First Confession- Completely Terrified


#21

Waw! That paragraph really made an impression on me. Thanks for that. :thumbsup:

I need to confess some embarrassing sins from my past!! Cant stand the fact that i am hiding behind sins of the past.


#22

Oh dear, don't be scared of confession...you are confessing to Christ, and Christ already knows everything. See, the point is not to go before the terrible judge, admit your guilt, and receive his wrathful punishment...the point is that you are a child going to his ever-loving Father who sees even your most awful sin as a child's mistake and is ready to forgive and forget...but just as He who is omnipresent willed to make Himself present to you through His minister, He who is omniscent wills that you speak to Him with simplicity and trust, repentance and confidence, knowledge of your frailty and knowledge of the infinite mercy of His heart...for no matter how great the darkness, His light will cast it out at once.

Don't make the mistake of associating the priest to confession. The moment he steps into the confessional, the priest acts in persona Christi - which is why it is better to employ the screen to confess rather than face to face. Priests have a special seal through the Holy Orders for a reason. When he steps in there, Christ takes over. Christ listens, Christ absolves, Christ advices. When he steps out, all you confessed is left in the confessional. He will never break the seal in any way, shape, or form. And the way he sees all the sheep of his little flock is such that no matter what he hears from them, he will never change how he treats them...for he, a minister of Christ, knows that there is no limit to our misery and wretchedness, and he applies it above all else to himself. So what are you afraid of? He doesn't think you are holy! He rejoices and loves you because he sees Christ shining through you! And the more confidence you have and simplicity in confession, the more he will love you, for the judgment of man is that "everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed" but "whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God". When you confess, show repentance, show sorrow for having offended God, show a desire to be reconciled...you are exposing yourself to the Light...and your soul shines, as beautifully as Moses and Elijah on Mount Tabor!

And if the priest who is a man feels this way, imagine how the living God, who is Love itself and longs to love and be loved...imagine how He feels! All He wants is to pour in your little human heart the infinite love and grace of His Sacred Heart!

Now, I do have to speak a word of warning. We often forget that it is not against flesh and blood that we struggle, but against the spirits of the world of darkness. It is not just your feelings and your pride you fight (for shame ultimately derives from pride)...you are fighting temptations from the father of lies himself. This is what the great s. Ignatius of Loyola wrote in his Spiritual Exercises on the discernment of spirits:

[The devil] acts as a licentious lover in wanting to be secret and not revealed.

For, as the licentious man who, speaking for an evil purpose, solicits a daughter of a good father or a wife of a good husband, wants his words and persuasions to be secret, and the contrary displeases him much, when the daughter reveals to her father or the wife to her husband his licentious words and depraved intention, because he easily gathers that he will not be able to succeed with the undertaking begun: in the same way, when the enemy of human nature brings his wiles and persuasions to the just soul, he wants and desires that they be received and kept in secret;

but when one reveals them to his good Confessor or to another spiritual person that knows his deceits and evil ends, it is very grievous to him, because he gathers, from his manifest deceits being discovered, that he will not be able to succeed with his wickedness begun.

Thus remember always, sister in Christ: every time you are tempted not to confess, whatever reason you may have, you can be assured that this is a temptation and that it comes straight from the mouth of Satan. Despise it as much as you despise him and sin, and run to the confessor with open heart and willingness to reveal everything and hide nothing. In doing this, you are allowing Christ to break the chains that the devil wraps around the soul of sinners. If instead you hide things, you are stopping the hand of Christ from releasing your soul. When you are conscious of mortal sin, confess immediately, openly, sincerely, without any shame, without hiding anything. Throw yourself into the blazing fire of the Heart of Jesus, and you shall find yourself engulfed into that seraphic fire of love without ever being consumed, like the burning bush in the desert.

Remember that some of the toughest temptations come to us during RCIA. Hold on tight and do not be afraid of mentioning these things to the priest, even before the day of your confession. Just mention to him what you told us, and he himself will be able to restore peace in your soul :)

:hug1:


#23

Another great post. Thanks for sharing that.

What about length of sins? And what if one doesnt know if something is a sin or not?

I am afraid of going on and on and also of confessing to what may not be sins. Best to confess all?


#24

Mary,
It is easy to say “Do Not Be Afraid.” as I sit here and type, and you are preparing for this…but you indeed have nothing to fear. Christ Jesus is so gentle in the Sacrament of Confession. Say a prayer to the Holy Spirit before going in to the confessional. Pray for the priest who will be hearing your confession. Say if often in the next day (hourly if need be when fear comes along). Once you get there and say “Bless me Father, this is my first confession…” the rest will flow out. I am assured that you have examined your conscience well, and written things down. The best words on earth are the words of absolution…"God the Father of mercies…and I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. My prayers are with you.


#25

One confesses mortal sins in kind and number. F. ex. (I’ll be very silly now :p) if I ate five chocolate bars and I want to confess it, I do not need to explain the whole story, only the details needed for the priest to grasp the gravity of the sin. F.ex. I think I acted out of gluttony because I ate 5 whole chocolate bars. We should try to not excuse ourselves, and we should clarify whether there are additional circumstances that made things worse for us or for others (ex. and I was fasting that day, and I shared them with my friend who was also fasting). Of course, my silly example is with a totally venial sin, but the idea applies to mortal sins as well.

It is always proper to do an examination of conscience before confessing. (In fact, it is good to do one every night before sleep, and it is in fact part of the Night Prayer of the Divine Office). An examination of conscience begins with a prayer to God to give us light, then with an overview of the commandments, to discern if and when did we break them, and finally a last prayer to ask God to allow us to confess in the best possible way. There are nice guides online and in print to aid us in this.

I know you’ve heard this many times, but it’s excellent to always end confession by saying: “for these and all the sins of my past that I may have forgotten, I am truly sorry and I ask your forgiveness.”

Remember: a sin is mortal if it is on grave matter, with full knowledge, and deliberate consent. There are probably at this stage of your life a lot of sins that were venial due to lack of knowledge of their sinfulness - to some degree - even if they are on grave matter. In this case, you are doing more of a “general confession”, so do a thorough examination of conscience and tell Christ everything you feel broke the commandments and hurt Him.

Look, we can’t become scrupulous either. The more we advance in the path of perfection and holiness, the more we become aware of how terribly far away is the end of the road :smiley: So even a teeny tiny sin becomes in our eyes a terrible offense, because every sin, no matter how small, hurts the Lord. But then we also learn that the Lord became flesh and thus fully knows and understands our frailty and weakness and yes, even misery, for though He was sinless, He knows how greatly we are inclined towards pride, vanity, and lust. So we try our best, and we confess above all else truly grave sins, then we can mention venial sins as well!

Confession is a moment in which heaven and earth meet…in which we can truly echo the words of Christ: “You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already amidst you.” Enjoy it! For though you are called to experience contrition, you are bringing such a great joy to Christ…if only men could know just how happy we make Him every time we acknowledge our errors and sins…especially in the confessional…people would be standing before the confessional every day!

I write too much :blush: I hope I did answer your question, though :slight_smile:


#26

do not be terrified… the priest is in persona christ… hes been given that authority by jesus (god) himself over 2000 years ago, to take away your sins… pour out your heart do not hold back at all, you will find that the priests heart is nothing but burning love for your and compassion…you will be given the grace to sin no more with a firm resolution… this sacrament is beautiful


#27

THIS THIS THIS :signofcross:


#28

Well, i am dreading my confession this week!!! First time i have sat down and thought about the sins committed over many years and there are quite a few i have never confessed to!!

I have now made a list ready to take with me this week.

Is it ok to ask the priest for a big penance? Its what i want.


#29

Dear completely terrified, the first time is always an anxious moment. But I am sure once the confession started, you would feel better and looking forward for other confessions. Besides you have the assurance of Jesus that all sins will be forgiven if there is true repentance. Remember the words of Jesus: “Be not afraid”.

Finally as the bible says (I believe it is in the Ecclesiasticus) There is nothing new under the sun.


#30

Just do whatever your confessor gives you as penance, it will suffice. :thumbsup:


#31

Thank you all for the answers and sorry I do not have the time to reply directly. This morning went wonderfully, he helped me through it all so I knew what I was doing, which was one of my worries. He was very caring and kept telling me how much he appreciated my honesty and my desire to move forward.This was a first confession but also a step-by-step. Afterwards, we did have a discussion about one of the issues that continually afflicts me. I feel much better,he made me feel hopeful (something that I dont’ usually feel) and his words calmed my soul. God definitely was all around us, through us, with us…


#32

So happy it went well for you. Isn’t our Lord beautiful!


#33

It was amazing. In the Protestant Church I grew up in, all I ever felt was shame and guilt. I know I am a sinner and not perfect, but I am good, I have God in me.


#34

I am posting this for what I hope is the benefit of people who are confessing years of sin. For my first confession I was terrified, expecting the worst. Evidently the priest was expecting Darth Vader. I don’t think he was impressed with my sins. :blush::blush: He was also kind and understanding. My advice would be to do the best you can.

I am not looking forward to my next one :blush::blush: but it is something I need to do.


#35

I am a former protestant as well. I can really relate to what you just said. I would confess my sins directly to God, but I never felt the forgiveness, the comfort that I felt after my first confession as a Catholic. I haven’t heard/read many people say it, but Sacramental Confession was one of the major things that drew me to the Catholic Church. It seems that most people view Confession as a “necessary evil.” I absolutely love Confession, and I tend to think of it more by its other name, Reconciliation. It is a wonderful feeling to be reconciled to God and His Church.

I know that I’m still a sinner, but I am trying to be more holy. The Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist work together to help me. I long for the Eucharist, and I know that I should only receive it when in a state of grace. That desire to receive the Eucharist worthily provides a wonderful “incentive” for me to avoid sinning. But I know that if I do fall–and I do–that Reconciliation is there, waiting for me to come back to God. Additionally, I do not want to have to go to Reconciliation. While I love the Sacrament, I do not look forward to the process. I look forward to the absolution at the end!

God bless you, and welcome to the Church! I know you are going to love it!


#36

Thank you, I feel home and where I should have been all along.:slight_smile: I had no idea there was someone else that felt the same way as me, that is why I was away from the church for so long. It didn’t matter if I was good in the future, I could never make up for it and I was supposed to live with the guilt from everything, I couldn’t get past it. I should feel bad, but the guilt I faced from them was like noneother.


#37

I’m actually incredibly nervous myself, but we have to remember that they’re not there to judge us. Just listen to us while they represent God.


#38

It hard to comprehend, when it is not something you are used to, but you are so right.


#39

Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful, MaryRita! Aren't we blessed to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation? I have become a BIG fan of it already, after just one time. :thumbsup:

Edited because apparently I can't spell


#40

Well, went for my confession tonight too. Boy was I nervous. I had it all written down.
Priest was awesome. So glad to have been forgiven of my sins.

Now I have to try 110% not to sin again!

God bless you


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