) here, only Jesus." Hearing this, I realized he wanted me to picture myself Confessing to Jesus Himself. I nearly grasped his hand, my face on the divider between us and cobfessed without fear.

Try this.


#10

It's hard to speak our sins out loud, even when we're alone. But you're getting some really good advice here. I especially agree with the poster who said to picture Jesus and speak directly to Him when you confess. And one thing I always do while I wait in line for the confessional, is ask the Holy Spirit to help me to make a good confession, to give me the words. Remember, it's the Holy Spirit who enhances our prayers. I'm sure that would cover our confessions as well.
God bless you and strengthen you.


#11

I have had the same confessor for years. He has heard all my worst sins and he still likes me and enjoys my company. We have great discussions outside the confessional and he never once looked down on me. Do not be afraid.


#12

Thanks everyone. All of your comments have really helped and
I have decided what I'm going to do and say.

I'm going to give my priest another try. I know it's just me.

Thanks again


#13

[quote="Layp3rs0n, post:9, topic:348963"]
Simpca, I was embarrassed to Confess one day. I almost always confess face to face. My priests know me and all my baggage. On this occasion, mortified to confess the same sin again, I said, "Father, I know you are acting in persona Cristi but you are still human, I worry you will disdain me since you know me. My priest, the dear man responded warmly, "There is no Father (name) here, only Jesus." Hearing this, I realized he wanted me to picture myself Confessing to Jesus Himself. I nearly grasped his hand, my face on the divider between us and confessed without fear.

Try this.

[/quote]

I like your response. :)

I have some students that are concerned about their anonymity and I will be passing this suggestion/thought along to them. Thanks


#14

=Layp3rs0n;11525228]Simpca, I was embarrassed to Confess one day. I almost always confess face to face. My priests know me and all my baggage. On this occasion, mortified to confess the same sin again, I said, "Father, I know you are acting in persona Cristi but you are still human, I worry you will disdain me since you know me. My priest, the dear man responded warmly, "There is no Father (name) here, only Jesus." Hearing this, I realized he wanted me to picture myself Confessing to Jesus Himself. I nearly grasped his hand, my face on the divider between us and cobfessed without fear.

Try this.

THANKS!

God's continued blessings!


#15

I made my first confession recently with the priest the parish assigned to give me private preparation for Confirmation. He arranged to get me ready that day to confess and already knew I was there. I had decades of mortal sins to confess so I was asked to wait after the others had gone. While not anonymous it was still a moving experience. I find value in having had some instruction in the faith before confession and making confession with that same individual.


#16

Well, they need to make some opaque curtains - there are some that are really more of a sheer - which defeats the purpose don't you think? If you can find a priest that you like and feel happy with - go with that one. That could open up a whole new world re. confession for you.


#17

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